Functional foods might be a more recent buzz term, but the idea that food can heal is definitely is not new. Hippocrates was spilling the tea back in the 4th century BC--Let food by thy medicine, anyone?
Beetroot powder (also known simply as beet powder) has been used in natural medicine dating back to the Roman times. Scientific and pharmaceutical interest has gained momentum only in the last few decades, but the ancients knew what’s up. Beets are nutrient-dense and, beyond centuries of understanding, have also held their own through our more modern clinical scope. Here are some of the key health benefits of beetroot powder:
It’s Sustainable, Versatile, and Convenient.
Beets are a highly renewable resource and an inexpensive source of nutrients. (Not terms you hear often these days in the health food world, so we call this a *major* win). Plus, beets can be cultivated in soils with scarce organic material and little light and water. A vegetable after our #notaplantlady hearts.
If you aren’t looking to grow your own beets--or cook and peel them, for that matter--beetroot powder is a great way to get the nutritional benefits of beets without the extra work (or stained fingers!). Beetroot powder turns beets into a much more versatile product, perfect for baking, sauces, oatmeal, and, you guessed it--smoothies.
It’s Good for Cardiovascular and Blood Health.
Most human studies on beets have been focused on their cardiovascular and performance-enhancing effects, an area in which beet supplementation has been very successful. How do beets do it? Beets are one of only a few plant foods that contain dietary nitrates. Nitrates convert into nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels to help increase blood flow, which helps pretty much every function in the body. Even better? Beetroot powder contains more concentrated levels of nitrates than whole beets.
The nitrates in beets have been shown to have positive effects on:
Healthy blood pressure
Healthy circulation of blood and oxygen in the body
Increased stamina, endurance, energy, and athletic recovery (thanks to the blood flow support!)
Remember, inflammation can be your immune system’s normal response to a perceived threat against infection or foreign invaders, which is a good thing. (This would be acute inflammation.) Chronic inflammation is different, and research is showing it is at the root cause of most disease.
Modern lifestyle (read: ultra-processed food, stress, environmental factors) can be a big source of inflammation, but we can fight back in many ways, including our diet. Beets contain phytonutrients such as vulgaxanthin, betanin, and isobetanin, all which help the body have a normal inflammatory response.
It’s an Antioxidant Powerhouse.
Beets are rich in a group of antioxidants called betalains. And we're here to say betalains *really* have the beauty and the brains: they give beets their gorgeous color and have been linked to reducing oxidative stress. (Here's a primer on oxidative stress. It's ok, we had to read it, too.) They also aid in the body’s natural detoxification process, making beets a favorite among livers and kidneys everywhere.
It’s Rich in Vitamins Minerals.
Beets are incredibly nutrient-dense, especially when it comes to vitamins and minerals. Some like to call ‘em nature’s multivitamin. Beets are good sources of folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.
You can find beetroot powder in our Unbelievaberry smoothie kits. We snuck just the right touch of beetroot powder in this triple berry blend to add a nutrient boost and gorgeous ruby color, but not enough that your picky eaters will detect it. Happy sipping!