7 Potential Health Benefits of Beets

Beetroots which are commonly known as beets are a vibrant and folate-rich vegetable. In addition to bringing an attractive color to our plate, this vegetable offers many health benefits along with an earthy flavor and aroma. Beets are packed with nutrients like minerals, vitamins and plant compounds and many of them have medicinal properties. Apart from lowering blood pressure levels, boosting energy levels and reducing inflammation, beetroots provide a generous dose of antioxidants.

Beets are available all year long and we can toss them in salads, add them to the juices or turn them into hummus. Not only are they rich in fibre, manganese, copper and folate, but they are free of cholesterol and a are great source of protein.

In this article, we will understand the seven evidence-based health benefits of beets along with some savouring ways to increase the intake of beets.

Beetroot Can Lower Blood Pressure

Beets can widen your blood vessels and thereby improve blood flow. This helps to lower blood pressure and minimise the risk of heart attack and stroke. Beets have nitrates which can reduce blood pressure and decrease the risk of cardiovascular ailments. The dietary nitrates which our body gets from beets are converted into nitric oxide and this molecule dilates blood vessels and causes our blood pressure levels to drop.

Research has proved that beetroot juice can significantly lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure as raw beets may exert a stronger effect than cooked beetroots. Furthermore,beet is a rich source of folate which can also help in lowering blood pressure levels. Doctors recommend consuming beets regularly as the effect on blood pressure may be temporary if beets are not consumed frequently.

May Enhance Athletic Performance

Nitrates which are present in beets can improve the efficiency of mitochondria and boost energy levels in the cells. Also, nitrates in beetroot juice increase blood flow and permit more oxygen to get to the muscles. This boosts endurance and allows the person to work out for a longer time. Studies have proved that beetroot juice can enhance cardiorespiratory performance and augment efficiency for athletes.

Additionally, beet juice has shown an improvement in cycling performance and increased oxygen use by up to 20 per cent. Blood nitrate levels peak within two to three hours after consuming raw beets or drinking beet juice. Hence, it's best to consume beets a couple of hours before training to maximize the potential benefits of beets.

May Enhance Digestive Health

One cup of beetroot contains 3.4 grams of fibre which promotes digestive health. When we consume beets, the fibre which is absorbed by the body travels to the colon where it feeds friendly gut bacteria and adds bulk to stools. This regulates digestion and prevents our body from digestive problems like constipation, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) and diverticulitis.

Beetroot supports a healthy gut microbiome which regulated inflammation, immune function, mood, blood sugar levels and cholesterol. In addition to this, fibre is also associated with reducing the risk of chronic diseases like colon cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

May Fight Inflammation and Improve Joint Health

Beets contain betalains which are pigments that possess anti-inflammatory properties. This pigment also gives beets their vibrant color. Beet juice can significantly reduce several markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a).

Moreover, betalains capsules which are made with beetroot extract can reduce pain and discomfort caused by osteoarthritis. It is a health condition that can cause inflammation in the joints and consuming beets may offer comfort for the patients. Chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases including cardiovascular ailments, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Thus, consuming beets may help to keep inflammation at bay and improve joint health.

May Have Anti-Cancer Properties

Beetroot contains compounds like betaine, ferulic acid, rutin, kaempferol and caffeic acid which have cancer-fighting properties. Experts claim that antioxidants in beet can help prevent the development and growth of cancer cells. Also, they are one of the only vegetable sources of betalains and anthocyanins, which protect cells from oxidative damage. Whenever there is an imbalance of oxidants and antioxidants in our body, it results in oxidative damage which may contribute to developing cancer.

When we consume beets, we naturally consume polyphenols, flavonoids and dietary nitrates which support antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. According to the National Cancer Institute, an antioxidant-rich diet which involves beets may help to protect cells from oxidative stress and thereby contribute to cancer prevention.

May Improve Skin Health

Beets may help to prevent skin cancer and help to purify the blood. Research has shown that beets contain vitamin A which maintains healthy mucous membranes and supports the daily replacement of skin cells. Furthermore, beets are a good source of vitamin C which protects our skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. An appropriate amount of vitamin C minimizes the formation of raised scars and also synthesizes collagen. Beetroot ingestion may thus promote healthy skin.

May Promote Liver Health

Beets have calcium, betaine, B vitamins, iron and antioxidants which can promote a healthy liver. Apart from these, beets also have zinc and copper which can protect the liver cells from oxidative stress.

Research has proved that pectin is a fibre which can help to eliminate toxins from the liver and ensure that they don't re-enter the body. This pectin is present in beets. Some experts also believe that beets can thin the bile and allow it to easily flow through the liver and small intestine. This may enhance liver health; however, research is quite limited to prove the same.

How to Include Beet in Your Diet?

Now that we have understood the potential health benefits of beets, let us explore some delicious and interesting ways through which we can add more beets to our diet and boost our health.

  • Salad − We can grate beets and make a flavorful addition to coleslaw or other salads of our choice.

  • Juice − It’s always better to consume fresh beetroot juice and avoid packaged juice which is available at the stores. The packaged juices may have added sugar and only a small amount of beets as compared to homemade beetroot juice.

  • Dip − Blend beets and fresh garlic with Greek yoghurt to make a healthy, tasty and colorful dip.

  • Chips − Beetroot chips baked in an oven can be a healthy snack option.

  • Soup − Beetroot can be cooked with other vegetables and made into a soup.

  • Leaves − Fresh beet leaves can be cooked and used just like spinach.

  • Roasted beetroot − We can wedge beetroots and toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and spices of our choice. Later on, we can roast them in a 400°F or 205°C oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are tender.


Beets are nutrient-rich vegetables which can support brain, heart, skin and digestive health. It can also be a great addition to our balanced diet and boost athletic performance, may alleviate inflammation and possibly slow the development and growth of cancer cells. We can include beet in salads, side dishes, smoothies, juices or dips and make our diet a well-balanced one.