Fermented Beetroot Health Benefits – Improve Nitric Oxide, Brain Function, Performance

Beets Are a Science-Based Superfood, Fermenting Makes Them Even Better

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Packed with healthy nutrients like iron, potassium, calcium, and protein, beets are a fantastic addition to your diet – but this humble root packs some powerful benefits that make them mandatory if you want lifelong health and supercharged performance.

Some Amazing Benefits

The benefits of beets include:

  • They contain a natural vasodilator (expands blood vessels) called nitrates. This improves blood flow throughout the body (1) which can significantly improve the quality of a man’s erection.
  • Beets contain large amounts of antioxidants that limit free radical damage in the body.
  • Beets are high in betaine, which converts homocysteine to methionine (2). High homocysteine is a risk factor for many diseases.

That’s not all; let’s look at some other science-based benefits that make beets a real ‘superfood’.

Beets Are Proven to Improve Nitric Oxide, Blood Flow & Stamina

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Beets boost athletic performance in a unique way with betacyanin, the substance that gives beets their distinctive color. Betacyanin contains the nitrates (3) which increase the blood’s oxygen-carrying ability (4).

One study (5) found that cyclists who drank concentrated beet juice used about three percent less oxygen during exercise tests than those that drank a placebo.

This is because beets contain nitrates which our bodies convert to nitric oxide (NO) which opens up blood vessels to improve oxygen uptake.

In another study, published in the journal Nitric Oxide (6), researchers put competitive cyclists through a series of tests. Each one drank two doses of concentrated beet juice or a placebo every day for a week.

After seven days of real beet juice their power increased significantly and they finished 10 kilometers almost 2 percent faster than with the placebo.

Beets May Improve High Intensity Training Performance

There’s an impressive amount of human data that suggests that more Nitric Oxide (NO) can improve performance in high intensity interval training, reduce the amount of oxygen required for exertion, and affect the rate of perceived exertion (7, 8).

NO brings extra blood flow, which is why it may make trained muscles feel more ‘pumped’ and bigger during a workout. Because of this nitrates could almost be considered a bodybuilding supplement.

As a side note this also makes fermented beets and outstanding supplement for performance between the sheets as well!

Beets Reduce Heart Attack Risk

While dietary changes that include limiting processed foods, refined carbs, and salt can reduce heart disease risk, research suggests adding foods high in dietary nitrate is also an important step.

High blood pressure and narrowed blood vessels are the most common risk factors for heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases (9).

Nitrate is a compound that is naturally found in beet juice. Because it decreases blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, dietary nitrate can help to decrease your risk of developing heart disease.

Beets Improve Brain Function

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Our mental faculties naturally decline with age. Sometimes this decline can result in conditions like dementia. Declining blood flow to the brain that reduces oxygen levels may contribute to this decline (10, 11, 12).

But the nitrates in beets may also improve mental and cognitive function by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the brain (13).

Beets have been shown to especially increase blood flow to the frontal lobe of your brain, the area associated with higher-level thinking like decision making and working memory (14).

Another study in type 2 diabetics examined the effect of beets on simple reaction time, a measure of cognitive function. Simple reaction time during a cognitive function test was four percent faster in subjects who drank 8.5 ounces of beet juice daily for two weeks, compared to a placebo (15).

Beets Boost Your Immune System and Even Prevent Cancer

The substances that give beets their deep red color may also have powerful anti-cancer properties.

Studies have shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water (16).

Beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast and prostate cancers (16).

Also, raw beets help boost the immune system thanks to high vitamin C, potassium and manganese, while betalin pigments and sulfur-containing amino acids in beets support the body’s Phase 2 detoxification process (17).

Why Fermenting Makes Beets Better

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Beets and juice extracted from fresh beets are high in sugar, which can be a potential concern for keeping blood sugar at healthy levels. They contain 36 percent simple carbs, so you can’t consume large amounts without getting large amounts of sugar in your system.

But when beets are fermented the bacteria that make the process possible (18) eat all the sugar and turn it into alcohol which is evaporated away during the drying process.

Fermented food also contains probiotics or good bacteria. Studies have demonstrated how the balance and diversity of bacteria in the gut can optimize physical and mental well-being (19).

Last but certainly not least is the fermentation process can more than double the nitrate content of beets because it concentrates the nitrates. That can translate to a much higher nitric oxide boost in your body!

Concentrated Beetroot Supplements Also Concentrate the Nutrition

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Concentrated beetroot supplements powerpack in the nutrients of this amazing superfood. That’s why in our Next Level Superfoods Multivitamin we provide 750 mg of beetroot in a 4:1 concentrate.

That is equivalent to 3,000 mg of beetroot!

