Written by Charlotte Campbell
Beetroot is bold, punchy and has a variety of health benefits. We’ve compiled a whistle-stop guide of the main benefits of beetroot, in case you needed any convincing that this purple wonder should make its way into your nutritional plans!
#1 Benefits of Beetroot for Weight Loss
100g of beetroot contains only 43 calories but 325mg of potassium – that’s 9% of your recommended daily intake! One of potassium’s many benefits is that it encourages the body to keep the body’s fluid level steady. In other words, it really helps if you are prone to water retention – a very common cause of the scales creeping up.
Another beetroot benefit is that it is a good source of dietary fibre (100g provides 11% of your recommended intake), which encourages the body to feel full and steadies blood sugar levels. This in particular help people in the “cutting” phase of a workout regime, or those generally restricting their calories for weight loss, keep to their nutritional plans.
#2 Benefits of Beetroot for Health
While keeping a healthy weight and fitness are both great for your health, there are other health benefits to beetroot, too. Studies have shown that the nitrate in beetroot also helps to promote a healthy heart, as well as lowering your blood pressure.
Recent health claims also indicate beetroot could help prevent dementia, although no long term studies have been completed yet.
#3 Benefits of Beetroot for Exercise
Athletes have increasingly been attributing beetroots to a key in their success. USC’s basketball team nutritionists are such converts they make it compulsory for players to take it before games and practices. But why? A recent study in Sports Medicine concluded that the nitrates found in beetroot do improve performance in endurance activities. Essentially, beetroots make the body more efficient with the way it uses oxygen. A further study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found that beet root juice increases maximum muscle power by about 6%.
In addition, studies on cyclists taking part in time trials showed that beetroot improved their scores by an average of 16 seconds.
So, if you want to maximise your gym time and smash those personal bests, you’d better beet it!