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10 Benefits of Beetroot You Probably Don’t Know

10 Benefits of Beetroot You Probably Don’t Know

Beetroot, or beets, seem to be one of the most overlooked vegetables on the figurative menu. This may be because the majority of people are only exposed to the acidic pickled variety you get in cans. Or maybe it’s just because it seems to infiltrate and stain any other food it comes into contact with. If you’re an Australian like me, you’ve probably had at least one burger that has ended up bright purple because of a pesky beetroot inclusion.

It’s time for you to put the canned stuff down and try roasting off a fresh beet in the oven. Or perhaps you could try sipping on a glass of beetroot juice. Trust me, it’s delicious. Either way, you need to start putting your beetroot prejudices aside because they are actually incredibly healthy for you. Here are 11 benefits of beetroot that just might change your mind:

1. Anemia

Beetroot is high in iron, which means it can assist in preventing anemia and low blood hemoglobin. It also helps the body’s absorption of iron, which enables good blood circulation and the capacity of oxygen that the red blood cells can carry.

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2. Cancer Prevention

There are several elements contained within beetroot that can help to fight cancer. The first is betacyanin, which has been linked to the reduction of tumors and precancerous lesions. Betacyanin is also what gives beetroot its dark red pigmentation. The second is betanin, which has been effective in both liver and skin tumors.

3. Heart Health

Beetroot can aid in preventing heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. This is because it has the ability to lower your blood pressure and thus stop hypertension.

4. Weight Loss and Digestion

Your digestion and metabolism can be greatly aided by beetroot. It does this by stimulating the nerves in your intestine as well as helping your body to digest your food—particularly those of the fatty variety. In addition, it contains fiber, which further aids your digestive system and helps to keep you regular. The fiber found within beetroot, as well as the protein and carbohydrates, can also help you to lose weight because they help you to feel full and satisfied longer on very few calories.

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5. Pregnancy

Beetroot is one of the best vegetables that an expectant mother can have. This is because it contains folic acid, which is imperative for the proper formation of an unborn baby’s spinal cord. As such, it also helps to prevent conditions such as spina bifida.

6. Skincare and the Aging Process

Antioxidants and phenolic compounds are found in high quantities within beetroot. This is good news because both help to remove free radicals from your system as well as prevent DNA and cell damage. This is beneficial for your skin because destroying free radicals means that it will be protected from premature aging.

Beetroot also contains anti-inflammatory properties that will further help to prevent aging and age-related diseases.

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7. Optimizes Exercise

Beetroot can help reduce your muscles’ consumption of oxygen. This means that your body will require less oxygen during exercise. Therefore you will have more stamina and endurance and you’ll feel less fatigued. This is further aided by the fact that it also contains nitrate, which assists in carrying oxygen around your body. This also makes beetroot highly beneficial for pregnant women who need an extra energy boost.

8. Brain Function

Beetroot has an astounding effect on brain function, particularly in older members of the population. It helps to increase blood flow to the brain, which subsequently can assist in fighting off dementia. In addition to this, the vegetable can improve cognitive functions in people of all ages.

9. Detox

Beetroot juice is highly effective at helping your liver to detoxify. This is primarily due to the methionine and glycine betaine that it contains. They both stimulate the liver cells and as well as support detoxification. The juice also protects your liver from the fatty depositions that are caused by protein deficiency and alcohol abuse. No, this does not give you the excuse to drink more.

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10. Sexual Health

Now we get to the fun stuff. As I previously mentioned, beetroot contains nitrate, which helps carry oxygen around your body. It does this by widening your blood vessels, which means that the blood flow to your genitals is also increased. This is the same effect that Viagra replicates. Furthermore, beetroot contains boron, a chemical compound that’s essential to the production of the human sex hormone. So if you prefer going au naturel, try putting the little blue pill down for a night and having a glass of beetroot juice instead.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

ablab

    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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