The Heart Health Benefits of Fermented Beets
Fermented beets may be among the healthiest vegetables out there, as most of the sugar is then eaten up by beneficial bacteria during the fermentation process, while leaving other health-boosting ingredients intact.
Fermented foods are also full of probiotics or good bacteria.
A large number of studies have demonstrated how the ideal balance and diversity of bacteria in your gut forms the foundation for physical, mental and emotional well-being, and fermented beet juice has many additional benefits beyond probiotics.
Raw beets have been shown to lower blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points in a matter of hours. This effect is due to the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in the body.
Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. In fact, medicinally, nitrates are used to treat angina and congestive heart failure, and research shows a glass of beetroot juice has the same effect as Rx nitrates.
Competitive athletes also use beet juice for its nitric oxide-boosting benefits. Research shows raw beets may boost stamina during exercise by as much as 16%, an effect attributed to increased nitric oxide.
In another study, 9 patients diagnosed with heart failure who experienced loss of muscle strength and reduced ability to exercise were found to benefit from beet juice.
The patients were given 140 milliliters (mL) — about 2/3’rds of a cup of concentrated beet juice, followed by testing, which found an almost instantaneous increase in their muscle capacity by an average of 13%.
A Key caveat: Avoid using mouthwashes or chewing gum, as this prevents the nitric oxide conversion from occurring. The reason for this is because the nitrate is converted into nitrite in your saliva by friendly bacteria. That nitrite is then converted into nitric oxide in other places of the body.
Naturally occurring betaine in beets also helps reduce inflammation and protect against environmental stressors that can play a role in heart disease.
Also, the phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color have powerful anti-cancer properties.
Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water.
Beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast and prostate cancers.
In addition, raw beets help boost immune function thanks to high Vitamin C, fiber, potassium and manganese, while the betalin pigments and sulfur-containing amino acids in beets support your body’s Phase 2 detoxification process.
Traditionally, beets have been valued for their ability to purify your blood and liver.
High in the B vitamin folate, beets may also lower your stroke risk and are an excellent food for pregnant women. Folate is essential for many bodily processes, and lack of folate during pregnancy raises the risk of birth defects.
Fermenting beets rather than eating them raw gives us all the health-boosting benefits of raw beets, which are made even more bioavailable through fermentation, plus the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that result from fermentation.
Besides pickled beets and beet-infused sauerkraut, fermented beet juice is rising in popularity in the West.
Traditionally, fermented beet juice has been used to boost immune function, cleanse blood, combat fatigue and treat kidney stones, chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems. Anecdotal reports suggest that it may even improve the appearance of age spots, thicken hair and minimize graying of hair.
Recent animal research confirms the gastrointestinal benefits of lactofermented beetroot juice, showing it helps improve gut microbiota and metabolic activity.
Because of its detoxifying properties, avoid drinking too much when 1st starting out. Doing so may result in an overload of released toxins, producing bloating, constipation and/or cold or flu symptoms.
As a general recommendation, start out with 1 oz per day, gradually increasing the amount to an 8 oz glass per day. If highly toxic, you may need to start out with as little as a tablespoon.
Beets and raw Beet juice are typically recommended in limited amounts due to high sugar content.
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