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Beetroot (Beta vulgaris rubra) is a vegetable rich in nitrates, antioxidants, and polyphenolic compounds. 

Beetroot was part of natural medicine in Roman times [1]. It is also one of the few vegetables that contain a group of highly bioactive pigments, betalains, which give beetroot its wonderful color and have been linked to reducing oxidative stress [2].

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in beetroot

Beetroot is rich in nutrients, with most human studies focusing on its cardiovascular effects. Beets are good sources of folic acid, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroot contains antioxidant polyphenolic compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can neutralize free radicals and protect against damage that can lead to damage. in chronic diseases.

Beetroot powder contains more concentrated levels of nitrates than whole beets. It is prepared by dehydrating thin slices of beetroot which are then ground into a powder. Fresh beetroot is equivalent to about a teaspoon of beetroot powder. A study found phenolic compounds, sugars, and organic acids in beetroot juice, where they found higher amounts of antioxidants and organic acids in the powder compared to juice and cooked beets [5].

Nitrates in beetroot can improve cardiac markers

Beetroot contains nitrate ions, which are converted to nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels to help increase blood flow, which aids every function in the body. Nitrates play an important role in increasing blood flow, and energy production and enhancing muscle contraction, making it a functional food for athletes [3]. At the same time, they relax the muscles that surround the arteries and veins, while leading to the dilation of these blood vessels, thus reducing blood pressure [4].

Beetroot ‘’feeds’’ the good bacteria in the gut

Beetroot also contains oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyol types of carbohydrates that act as prebiotics, which feed the friendly microorganisms that live in the intestine.

1. Ninfali P., Angelino D. Nutritional and functional potential of Beta vulgaris cicla and rubra. Fitoterapia. 2013;89:188–199. 

2. Lee C.H., Wettasinghe M., Bolling B.W., Ji L.L., Parkin K.L. Betalains, phase II enzyme-inducing components from red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extracts. Nutr. Cancer. 2005;53:91–103. 

3. Domínguez R, Cuenca E, Maté-Muñoz JL, García-Fernández P, Serra-Paya N, Estevan MC, Herreros PV, Garnacho-Castaño MV. Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017 Jan 6;9(1):43. 

4. Bahadoran Z, Mirmiran P, Kabir A, Azizi F, Ghasemi A. The Nitrate-Independent Blood Pressure-Lowering Effect of Beetroot Juice: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Adv Nutr. 2017 Nov 15;8(6):830-838.  Erratum in: Adv Nutr. 2018 May 1;9(3):274. PMID: 29141968; PMCID: PMC5683004.

5. Vasconcellos, J., Conte-Junior, C., Silva, D. et al. Comparison of total antioxidant potential, and total phenolic, nitrate, sugar, and organic acid contents in beetroot juice, chips, powder, and cooked beetroot. Food Sci Biotechnol 25, 79–84 (2016).