Just like orange is the new black, beets are the new kale.
Earthy and chock-full of antioxidants, beets are low in fat and an excellent source of folic acid. They have been shown to help reduce blood pressure and increase stamina. According to a study published in June by the American Journal of Physiology–Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, beet juice may have some cardiovascular benefits. Research shows that nitrates in beet juice can increase blood flow and improve blood vessel dilation.
In many experiments, it’s been proven that beet consumption improves athletic performance. Cyclists who drank beet juice could ride 16 percent longer than without beet juice in their diet.
Olympic runners were clocked at an average of 11.9 km/hr and improved to 12.3 km/hr after incorporating beets into their diets. Additionally, they had a lower rate of perceived exertion during the first part of the run.
Athletes benefit from beets due to a concentrated molecule called nitrates.
You may heard of nitrates—they have a bad rep for their association with food preservatives and have been linked to causing cancer and diabetes. However, when consumed in their naturally occurring form in vegetables they have considerable health benefits. The fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals in plants cancel out the bad benefits found in the molecule. Eating them an hour before a race widens the vessels and allows a better flow of blood which increases oxygen through the muscles.
If you’re looking for a different way to consume beets without losing all of these major health benefits, we have some options for you:
These new freeze-dried beets have just one simple ingredient. Unlike chips and other processed snack foods, Crunchies are non-GMO, heart healthy, vegan and gluten-free.
Austin-based company Rhythm Superfoods—known for their kale chips—have recently added beet chips to their innovative product line. Choose from flavor varieties like Naked, Sea Salt (which adds a tiny hint of salt to balance out the sweetness of beets), and Cinnamon & Coconut Sugar as an alternative to candy when your sweet tooth has a craving.
This tasty and convenient snack pack contains Sweetfire baby beets, cheese cubes and Crostini crackers. It even includes a fork, making it the perfect snack for on-the-go beet lovers.
Cherry Beet Chia Squeeze combines the sweetness of organic cherries with earthy beets. Chia Squeeze offers delicious fruits and vegetables in a convenient, fun and tasty snack that provides 1200mg Omega-3s, four grams of fiber, and two grams of complete protein.