The Benefits of Beet Juice
Anyone can greatly improve their progress and performance by carefully choosing what foods they eat and beat juice should be at the top of their list! Raw beets are loaded with a form of nitrates that are easily converted to nitric oxide in the human body. These healthy nitrates oxygenate the blood making the muscles respond better to resistance training! Moreover, the improved oxygen distribution to all parts of your body, including your heart and brain, will give you more stamina during workouts!
Please note that the healthy nitrates in beets are not the same as the “bad” nitrates found in processed meats like bologna, hot dogs, and deli meats. Beet juice has many other health benefits for bodybuilders too! Many studies have pointed to the fact that it lowers blood pressure. Beet juice also stabilizes blood sugar, leveling out the lows and highs after you eat. This will reduce lethargy, prevent depression, and help keep you more motivated to stay on track with your workouts. The beet root is exceptionally high in folic acid and manganese. The leaves and stems are exceptionally high in vitamin K at 500 percent the recommended daily allowance. This will help maintain your bones and prevent osteoporosis. Beet juice is also quite high in vitamin A vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, choline, and silica. This is why some nutritionists call beets and beet juice a superfood.
What gives beets their color is a class of antioxidants called betalains, including both betanin and vulgaxanthin. These antioxidants are among the most powerful anti-inflammatories and fungicides known. Thus, beet juice will help your joints ache less after your workouts and will keep your feet free of fungus. Research has also shown that betalains retard cancer tumors. While the betalains are spread throughout the beet plant, they are most highly concentrated in the peel of the beet so you should never peel beets before you juice them.
It should be pointed out that pickled beets and roasted beets will give you some of the same benefit as raw beet juice but not nearly as much. The pickling process and the high temperatures used during cooking destroys much of the nitrates and nutrients. A tasty raw beet alternative to beet juice is to grate raw beets and mix them into a salad. Grated raw beet is also delicious, as well as beautiful, mixed with apples and raisins.
To receive all of the benefits beet juice has to offer, bodybuilders should keep in mind that the root, or tuber, of the beet is only part of the plant. You will get a much wider diversity of nutrients if you juice the stems and leaves of the beet plant along with the root. In fact, the bulk of the vitamins and minerals are located in the leaves. At some juice bars, they cut off the stems and leaves. If you see this happening, do yourself a favor and request that they juice the entire plant for you. Better yet, get your own home juicer. It will pay for itself quickly.
Here’s another important tip to maximize the benefits of beet juice. If you buy organic beets from local organic farmers who farm in the old fashioned way by rotating crops and using natural fertilizers, as opposed to “organic” chemical fertilizers, your beets will contain up to three times the amount of vitamins, nitrates, minerals, and antioxidants. They will also contain a much higher amount of trace minerals. Another bonus about buying from local organic farmers is that it is much easier to obtain beets with the leaves and stems still attached.
You have probably noticed that beets come in both red and orange and many people have asked if one is better than the other. The truth is that the health benefits of beet juice discussed above is found in both colors of beets. It is most important to find the freshest beets you can find, preferably grown in organic fields with rich organic soil, and be sure to juice the leaves, stems, and peelings along with the tubers. Be aware too that beets loose some of their nutrients if stored in the refrigerator, especially for a long time. Therefore, farmers markets, co-ops, CSAs, and local organic food stores are your best sources of beets to make your fresh beet juice.