Beets Fight Inflammation, Aid Blood Sugar

We’ve spoken about beets in the past because they have so many nutritional benefits. But they are a galvanizing vegetable. Some people love them. Others say they taste like dirt. Our team members are huge fans of beet chips, where they stand in for potatoes, and soups, where their natural flavor is the star of the show. But, we know that they aren’t for everyone.

Today, we’re giving you another reason to try beets again. Before eating beets, you should be sure they are safe for you. People with chronic kidney disease or some other chronic illnesses should be careful when eating beets as they are high in potassium. Potassium is essential for health, but high levels of it can be dangerous for people with certain health concerns or folks taking some medications.

A cup of sliced cooked beets has 37 calories, 8.5 grams of carbs, 1.7 grams of fiber, 1.4 grams of protein and 0.2 grams of fat. In addition to being high in potassium, they are a good source of manganese and folate.

The phytochemicals and fiber in beets may help blood sugar. They are rich in antioxidants and can lower oxidative stress in the body. They may also help lower insulin resistance. Some research shows they may improve nerve damage in people with blood sugar concerns. The manganese in beets aids in the production of insulin and helps remove sugar from the blood.   

Another big reason to add beets to your diet is that they fight inflammation. Inflammation impacts many aspects of health. It’s linked to blood sugar concerns, obesity, heart disease, liver disease and cancer. In a study, people with high blood pressure who brand beet juice for two weeks had significant reductions in markers for inflammation. In another study, people with osteoarthritis who took beet supplements had lower pain levels.

The reason beets fight inflammation so effectively is their high level of betalains. That’s the pigments that give beets their vibrant purple color. They are powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that decrease the production of free radicals that cause inflammation.

The nitrates in beets convert to nitric oxide in the body and dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and fighting inflammation. That helps boost the body’s physical performance and muscle health as more oxygen and nutrients can reach them. The manganese in beets that helps produce insulin also helps lower inflammation by fighting free radicals. It protects against cell damage.

By eating beets this winter, you’ll be aiding your blood sugar and fighting inflammation. They can be delicious. You can eat them raw in a salad for a tasty crunch, baked as a tasty chip, roasted to bring out their sweetness, made into a soup, pureed into hummus or baked into muffins! No matter how you enjoy them, they will be a nutritious addition to your diet!  

Banner image: Eva Bronzini via Pexels

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