From coconut water claims to pickle juice perks, you’re likely familiar with the wide array of trendy consumer products said to deliver a bevy of health benefits. And now, there’s a (relatively) new one in town. Beet juice just may be the next kale on the block. Whether you’re a current beet-loving enthusiast, or you’ve been skeptical of the root vegetable for years, there’s reason to start incorporating beets into your diet. Here are four reasons to start drinking it right now.
1. It can help fight altitude sickness
If you’ve ever visited the Rocky Mountains or have even seen the movie Everest, you know altitude sickness is no joke. While only around 800 people attempt to climb Mt. Everest each year, many more revel in their annual ski vacation to high-altitude resorts and destinations around the world. Although the circumstances are incomparable, the reality is that altitude sickness can get the best of anyone, no matter how good of shape you’re in. When a person’s body successfully acclimates to altitude, the blood vessels are able to deliver enough oxygen throughout the body. Normal blood vessel function occurs when the body produces nitric oxide. According to a Norwegian University of Science and Technology study, research showed the consumption of nitrate-rich beet juice restored reduced blood vessel function at high altitudes.
2. Beet juice can improve your workouts
Consuming beet juice, The Huffington Post UK says, can help boost your sports performance, as well. The nitrates help deliver more oxygen to the muscles. The story says, “Researchers from St. Louis University in the U.S. claim that the purple root vegetable contains a huge amount of nitrate, the chemical that is essential for rejuvenating sluggish muscles and improving exercise performance.” One healthy dose of beet juice a day, and you could be setting your new personal record.
3. Beet juice can boost breathing power
It turns out this root veggie can help your lungs as well. According to The Huffington Post UK, research showed drinking a single shot of beet juice allowed divers to hold their breath 11% longer. Beetroot’s properties cause muscles to work more efficiently and demand less oxygen, meaning drinking the stuff could benefit swimmers, singers, and mountaineers. Perhaps beet juice is the real secret to Michael Phelps’s celebrated Olympic career.
4. Beet juice can help lower blood pressure
High blood pressure is serious business, so it’s always a good idea to lower your risk. Beet juice, any color, is helpful here. Research has shown that inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation reduces blood pressure in adults. While eating the whole food is usually the best way to get all its nutrients, this is one case where the juice might be a wiser choice. According to The Dr. Oz Show, the raw product contains more of the potent phytonutrients than a cooked veggie. The next time you’re at the grocery store, give beets a chance.