Have you noticed as you age that your brain is slowing down in subtle ways? What if
you could take a magic pill that would speed up the functioning of your brain? Or better
yet, what if there was a food or foods that could do the same thing?
Well, you are in luck. Beets, those purple ugly-looking vegetables, have been found to
enhance both athletic and cognitive performance in both young and older adults.
In studies, just a single “dose” of 2 cups of organic beet juice results in an increase in
brain function as a result of a significant increase in nitric oxide levels in the blood. Nitric
oxide (NO) helps blood vessels dilate to promote proper blood flow.
Dilation of your arteries helps deliver more oxygen-rich blood to your brain and muscles.
This has been shown to result in improved athletic performance. At very high exercise
intensities, cognitive task performance deteriorates with a significant detrimental effect
on reaction time. Eating beets or drinking beet juice before exercising has been found to
reduce these reaction times. Beets have also been shown to help runners run faster
without increasing their heart rates.
In older adults, exercising and consuming beet root juice resulted in brain networks
more closely resembling those of younger adults, showing that exercising and eating
beets can significantly improve brain function and keep our brains young. Beets are also
an excellent source of potassium, folate, and other minerals.
I regularly add diced frozen cooked beets to my morning smoothie. I also steam beets
and serve them alongside baked tofu and brown rice for a delicious meal. The only side
effect I’ve noticed is that my poop is beet-red!
Nutrition is the bedrock of good health. Contact me today to discuss how my coaching
can help you achieve your nutrition goals.
1. Best Brain Foods: Greens & Beets Put to the Test. Michael Greger M.D. FACLM
Nov. 12th, 2018 Volume 44
2. Nitric Oxide 2011 Jan 1: 24(1); 34-42