  1. Moncada S, et al. The discovery of nitric oxide as the endogenous nitrovasodilator. Hypertension. 1988 Oct;12(4):365-72. – Link
  2. McRae MP. Betaine supplementation decreases plasma homocysteine in healthy adult participants: a meta-analysis. J Chiropr Med. 2013;12(1):20-5. – Link
  3. Esatbeyoglu, T. , Wagner, A. E., Schini‐Kerth, V. B. and Rimbach, G. (2015), Betanin—A food colorant with biological activity. Mol. Nutr. Food Res., 59: 36-47. – Link
  4. Clifford T, Howatson G, West DJ, Stevenson EJ. The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients. 2015;7(4):2801-22. Published 2015 Apr 14. doi:10.3390/nu7042801 – Link
  5. Beetroot juice and exercise: pharmacodynamic and dose-response relationships. Lee J. Wylie, James Kelly, Stephen J. Bailey, Jamie R. Blackwell, Philip F. Skiba, Paul G. Winyard, Asker E. Jeukendrup, Anni Vanhatalo, and Andrew M. Jones. Journal of Applied Physiology 2013 115:3, 325-336 – Link
  6. Chronic high-dose beetroot juice supplementation improves time trial performance of well-trained cyclists in normoxia and hypoxia. Rokkedal-Lausch T, Franch J, Poulsen MK, Thomsen LP, Weitzberg E, Kamavuako EN, Karbing DS, Larsen RG. Nitric Oxide. 2019 Apr 1;85:44-52. – Link
  7. Dietary nitrate supplementation improves team sport-specific intense intermittent exercise performance. Wylie LJ, Mohr M, Krustrup P, Jackman SR, Ermιdis G, Kelly J, Black MI, Bailey SJ, Vanhatalo A, Jones AM. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Jul;113(7):1673-84. – Link
  8. Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance. Murphy M, Eliot K, Heuertz RM, Weiss E. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Apr;112(4):548-52 – Link
  9. Role of hypertension in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Hollander W. Am J Cardiol. 1976 Nov 23;38(6):786-800. – Link
  10. Late-Onset Dementia: Structural Brain Damage and Total Cerebral Blood Flow. Aart Spilt, Annelies W. E. Weverling-Rijnsburger, Huub A. M. Middelkoop, Wiesje M. van Der Flier, Jacobijn Gussekloo, Anton J. M. de Craen, Eduard L. E. M. Bollen, Gerard J. Blauw, Mark A. van Buchem, and Rudi G. J. Westendorp. Radiology 2005 236:3, 990-995 – Link
  11. Evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is a microvascular disorder: the role of constitutive nitric oxide. de la Torre JC, Stefano GB. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2000 Dec;34(3):119-36. – Link
  12. Schuff N, Matsumoto S, Kmiecik J, et al. Cerebral blood flow in ischemic vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, measured by arterial spin-labeling magnetic resonance imaging. Alzheimers Dement. 2009;5(6):454-62. – Link
  13. Clifford T, Howatson G, West DJ, Stevenson EJ. The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients. 2015;7(4):2801-22. Published 2015 Apr 14. doi:10.3390/nu7042801 – Link
  14. Acute effect of a high nitrate diet on brain perfusion in older adults. Presley TD, Morgan AR, Bechtold E, Clodfelter W, Dove RW, Jennings JM, Kraft RA, King SB, Laurienti PJ, Rejeski WJ, Burdette JH, Kim-Shapiro DB, Miller GD. Nitric Oxide. 2011 Jan 1;24(1):34-42. – Link
  15. Dietary nitrate supplementation improves reaction time in type 2 diabetes: development and application of a novel nitrate-depleted beetroot juice placebo. Gilchrist M, Winyard P, Fulford J, Anning C, Shore AC, Benjamin N. Nitric Oxide. 2014 Aug 31;40:67-74 – Link
  16. Synergistic cytotoxicity of red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract with doxorubicin in human pancreatic, breast and prostate cancer cell lines. Kapadia GJ, Rao GS, Ramachandran C, Iida A, Suzuki N, Tokuda H. J Complement Integr Med. 2013 Jun 26;10. pii: /j/jcim.2013.10.issue-1/jcim-2013-0007/jcim-2013-0007 – Link
  17. Hodges RE, Minich DM. Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application. J Nutr Metab. 2015;2015:760689 – Link
  18. National Research Council (US) Panel on the Applications of Biotechnology to Traditional Fermented Foods. Applications of Biotechnology to Fermented Foods: Report of an Ad Hoc Panel of the Board on Science and Technology for International Development. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1992 – Link
  19. Kechagia M, Basoulis D, Konstantopoulou S, et al. Health benefits of probiotics: a review. ISRN Nutr. 2013;2013:481651. Published 2013 Jan 2. doi:10.5402/2013/481651 – Link

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this blog are personal opinions and they are not intended to be, or replace, medical advice by a healthcare professional. While we have put in an extraordinary amount of time, energy and effort to give you the best information possible, based on the best research we could find, different people may have different views of the research discussed. You should always conduct your own research and seek advice from a healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any of the consumables mentioned.

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