Beets are well-known for their deep red coloring and their intense staining powers. However, they are also gaining in popularity as their health benefits are being increasingly touted by scientists and superfood lovers alike. A superfood is a type of food that has incredible nutritional qualities when compared to the number of calories in it. With plenty of fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and many other micronutrients, beets certainly qualify for this respected food category.
However, not everyone appreciates the earthy flavor and crunchy texture of beets, nor do they like preparing them. Beets take quite some time to roast or boil and have a unique flavor that may not tickle the fancy of your tastebuds. Thankfully, there is now another way to enjoy the incredible health benefits of the humble but mighty beet.
Beetroot powder is actually not a new supplement but has been used for hundreds of years since Roman times. However, this rich, red powder is beginning to catch on in popularity, and you can find it in plenty of health food stores as well as online these days. Here is everything you need to know about how this trendy supplement can benefit you and how you can best use it in your daily life.
Beetroot Powder Health Benefits
The main reason why beetroot powder is popping up in so many places these days is that it provides many incredible health benefits. These can help people of any age live their best lives while feeling amazing as well. Check out these top five benefits of beetroot powder that are backed by years of research.
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health
One of the most important health benefits of beetroot powder is its ability to improve overall cardiovascular health. The high amount of nitrates in beetroot powder is what provides this unique benefit. Nitrates dilate blood vessels, making them wider so that the heart does not have to pump quite so hard to get blood through the body. One study from 2015 found that those using beetroot had significantly lowered blood pressure readings after ingesting the supplement. Another 2017 review of several studies showed that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers could be lowered by beetroot.
Another interesting benefit from beetroot that can be linked to heart health is its potential to lower bad cholesterol, known as LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while raising levels of good cholesterol. While this 2011 study was performed on rats, researchers believe that the flavonoids in beetroot help lower cholesterol numbers while also decreasing oxidative stress throughout the body. This means that beetroot functions as an antioxidant, decreasing some of the harmful processes in your body that can lead to age-related tissue and organ damage.
If you suffer from iron-deficiency anemia, beetroot powder could also be your new friend. Beetroot has high levels of iron, which is needed to prevent low levels of red blood cells. This can then help you feel as if you have more energy and fewer headaches.
2. Improves Brain Health
Another important benefit of beetroot powder is its potential to improve cognitive function and overall brain health. Just as the nitrates in beets dilate blood vessels to decrease blood pressure, they also dilate the blood vessels leading to the brain, allowing more oxygen-rich blood to bathe the brain cells. According to a 2011 study, this could help older adults in particular with improved memory and cognitive skills.
3. Decreases Inflammation
The antioxidants in beetroot powder can also help decrease inflammation throughout your body, including in those areas that you can see, such as your skin, but more importantly internally. Inflammation in the body is a sign of stressed cells and tissues and can be a precursor to all types of disease. Although acute inflammation is a sign that your body is responding appropriately to infection, chronic inflammation can weaken the body and lead to such problems as heart disease, cancer, arthritis and certain bowel diseases.
Many parts of the modern, first-world lifestyle lend themselves to chronic inflammation. This can include the tendency to be overweight and chronic stress. However, the phytonutrients in beetroot powder, including betalains, which give beets their famous red coloring, can decrease chronic inflammation.
4. Decreases Blood Sugar
Beets are becoming increasingly well-known as an excellent food choice for diabetics because they are low in starches while being high in fiber. Beetroot powder provides many of these same benefits in a much easier form to enjoy regularly. In particular, beetroot powder can help lower glucose levels in the bloodstream following meals, decreasing problematic blood glucose spikes as shown in a 2014 study. Beets may even be able to decrease the likelihood of diabetics developing insulin resistance over the years. However, more research is needed in this area to determine the validity and strength of these arguments.
5. Improves Athletic Endurance
If you love being active, beets may be the superfood you need to feel as if you are performing at your peak capacity. Once again, it is the nitrates in beetroot powder that provide most of these benefits. When your heart and muscle cells are provided with high amounts of oxygen during workouts, you will have more energy and will be able to work out harder and longer than before according to recent studies. In addition, a 2018 study showed that beetroot is also effective for individuals participating in high-intensity workouts that do not require the high amount of oxygen that aerobic exercises do. Finally, dilated blood vessels not only allow more oxygen to get into the cells during workouts but also help take away cellular waste following workouts, leading to faster recovery times.
While research studies are beginning to tackle beetroot powder specifically, many former studies looked mainly at beets as whole vegetables. The good news is that high-quality beetroot powder made from ground whole beets has the same nutritional properties that whole beets do in a far more palatable form for many people. In fact, even the high amount of fiber found naturally in beets can be found in the powder form of dehydrated ground beets. However, beetroot juice does not retain this fiber, making powder the clear winner in the supplement category.
How to Use Beetroot Powder
Beetroot powder is an exceedingly convenient way to add this superfood into your regular diet. While it should not take the place of whole fruits and vegetables, it can easily be used alongside your wholesome meals to give your health a boost. It is easy to add to almost anything you already eat or drink, including a glass of water, a smoothie or even baked goods and warmed sauces. However, you want to be careful of heating beetroot powder too much because this could decrease its nutritional benefits. In addition, if you do not like the flavor of whole beets, you will probably want to add the powder to items that will best mask its sweetly earthy flavor.
Many individuals like to add beetroot powder to drinks because this is frequently the easiest option for busy adults. However, you may notice that the powder occasionally clumps up in liquids. To avoid this, try adding it to blended smoothies, or mix your drink in a blender bottle while shaking it vigorously.
Approximately a teaspoon of beetroot powder mixed with water is the equivalent of a cup of beetroot juice but gives you the added fiber that you need in your diet. Usually one to two teaspoons of beetroot powder is a good amount to shoot for daily to gain the nutritional benefits of this superfood.
Most people do quite well with beetroot powder supplementation, especially if they start with a lower daily amount and work their way up to a higher dosage. However, because of the bright red color of beets and beetroot powder, you may notice that your urine and stool appears slightly pink or red-toned. This is perfectly normal. Higher dosages of beetroot powder could also lead to an upset stomach. If you are pregnant or have had kidney stones in the past, check with your physician before beginning beetroot powder supplementation.
Finding Quality Beetroot Powder
The quality of the beetroot powder you purchase is directly linked to the health benefits that you will gain from it. Beetroot powder made in unsafe ways or filled with dangerous additives might actually be more harmful to your health than helpful.
- Ensure that the powder is made from organic beets. This ensures the highest quality of beets along with the safest farming practices. Shopping for organic powder ensures that what you consume was made from the freshest ingredients as well.
- Check the ingredient list on the beetroot powder. Ideally, only beetroot powder should be listed, and there should be no added sugars, anti-caking agents or fillers that decrease the effectiveness of the supplement and could cause other health problems in the future.
- Ensure that the powder is made from whole beets that have been safely dried at low temperatures before being finely ground. This method preserves the fiber found naturally in beets and gives the powder a clear edge over beetroot juice, which has little to no fiber left. No chemicals should be used during processing.
- Most beetroot powder is made in China, but Zen Principle Organic Beetroot Powder is sourced from small organic farms in India and packaged in the USA. We use whole, organic beets with no additional additives and dry them at low temperatures to preserve all the key nutrients.
As you can see, beetroot powder is not only trendy but also highly nutritious. In fact, it could become a valuable addition to your regular diet. As a supplement, beetroot powder is easy to add to nearly any meal, and it is incredibly safe to use regularly as long as you purchase a quality product.