You Can't Stop The Beet

You Can't Stop The Beet

Rich in nutrients and versatile in the kitchen, beets are a superfood you don't want to miss out on.

Ingredient feature

Beet it or Beat it?

Similar to cilantro, when it comes to beets most people find themselves loving the bold coloured root vegetable or wanting nothing at all to do with them.

Unlike people's feelings about cilantro, which can be genetic, our opinions on beetroots are due to the compound that's responsible for their distinctive earthy aroma - geosmin.

If you can't place the scent, imagine the smell of rain after a dry spell. Geosmin is released freshly from dry soil after rainfall and contributes heavily to the misty fragrance that hangs in the air known as petrichor.

Everyone has their own unique sensitivity to geosmin, causing some to like or dislike the natural earthiness.


Red Hot

Beets have a long-held reputation as an aphrodisiac, literally eaten by the word's namesake Aphrodite in the tomes of Greek mythology to become even more alluring.

This lore was passed on to the Romans, who drank the juice of long skinny black and white beets for vitality and affection. Red beets as we know them today didn't exist until hundreds of years later- but beet juice was still long considered a tonic for the blood.

The culture of drinking beets for love resonates with the tryptophan and betaine found in beets which both promote feelings of happiness and comfort. Boron, a trace mineral found abundantly in beets, is involved in sex hormone production. But perhaps the beet-love connection becomes even more interesting when its effects on nitric oxide are considered.


What's Nitric Oxide Got To Do With It?

A wide range of nitric oxide-boosting supplements are taken primarily for one of two reasons: either boosting athletic performance or treating erectile dysfunction.

Nitric oxide is implicated in both cases because it is a crucial vasodilator, lowering blood pressure by relaxing and widening blood vessels.

This expansion permits more blood flow and an increased level of oxygenation, boosting physical performance and reducing muscle soreness.

Beets are rich in nitrates, which are promptly converted in the body to raise nitric oxide levels significantly.

This noticeable effect has led several clinical research studies to very positive conclusions on the impact of beets and beet juice on bench presses and other specific types of muscular performance.


A Bit More About Beets

Aside from those precious nitrates, beets are high in vitamins A and C, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, fibre, and antioxidants like betaine which helps lower homocysteine.

All these ingredients significantly contribute to nitric oxide's cardiac benefits, making beets an excellent staple for anyone concerned about high blood pressure.

Eat your beets raw for maximum nutrient power. Thinly slicing or shredding them may make this a more palatable proposition!

Also, Chioggia and golden beets are great common alternatives to the classic reds and will leave your kitchen looking less like a murder scene.

Damien ZielinskiA cloud-based functional medicine practitioner with a focus on mental health and insomnia
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