SFH #200: Beets
A vibrant, nutrient-dense superfood 🦸♂️
And we are back with Superfood Sunday!
Beetroots (commonly known as beets) have become my dazzling choice for a pick-me up salad or vibrant juice, with their nutritional punch and earthy charm that's hard to ignore. It took me a while to come around on beets, mostly because I was frustrated with them staining my fingers, cutting board, and, in some unfortunate cases, getting on my apparel. Now, with some good practice, it's only showing up in my toilet bowl. TMI?!
Simple Fun Health is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Beets can be pretty versatile in how you work them into your everyday food choices - whether they're glammed up in a balsamic glaze, whipped into a hip hummus, cut into trendy fries, or tossed in a salad (my favorite version). Let's dive into these ruby-red marvels' benefits to inspire your future dining experience!
2. Beets contain nitrates, which can help lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and may improve brain health by promoting the dilation of blood vessels, thus increasing blood flow to the brain. You may have even heard that the nitrates in beets can enhance athletic performance by improving the efficiency of mitochondria, which produce energy in your cells. This last point became a polarizing topic from the documentary The Game Changers on Netflix. Here is my favorite take on the matter.
3. Beets contain pigments called betalains, which possess anti-inflammatory properties.5
4. Some studies suggest that the pigments in beets can help reduce the growth of cancer cells.6
5. Finally, beets have a high water and low-calorie content, which helps with satiety, my favorite shared feature across the board for superfoods. In the land of processed foods that trick our palettes and brains, I find continual consumption of balanced real food reassuring to my senses and my healthy existence.7