Beet the Odds: How This Root Veggie Can Boost Your Health and Fitness

Whether you’re a high-performance athlete or just enjoy a leisurely walk in the park, improving your fitness level can greatly enhance your everyday life. One vegetable that can make a significant difference, particularly for individuals over the age of 40, is the humble beetroot. Packed with abundant health benefits, beets can improve your diet, boost your brainpower, support sexual health, increase endurance, and protect your body against various health issues. In this article, you’ll discover why you should eat more beets and some tasty recipes to help you include them in your diet more often.

Boosts endurance and brainpower

While research on beets and beet juice for athletes and athletic performance has focused on the high nitrate content found within this root vegetable, there’s good news for everyone: beets are more than just a fuel for athletes. The high nitrate content found in beets can support brain health, too. Researchers have found that nitrates in beet juice can increase blood flow to the brain in older adults, potentially slowing the progression of dementia and improving cognitive function [source: WebMD].

Supports sexual health

Fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet, but did you know that they can play a critical role in sexual health as well? Beets contain high amounts of boron, a mineral that has been found to be essential for the production of sex hormones. This can help improve libido and overall sexual performance. In addition, the nitrates in beets can help improve blood flow – and we all know that good blood flow is crucial for healthy sexual function. So, adding beets to your diet can boost more than just your athletic performance.

Fights cancer, heart disease, and strengthens bones

As you age, it’s essential to focus on foods that can boost your bone health, heart health, and help fight cancer and memory loss. Beets are rich in betalains, compounds that have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. These compounds can potentially protect against oxidative stress and chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease [source: PubMed]. Additionally, beets are packed with essential nutrients like magnesium and potassium, which support healthy bones.

Enhances arterial health

Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day, so it’s crucial to maintain healthy arteries. Drinking beet juice can help, as it enhances arterial health due to its high nitrate content. Research has shown that beet juice can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease [source: MedicalNewsToday]. It appears that drinking beet juice regularly has the potential to keep your arteries loose and healthy.

Easy beet recipes to try

Now that you know the health benefits of beets, here are a few delicious recipes to help you incorporate them into your diet more frequently.

  • Dutch Beets: A simple and classic dish, Dutch beets can be prepared by simmering beetroot and onion in water or vegetable broth. Season with salt, pepper, and ground cloves. Then, top with chopped boiled eggs, chives, and a drizzle of olive oil.

  • Beet Wraps with Hummus: For a tasty and circulation-boosting combination, spread hummus on a whole grain wrap. Top with sliced roasted beets, crumbled feta cheese, and fresh spinach. Roll up the wrap and enjoy a delicious, nutrient-packed meal.

  • Red Velvet Cake Smoothie: Indulge in this delicious and nutritious smoothie that combines the flavors of red velvet cake, the creaminess of a milkshake, and the nutrition of a salad. Blend cooked beets, almond milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, frozen banana, and a handful of fresh spinach until smooth. Sweeten with a touch of honey or agave syrup, if desired. Pour into a glass and savor this delightful treat.

In conclusion, beets are an incredibly versatile and nutritious addition to anyone’s diet, particularly for individuals over the age of 40. With their numerous health benefits, from boosting endurance to supporting sexual health and improving brain function, incorporating beets into your meals is a delicious and easy way to enhance your overall well-being.