Never has a vegetable been so popular for its colour connotation like the beetroot. Phrases like “she blushed a beetroot red” or “that beet-coloured lipstick” are so popular that beetroot is known more for its colour than anything else. But did you know that this very colour contributes to the nutrient value of this root vegetable? Beets are rich in phytonutrients called Betalain which give them both their pigmentation and nutritional property. These Betalains which include both Betacyanins and Betaxanthins act as antioxidants and detoxifying agents. Beetroots are the best vegetables for intake by elders as they reduce blood pressure and prevent the incidence of cancer and dementia in seniors.
Why should seniors definitely have beetroots?
- To reduce blood pressure
Beetroots are among those foods that lower blood pressure due to the following reasons-
- Artery dilation improves by 20% on drinking beet juice.
- Artery stiffness reduces by 10% on consuming beets.
- Nitrates in the beets get converted to nitric oxide which relaxes the blood vessels and dilates them, thereby improving blood circulation.
- Improves metabolism and muscle strength
Beets have nitrates which increase oxygen intake and blood flow to the brain. This speeds up the metabolism in ageing adults. By consuming beets, the oxygen expense during exercise is reduced and the muscles perform better.
- Excellent for respiratory ailments like COPD
All respiratory ailments like COPD and Asthma are caused by the deficiency of oxygen due to reduced lung capacity. COPD is the third most common respiratory ailment among elderly adults.
In Asthma, the airways are inflamed and narrowed while in COPD, the air sacs lose their elasticity and get clogged with mucus. In both cases, the lung surface area is reduced thus diminishing oxygen intake and leading to breathlessness and fatigue.
Blood oxygenation levels improve by consuming beetroot and bring enormous relief to elderly COPD and Asthma patients.
- Best for detoxification
Beetroot’s Betalin accelerates the Phase 2 detoxification process done at the liver. Here all the fat-soluble metabolic waste containing toxins is converted into water-soluble substances to be removed by kidneys, skin and bowels.
Detoxification diminishes with age due to slowing metabolism in seniors and this must be boosted by beet intake.
With the best component called Betalin, Beetroot acts as an anti-inflammatory agent inhibiting the activity of Cyclooxygenase enzymes.
Cyclooxygenase or COX enzymes trigger inflammation by producing certain messaging molecules. Their action is inhibited by eating Beetroots and this reduces chronic inflammation in
- Heart diseases like atherosclerosis
- Type 2 diabetes
Apart from this, Betaine in beets is associated with low levels of inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein and interleukin-6.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components of the beetroot make it an excellent anti-cancer agent. Risks of all types of cancers like lung, breast, prostate and testicular cancer have been found to decrease by consuming fresh beetroots.
The fibre content in beetroot is 4g and beet fibre is specifically unique as it has pectin polysaccharides. Beet fibre helps to arrest the incidence of colon and stomach cancer by easing constipation and bowel movements.
7.Decreases Dementia in seniors
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are caused due to declining brain activity in elders. Scientists claim that the nitrates in the beets enhance the blood flow to the brain, thus making the elderly as mentally active as the young.
Moreover, the somatomotor cortex which is affected in the case of dementia in seniors is boosted by extra oxygen flow to the brain through the nitrates of the beets.
Eat 500 mg of beets every day and watch your high BP plummet during the elderly medical checkup with the help of doctor visits at home.