Beetroot is a root vegetable scientifically referred to as Beta Vulgaris. The bulb-shaped plant is most commonly red or purple and has been widely popular since the ancient Mediterranean; however, hundreds of different varieties are found in modern gardens today. Beetroots have a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients that contribute to their array of health benefits, most notably including; improved blood flow, lowered blood pressure levels, and increased physical performance.
This is thought to be the result of beetroot's naturally high levels of inorganic nitrates. Beetroot is also high in the compound Betanin, responsible for the signature deep beet red colour, it reduces inflammation, oxidative stress and DNA damage.
Beetroot and beetroot powder also contains high levels of; folate, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin c, all beneficial in maintaining and supporting good health.
Improved Blood Flow and Lowered Blood Pressure
Beets are naturally rich in folate (vitamin b9), a key component in healthy tissue growth and cellular function. An essential vitamin for pregnant women, folate also plays a vital role in controlling damage to blood vessels, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
However, most of beetroot's heart-healthy benefits come from its naturally high level of inorganic nitrates. Inorganic nitrates turn into nitric oxide within the body, this compound causes blood pressure to lower, allowing blood vessels to relax and widen. This is referred to as vasoregulation.
Studies have shown that beetroot can reduce blood pressure by 3-10 mm Hg within hours of consumption. High blood pressure is one of the top risk factors for heart disease and stroke worldwide.
Potassium, another nutrient found in high levels within beetroot, has been long studied for its ability to aid in the reduction of blood pressure and positively affect heart health.
Increased Athletic Capacity
Studies suggest that dietary nitrates such as those found in beetroot may improve physical performance on a cellular level by improving the efficiency of the mitochondria, responsible for producing energy.
Additional studies have shown that consuming beetroot may improve cardiorespiratory performance, improving endurance and oxygen levels in athletes.
Improving stamina and increasing the length of time it takes to become exhausted, beetroot powder has become a "pre-workout must" for some athletes. Studies have shown that it is best consumed 2-3 hours before physical activity as this is when blood nitrate levels were shown to peak.
The bold colourant, betanin possesses many anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit several health concerns including chronic inflammation, heart disease, obesity and cancer.
A 2014 study of seniors who suffer from osteoarthritis, a painful inflammation of the joints showed, that betalain capsules made of beetroot extract significantly reduced pain and discomfort amongst study participants.
More studies are required to determine the extent of anti-inflammatory effects beetroot powder can provide when included as part of a healthy diet. However, the preliminary research is encouraging and confirms what ancient medicine has long taught.
Beetroot powder is simply dried and ground beetroot. One cup of fresh beetroot contains roughly 3.4 grams of fiber, making it an excellent source of fiber. Beetroot powder is also a significant source of fiber with roughly 1gram of fiber per 2 teaspoons.
Fiber helps promote good digestive health by bypassing digestion and travelling straight to the colon where it feeds good gut bacteria and adds mass to stool. While preventing digestive upsets such as constipation, diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), a healthy amount of fiber has also been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer, heart disease and diabetes (type 2).
While beetroot powder may not be the fastest way to increase your fiber intake, it is a great source in a small serving that can improve many aspects of digestive health.
Beetroot powder contains many compounds known for their cancer-fighting properties, these include betaine, ferulic acid, rutin, and caffeic acid. Early test-tube studies have shown that beetroot extracts can slow the growth and division of cancerous cells.
Betaine is a scavenger of reactive oxygen species that have shown gene regulatory activity. ROS (reactive oxygen species) are harmful to live cells and present as free radicals within the body. Betaine, of which beetroot is remarkably high, can prevent LDL oxidation and DNA damage lowering the risk of developing cancer.
Beetroot powder has often been used as a natural colourant and food additive, however, it is packed with vitamins and nutrients that benefit a healthy lifestyle.
An ingredient originating from the ancient Mediterranean, it has a long-standing history of medicinal properties and positive health benefits. As modern research continues into the suspected health benefits, we are excited to announce the addition of beetroot powder to our line of Infinity Seamosses.
The addition of beetroot powder to our Infinity Seamoss recipe will be a beneficial source of additional vitamins and nutrients, such as; iron, vitamin c, manganese, potassium and folate, to our already powerful recipe.
Adding Beetroot powder to our Infinity Seamoss line of products goes far beyond the wonderful red colourant it is so often used for. As with any ingredient we add to our infinity Seamoss recipe, only the highest quality superfood - with proven health benefits are included.
Beetroot powder's ability to drastically affect heart health and physical performance in such small doses is remarkable! We look forward to hearing how the addition of beetroot powder benefits our customers and the research that continues to emerge regarding the health benefits it provides.