Beetroot, botanically known as Beta vulgaris, is a root vegetable with various health benefits to its name. Zeroing in on beetroot benefits for men, this vegetable helps boost your fitness performance, improve your heart health, and even lower the risk of prostate cancer.
But the no. 1 beetroot benefit all men probably want to know is how this root vegetable fares against erectile dysfunction. Good news — beetroot may help with this distressing health condition. Read on to find out more.
Erection: How It Takes Place
To understand how beetroot can potentially alleviate erectile dysfunction, let’s first learn how an erection occurs.
The corpus cavernosum (which consists of smooth muscle tissues) is primarily responsible for the penis’ relaxed and erect states. Within the corpus cavernosum lies the nonadrenergic noncholinergic (NANC) nerves. When stimulated, the NANC nerves activate the release of two vital neurotransmitters (chemical substances):
- Acetylcholine, and,
- Nitric oxide (NO)
These biochemical changes spark off a series of physiological transformations, including:
- Smooth muscle relaxation for more blood to enter the genital area
- Increased blood flow to the corpus cavernosum
- Sinusoid expansion, which allows the penis to become rigid
All of these alterations lead to an erection in healthy men.
The No. 1 Factor in Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED), otherwise known as sexual impotence, is the phenomenon in which a man is unable to get or sustain an erection for sexual intercourse to take place. It’s a common issue among men, with a global prevalence rate of 3-76.5% that increases with age. On top of that, erectile dysfunction is proven to be a risk factor for other health conditions, namely, heart diseases, dementia, and prostate enlargement.
Much of the scientific literature portrays NO deficiency as the main instigator of erectile dysfunction. That’s because the presence of NO stimulates the synthesis of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). The latter sets off a series of enzymatic reactions that ultimately promote and sustain smooth muscle relaxation so that the penis stays erect.
In individuals with low levels of NO, they experience cGMP insufficiency. This explains why they are more vulnerable to episodes of impotence.
How Beetroot Manages Erectile Dysfunction
You’ve probably heard of and maybe even tried Viagra (and other ED drug alternatives) personally. But did you know there’s a natural remedy that you can use to manage sexual impotence? That would be the humble beet.
Let’s compare how Viagra (drug name: sildenafil) stacks up against beetroot when treating ED.
Viagra targets an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) that’s present in the penis. PDE-5 breaks down cGMP, which if you recall, is needed for the smooth muscle relaxation that keeps the genitals engorged. When you consume Viagra, it stops PDE-5 from degrading cGMP so that your penis stays erect for as long as needed.
However, this PDE-5 inhibitor mechanism is the reason why Viagra may be ineffective for ED-affected men with NO deficiency, which the drug doesn’t address.
If you haven’t found success with Viagra (and its substitutes), you may be dealing with a lack of NO. In which case, you probably have better luck with beetroot. One of the major beetroot benefits for men is that it tackles the root cause (pun intended) of NO insufficiency.
That’s because beet is a rich source of nitrates. Once you’ve ingested the vegetable, the nitrate in the plant is converted to nitric oxide in your body. This replenishes your NO supply to keep your penis erect.
So far, anecdotal evidence dominates the proof of beetroot as a potential solution to erectile dysfunction. That’s not to say it’s all hearsay, though. After all, supplements like L-arginine and L-citrulline promote nitric oxide production in the body to improve mild to moderate symptoms of impotence in men. Beetroot works through the same mode of action to level up your NO levels.
Other Noteworthy Beetroot Benefits for Men
Aside from potentially relieving ED, there are other beetroot benefits for men.
Boost Athletic Performance
Whether you’re a gym-goer, pavement-pounder, or sports athlete, beetroot boosts your fitness performance.
A 2021 medical review highlighted that beetroot’s nitric oxide content increases key nutrients (think glucose and oxygen) that act as food sources for your muscle cells. On top of that, a 2017 study explained beetroot juice elevates your body’s nitric oxide levels, which improves cardiorespiratory endurance in the following ways:
- Increased blood flow
- More efficient gas exchange
- Stronger muscle contractions
This translates into better athletic performance, as evident by a 2018 study.
But beetroot isn’t just good for you during exercise; it speeds up your post-workout recovery, too. A 2016 study involving 20 sports players found that those who drank beetroot juice for three days shortened their post-exercise recovery and reduced their pain levels more so than those who didn’t consume the juice.
Improve Heart Health
Another beetroot benefit for men is its potent defenses against a slew of cardiovascular illnesses.
According to a 2020 study in the Journal of Antioxidants, “The cardioprotective effects of dietary nitrate from beetroot in healthy and hypertensive individuals are undeniable and irrefutable.” It details a few heart-healthy mechanisms of the root vegetable:
- The nitric oxide present in beets functions as a vasodilator, lowering blood pressure.
- Beetroots improve arterial stiffness, which is a risk factor of chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, dementia, stroke, and even death.
- Beets’ high fiber content reduces blood cholesterol levels, mitigating the risk of hypertension.
Lower the Risk of Prostate Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, “prostate cancer is the most common cancer” and “the second leading cause of cancer death in American men.” In fact, one in 41 men will die from prostate cancer.
Thankfully, one of beetroot’s benefits for men is its significant protection against prostate cancer. A groundbreaking 2013 study examined the cancer-protective effects of beetroot and an anticancer drug known as doxorubicin. The results found that this combination exhibited “synergistic cytotoxicity.” In human speak, that means when beetroot and doxorubicin are used together, they have the best chance of destroying prostate cancer cells.
Which Form of Beets Is Best for You?
Given the various beetroot benefits for men, perhaps you (or the men in your life) can’t wait to try out the root veggie firsthand. But which should you choose — whole beets, beetroot juice, or beetroot powder?
Some would say whole beets are the way to go since they are fresh and unadulterated. Others may advocate for the simplicity of beetroot juice for consumption anywhere, anytime.
At Zen Principle, we are wholly Team Beetroot Powder for the following reasons:
- Those who want to enjoy whole beets without the tedious food preparation may prefer beetroot powder. The latter is made by dehydrating whole beets and grinding them into a fine powder. Simply put, it’s whole beets in powdered form so you can leverage its full nutritional advantage.
- Unlike beetroot juice that’s loaded with sugar sans the pulp (read: no fiber), pure beetroot powder does not contain sugar and retains the pulp. For that reason, the powdered form is nutritionally superior to beet juice.
Experience Beetroot Benefits for Men Today
Ready to experience beetroot benefits for men? If you’re interested in beetroot powder, there’s a solid option at Zen Principle with our Organic Beetroot Powder.
We use only whole, ripe beets sustainably sourced from small organic farms to create our 100% pure beetroot powder. You can verify its top-notch quality in its vibrant red-magenta color and sweet-tart flavor. Enjoy!