Nutrition Market

The Power of Beetroot for Health

Beetroot has become a popular supplemental ingredient due to its many evidenced-based health benefits. As an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and nitric oxide boosting superfood, beetroot powder or juice can be a nutritious addition to your diet. Keep reading to learn all about the research-backed benefits of beetroot supplements and to help determine if adding a beetroot supplement is right for your health and wellness routine.

Why Take a Beetroot Supplement?

Beetroot, also commonly known in Australia as beet or red beet, contains a group of phytonutrients called betalains which give the vegetable its rich purple-crimson colour. Two of the most studied betalains found in beetroot are betanin and vulgaxanthin which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and liver protective benefits in the body.

Additionally, beetroots are high in inorganic nitrates which the body easily converts to nitric oxide, a molecule that helps relax and dilate blood vessels, leading to better circulation and nutrient delivery as well as lower blood pressure. The fiber found in beetroot may also help promote digestive regularity and healthy cholesterol levels already within normal range.

With all of these gains, it’s no wonder beetroot supplements in products like powders and juices have become more popular. They allow people to gain all the benefits of raw beetroots without having to eat too many beetroots themselves or drink vegetable juice day after day. Supplements also provide more concentrated nutrition versus getting trace amounts from whole foods alone in some cases.

The Top Evidenced-Based Benefits

Research has uncovered many ways that beetroot’s nutrients, like betalains, nitrates and fiber may improve health. Here are some of the top scientifically-studied benefits of beetroot supplementation:

May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Beetroot supplements may help encourage heart health by decreasing high blood pressure, one of the major risk factors for heart disease. Multiple studies report significant drops in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after ingesting beetroot capsules or juice, likely due to the nitrates turning into nitric oxide which widens blood vessels and supports artery dilation. Even athletes with already normal blood pressure see additional improvements from beetroot supplementation.

Boosts Stamina and Energy

Nitric oxide secreted by beetroots has been found to decrease oxygen uptake during exercise, making exercise feel more tolerable so people can work out longer. The betalains may also support cellular functioning and energy production. Together, these perks make beetroot popular with athletes looking to upgrade endurance like runners, rowers and cyclists. Even folks doing everyday activities may feel like they have more fuel in the tank to take on tasks.

Supports Digestive Health

Beetroot acts as a prebiotic, feeding the healthy bacteria in our guts, which supports digestive regularity and gut barrier integrity. The bacteria then produce short chain fatty acids vital for gastrointestinal and whole body health. Beetroot supplementation paired with probiotics may boost digestive functioning.

Powerful Antioxidant Activity

The phytonutrients betanin and vulgaxanthin give beetroot exceptional antioxidant capacity, meaning it neutralizes harmful free radicals that can damage cells and lead to disease. Studies demonstrate beetroot juice decreases oxidative stress, particularly lipoperoxidation which can be implicated in chronic illness when unchecked. Harnessing antioxidants is vital for wellbeing.

Decreases Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is at the root of nearly all diseases. Thankfully, the antioxidants and polyphenols found in beetroot exhibit significant anti-inflammatory activity by reducing inflammatory signaling molecules and pro-inflammatory gene expression in cells. Less systemic inflammation translates to better health.

Beetroot Supplement FAQs

If you’re considering adding a beetroot supplement to your routine, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

When’s the best time to take beetroot supplements?

For exercise performance, antioxidant and circulation benefits, take your beetroot supplement about 2-3 hours before your workout or first thing in the morning on non-training days since the nitric oxide peaks in your system around that time. The one exception is for digestive regularity - then 30 minutes before or with a meal is ideal.

How long does it take for beetroot supplements to work?

Benefits develop at different rates but most people notice a change in a week. Maximum benefits seem to occur within 3-4 weeks of daily supplementation as nitrate and antioxidant levels build. Digestive benefits often occur rapidly within only a couple doses.

Are there any side effects or interactions?

When used appropriately, beetroot is very safe and side effects are rare. Since it’s detoxifying, some people notice beeturia - pink/red colored urine. If on medication, check with your doctor and discontinue use if any reactions occur.

Can you take too much?

It’s best to follow serving recommendations listed by supplement manufacturers or limit juiced beets to what you’d consume if eating whole beets, about 1 cup daily. Extremely high intakes above several cups may impact kidney function and lead to side effects in sensitive people. Moderation is key.

How does the nutrient content compare to real beets?

The amounts of beneficial compounds will vary based on processing and concentration methods. Supplements provide higher, more reliable quantities versus a few slices of cooked beets. But eating whole foods like fresh beets also supplies vitamins, minerals and additional beneficial plant compounds.

If considering beetroot supplementation, assess your current diet and lifestyle habits to determine if additional beetroot phytonutrients may be advantageous for reaching your individual wellness goals. Of course, check with your healthcare practitioner as well if you have any specific medical conditions prior to starting supplementation.

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