22nd Dec 2022 • 04 Min and 10 Sec
We are all mortal who wants to improve our health and well-being with simple things without any hassle, but what is the right advice? Is it a morning walk? Or dance like no one is seeing? Or have regular cold showers to boost your immune system? Welcome to the Optimists podcast, I’m Dr. Priyanka, and this is “One Simple Thing.” Here you will learn just one thing to improve your health in ways you might not expect.
There is a saying, “Color your plate healthy,” and this colorful vegetable has been shown to improve physical and cognitive performance and even help you run faster. Brightly colored and might also strain your shirt a bit, which is, of course, the beetroot!
Consuming beetroot or drinking in the form of beetroot shots a few hours before any activity has been shown to improve exercise performance and endurance, and even many athletes live by it. Beetroot may even reduce post-exercise, dropping cognitive performance.
Consuming beetroot juice has been shown to boost cognition, improve your ability to make quick decisions, and there are some suggestions that it could keep your brain healthy as you age. To top these, consuming beetroot lowers blood pressure and reduces inflammation.
These earthly globes are one of the few vegetables that live up to the claim of being a superfood. The naturally caring chemicals that give the beetroots dark, rich color are betalains. These are powerful antioxidants that are present throughout the plants.
Yet betalains aren’t the only unique ingredient that gives the beetroot it’s impressive quality. The real secret to beetroots is that it’s incredibly rich in nitrates.
Now on the face of it, consuming a lot of nitrates isn’t a good idea since nitrates, when added as a preservative in meats, may increase the risk of developing bowel cancer. However, when we consume nitrates-rich vegetables such as beetroot, remarkable things happen.
Bacteria that live in our mouth turn nitrates into Nitrite, which increases blood flow to various organs. In one study, after eating baked beetroot, adults improved their performance in running a 5k, and this vegetable could have an unbeatable impact on our brains.
It has been shown to improve cognitive functions in all adults who exercise and drink beetroot juice. The part of their brain network associated with motor function began to look more like that of young adults. An exciting trial found that drinking beetroot juice increases the prefrontal cortex’s blood flow, improving brain performance.
So, it seems a combination of beetroot and exercise really can help the brain younger; why? It’s probably down to improve the blood flow again.
The cooking process also matters as the nitrates are water soluble, so if you boil the beetroots and then throw away cooking water, you will probably lose most of the nitrates. So if you are going to cook a beetroot, home roasting it or baking it is probably better than boiling it.
Remember, putting beetroot on your plate or glass could benefit your heart, brain, and performance.
That’s one thing to include in your daily routine for improving your body and life. Join me next time on “One simple thing” for a better tomorrow.