Aside from the obvious draw card of doing rose-colored pee (or poos), which can be very entertaining indeed, beets can ‘show and tell’ you so much about the health of your body.
What’s more, with the Paleo diet getting as trendy as it is, changes to our macronutrient ratios, particularly increasing our fats after 30 years on a low or no fat diet, being able to digest this new increase could make beets your most essential daily vegetable.
- Alongside apple cider vinegar, beets may be your body’s best digestive strength trainer. Bile, from the gallbladder, emulsifies fats from our food by increasing the surface area of the molecules so that fat-splitting enzymes can digest fats and absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K. Ironically, bile is made from the very fat and cholesterol it emulsifies, and it’s the main way we eliminate cholesterol from our bodies: when our bile acid levels are high, our body stops making cholesterol; when our bile is low our bodies can make up to 15 times more cholesterol. So where do beets come into it? Beets promote bile formation in your gall bladder!
- Beets are nature’s Viagra. Not only do they contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones, they also inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes, inflammation being the major cause of erectile dysfunction. Beets promote the production and free flow of bile for the emulsification of fats, the preferred fuel of the heart and it’s blood vessels, so read all blood vessels. Beets also improve the absorption of calcium (think contraction of muscles, read all muscles) and iron (um, red blood cells anyone?). So where do beets come into it? I know it’s corny, but when I think beets I think beats.
- Beets help cleanse your body. We can see this when we use beets to test our body’s transit time, which is how long it takes your food to go from one end to the other. On average, healthy transit is 19-24hrs: if yours is faster you could be missing absorbing needed nutrients; if yours is slower, you could be reabsorbing toxins your body was trying to take out. And peeing red, called beeturia, while not considered harmful in itself, could be an indicator of problems with iron metabolism. Nutritionists also use beets to test stomach acid levels, and this nutrient’s deficiency makes sense too if your stomach acid is low, you’ll not assimilate minerals in digestion, like iron.
- Beets help your mental health. They contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression, and trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of wellbeing.
- Beets aid your body’s natural detox processes, especially in the second phase in your liver, also the site of your gallbladder and bile production of course.
- Stress and elevated cortisol from exercise suppress acid production in your stomach, which also suppresses protein digestion. So using raw apple cider vinegar post exercise can aid digestion of that post exercise snack better which will in turn greatly improving the assimilation of the proteins necessary for muscle repair and speedy recovery from workouts. Your ability to recovery from training sessions to be stronger, faster, lighter, quicker, during your next session (more info coming in future post)
Here’s some ideas for how to get down with some fresh daily beets: