When Sonny and Cher recorded “The Beat Goes On” in 1967, did they know that beets are a standout vegetable packed with phytonutrients and complex vitamins that reduces bodywide inflammation and supports a healthy cardiovascular system? Probably not, but they did have a pretty La-DEE-da-DEE-DEE attitude. But, it’s true.
If you’re old enough to remember that song, you’re at the time of life when you’re thinking a bit more about your heartbeat than you did back in 1967. So, because we want you to take charge of your health, we’ll keep “pounding a rhythm to your brain” (as Cher crooned), and it goes like this: The heart beats on, if the beet goes on ... your menu, that is!
Beets (also called beetroot) are a terrific source of folate and other B vitamins, manganese, potassium, vitamin C and dietary fiber. And beetroot juice is one of the richest dietary sources of antioxidants and naturally occurring nitrates, which improve blood flow throughout the brain, heart and muscles. A popular Ukrainian treat for Central and Eastern European athletes has always been borscht, which has a beet juice base. Today in the West, juices, powders and beet-infused beverages are being touted as super-energy drinks that boost athletic performance. But be careful and READ LABELS! Some beet juices and powders can act as vasodilators, which are contraindicated with erectile dysfunction drugs or certain medical conditions. Make your first choice the natural veggie and juices, and remember: The heart beats on ... when the beet goes on your dinner plate or into your blender.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.