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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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