If you’re one of those individuals who is considered a ’90-pound weakling’ who just can’t seem to keep up with everyone else in the gym no matter how hard you try, a group of researchers may have just discovered a simple solution that can be found in the garden: beets.
In a study conducted at the Washington School of Medicine, beet juice was shown to enhance endurance and overall exercise performance. In the study, heart failure victims who were experiencing a decrease in skeletal muscle strength were given 140 milliliters (two-thirds of a cup) of beet juice and then subjected to a series of tests. The tests found an almost instant and significant increase in the participants’ muscle capacity of roughly 13 percent. It was determined that this was the equivalent of performing resistance training for several months.
Are beets better than spinach?
Spinach has long been touted as the perfect food for athletes as it contains high levels of iron; however, research is suggesting that beets are more beneficial for cardiovascular endurance by helping the blood vessels to relax when an individual is resting.
In a related study, the test subjects were physically fit college athletes who suffered from no health impairments. Each of the subjects demonstrated a significant improvement in both stamina and endurance within 2 hours of drinking the same amount of beet juice as referenced in the previous study.
What makes beets so special?
Researcher have determined that the high levels of nitric oxide found in beets are responsible for their cardiovascular-boosting properties. Although this alone is enough to add more of them into your diet, there is an extensive list of various other health benefits this vegetable has to offer.
This amazing vegetable helps to fight inflammation, detoxify the body, lowers blood pressure, and even boosts the immune system due to its high levels of vitamin C. Beets have also been shown to help combat various types of cancer.
Beets contain high levels of folate, which has been shown to lower the risk of stroke. Their ample amounts of nitric oxide plays an important role in lowering high blood pressure and preventing heart disease. This versatile vegetable contains high concentrations of fiber, and is also a good source of potassium, manganese, copper, vitamin B6 and magnesium.
The vitamin K content located in the green leafy parts of beets helps to slow aging, possibly fight Alzheimer’s disease, and even boost bone strength.
How to get more beets into your diet
Although many people may not think of beets as the most tasty of vegetables, they are versatile enough to be prepared in many ways. The most well-known way of eating beets is buying them pickled in a can; however, researchers suggest using only fresh, organic beets for the best results.
The bulbous parts of the beet can be roasted, baked or even boiled, then mashed. The greens are quite delicious when sauteed with a bit of olive oil and garlic.
By adding more beets to your diet, you can not only enjoy increased cardiovascular endurance and stamina, but also improved overall health.
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