by Dr. David Minkoff March 11, 2020 3 min read
When we were kids, our parents always tried to make us eat those horrible multi-colored things called “vegetables.” From lettuce to broccoli and beets to cucumber, the dinner table can sometimes feel like a fight to the death.
But let’s be honest, our parents were right.
The nutritional and health value of vegetables cannot be overstated.
Critical vitamins, minerals, proteins, and countless other essential components for a well-functioning body are all found in veggies.
Today, we want to discuss an often-underrated star of the vegetable kingdom: beet root.
Not only has beet root been found to increase athletic stamina, but it can also lower blood pressure and increase blood flow – giving you a sustained energy boost.
Beet root (also called beta vulgaris in Latin, or more colloquially called “beet”) is a colorful root vegetable in the same family as spinach, chard, and quinoa. This healthy and edible root is full of critical nutrients , including:
Beet root is a low-calorie vegetable, comprised of 87% water, 8% carbohydrates, and 2 to 3% fiber – making it a healthy and nutritious addition to any meal. A single serving of 100 grams of raw beets contains:
The human body could be likened to a machine, but instead of being powered by gas or electricity, it’s powered by food and nutrition.
If you find yourself feeling fatigued and exhausted without your daily dose of caffeine, it’s a sure sign that your body is lacking in vital nutrients.
You know how battery-operated tools, shavers, and flashlights act sluggish when the battery is low, or when the electrical contacts are corroded? Well, the same rule applies to the body.
Unfortunately, even if you eat nutritious foods, a lack of blood flow can prevent the vital nutrients from reaching your organs and cells.
Nitric oxide (NO) is one of your body’s top solutions to solving this problem and maintaining healthy blood flow. This beneficial molecule, known as a vasodilator, relaxes the inner muscles of your blood vessels and causes them to widen – increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure. 
How does your body get this incredible substance? It synthesizes it. And dietary nitrates are the key nutritional component your body needs to do so. 
The good news? Beet root is one of the top sources of natural dietary nitrates. 
And with optimized blood flow comes…. drumroll…. sustained and healthy energy without the need for caffeine!
Some of the astonishing benefits of routine beet root consumption include:
High blood pressure (hypertension) places high pressure on your arterial walls, damaging them creating dangerous aneurysms. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke , which is why millions of Americans are on medication to reduce their blood pressure and keep it at manageable levels.
The good news: Studies have shown that consumption of beet root can increase the presence of nitric oxide in your blood and lower your blood pressure naturally within a matter of hours. 
The consumption of nitrates (found in beets) has been shown to increase energy output in your cells, for enhanced stamina and improved performance for athletes.  Further, the increased blood flow can:
One study even found that cyclists experienced 15 to 25% increase in their stamina after supplementing their diet with inorganic dietary nitrates! Another study showed a 1.7% performance increase in sport-based kayaking after the athletes took an inorganic dietary nitrate supplement two hours before starting. 
While research is still ongoing regarding the effects of a high-nitrate diet on brain function, research so far suggests that the improved blood flow to the brain may be able to help:
Whether or not you fought eating beets at the dinner table as a child, there’s no arguing that it was (and is) a good idea.
by Dr. David Minkoff
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