Why would I want to eat beets? Because my Mother happened to like beets and said they were good for me. You did not say "No" to my Mother. Besides, I thought they might be better than spinach. Now it appears my Mother made an excellent choice as research shows the lowly beet packs a powerful punch.
Beets are a traditional vegetable in Eastern and Central Europe and India. Fortunately, beets are easily grown most of the year, have long storability and adapt to a wide variety of climates.
The medicinal value of beets dates back to early times. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, recommended beets for binding wounds, blood cleansing and digestive problems. The goddess of love, Aphrodite, believed her romantic power was due to beetroot, possibly the reason that beetroot is pictured on the brothel walls of ancient Rome. But there's more to beets than helping Romans revel in sex.
Dr. Amrita Ahluwalia, Professor of Vascular Pharmacology at England's London School of Medicine, is author of a unique study. He reports in the U.S. Journal Hypertension that those who drank beetroot juice showed a decrease in blood pressure within 24 hours. Equally interesting, a previous study reported that people who drank a pint of beetroot juice showed a decrease in blood pressure even when their blood pressure was normal! So what's the secret ingredient in beets that lowers blood pressure? For years we've known that nitrate decreases hypertension. Ahluwalia says that beets are high in inorganic nitrate which, when eaten, is changed into the gas, nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to relax resulting in lowered blood pressure.
Another study, reported in the Journal of Applied Psychology, involved men aged 19 to 38 who drank a big glass of beetroot daily for six days before exercise tests such as bicycling. Researchers at the University of Exeter in Eng-
-land proved that drinking beetroot juice boosts stamina and helps people exercise up to 16 percent longer. In fact the study suggests that the effect is greater than that achieved by regular exercising.
Professor Andy Jones, an advisor to England's top athletes, says, "We were amazed by the effects of beetroot juice on oxygen uptake because these effects cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training".
Now, here is an entrepreneur's dream for giving MacDonald's competition and maybe making zillions of dollars, Beetrootburgers. Professsor Garry Duthie, at the Rowett Research Institute of Nutrition and Health, says that processed, convenient high fat foods increase every year in Scotland. This "bad fat", he adds, undergoes oxidation in the stomach where it is transformed into potentially toxic compounds and absorbed into the body. It is linked to cancer and heart disease.
Duthie's research shows that a combination of turkey and beetroot, which contains antioxidant compounds, stops the oxidation of bad fats. Besides, he says, this combination tastes good and looks like a normal burger. So far no one has produced a commercial beetrootburger.
But now a small U.S. Company has developed "Superbeets", concentrated organic beetroot crystals, that pack a powerful punch. Just one teaspoon of this concentrate mixed with four ounces of water gives you the NO power of three beets for a fraction of the cost. For instance, millions of people suffer from arthritis. Superbeets provide the NO to improve circulation, decrease nerve irritation and inflammation in joints. More nitric oxide also aids asthma patients as NvO calms the immune system and relaxes airways.
Studies show that nitric oxide, by increasing blood flow, helps fight the complications of type 2 diabetes. More blood flow helps relieve the pressure of glaucoma and kidney disease. As well it's been shown that levels of NO are significantly lower in depressed people. And since erectile dysfunction is due to inadequate circulation, increased amounts of nitric oxide can solve this common problem.
An easy saliva measurement is available with Superbeets to monitor the amount of increased NO being produced. Some people using Superbeets will notice a pink-red urine, an indication that cardiovascular health has improved.