Beets may look unassuming, but they boast a laundry list of benefits that rivals that of other superfoods like kale. Who knew? (Cue the shrugging woman emoji.)
First of all, beetroot has been around for quite some time — but it’s becoming increasingly popular in the wellness world because of factors like social media. “Beets have been a fundamental component of juicing for ages! What is new is the amount of people talking about beets,” says James Grage, Co-Founder of BPI Sports. “The benefits of this superfood appeal to such a mass audience that now people from all walks of life are discovering them.” He also notes that one of the benefits of taking a beetroot supplement versus eating beets is that you’re able to eliminate the natural sugar beets contain (helpful advice if you’re doing something like the ketogenic diet).
We spoke with Grage to see why this veggie is so hot right now.
Beets can actually give you an energy boost, says Grage. He also adds that they're high in naturally-occurring dietary nitrates. Basically his means they help your body product nitric oxide. "Nitric oxide can help improve blood pressure and sports performance," says Grage.
(Hence why it's in BPI Sports' new One More Rep pre-workout supplement.)
"Beets contain lycopene, which contributes to the elasticity of skin," says Grage. One study found that consuming carotenoids, like lycopene, can improve the look of skin and may even be able to help prevent sunburn (though it's no replacement for sunscreen).
Beets are high in betain, a compound that "helps fight inflammation and protects from environmental stressors," says Grage. Betain can also help improve your liver function.