Nutrition Spotlight: Beets
This Nutrition Spotlight is on a highly beneficial food when it comes to performance nutrition: beetroot!
Beets, or beetroot, are a great source of folate, manganese, and potassium, and a good source of iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, and so much more. They are also an excellent source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which help to optimize health, particular eye health.
Beets are also high in betalains (what gives beets their colors) and these pigments have been shown to act as antioxidants and be anti-inflammatory, but what they're best known to help promote is Phase 2 of our body's detoxification process, a step that involves cells linking up with lingering and unwanted toxins, making them water-soluble, and allowing our body to rid them in urine.
There are so many more benefits of beets, but the last one I'll mention is their dietary nitrate composition. Because beetroot is so high in nitrates (a compound that increases nitric oxide in the body), it is incredibly effective at boosting blood flow. This means beetroot is great for supporting healthy joints and tendons, for promoting recovery from athletic activity, and great as a natural performance aid—more oxygen to muscles means the muscles tire out slower. Note: beetroot juice and beetroot powder, because of the concentration of beets, are higher in nitrates then beets. So, beetroot powder or actual beets? Go for both! .