Beetroot is a nutrient-dense vegetable with quite a few health benefits attached to it. Vitamins A, B, and C, antioxidants beta-carotene and beta-cyanin, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, and fiber are all present in beetroot.

It’s also jam-packed full of nitrate—which is what will be converted into nitric oxide. Enhanced nitric oxide not only leads to better muscle pumps in the gym, it also benefits your body in many other healthy ways, such as helping to:

  • lower high blood pressure and elevate low blood pressure
  • fight cancer, as it contains betaine, shown in studies to have significant anti-cancer properties
  • detoxify the liver
  • relax the mind and create a sense of well- being, similar to the efect chocolate has on the body, since it contains tryptophan

As you know, beetroot juice is not the best-tasting drink to consume, so one of the problems with it is getting it down. Now researchers in the U.K. are considering beetroot bread as a possible way of enhancing the palatability of beetroot juice. In a crossover trial, 23 healthy men ate four slices (200g) of bread either with or without 100g of beetroot added to it. After consumption, each subject was monitored for changes to blood pressure and vasodilation (the ability of blood vessels to widen for steady blood flow).

Finding: Consumption of beet-enriched bread appeared to lower diastolic blood pressure and support vasodilation in the smaller networks of blood vessels.


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Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources, such as fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also contributes significantly to the body’s daily production of vitamin D—in fact, as little as 10 minutes of exposure a day is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies.

The term “vitamin D” refers to several different forms of this vitamin. Two are important in humans: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Plants synthesize vitamin D2; humans synthesize vitamin D3 in the skin when it’s exposed to sunlight’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Foods may be fortified with vitamin D2 or D3.

Vitamin D has been found to play a substantial role in muscle growth, but new research suggests this may actually be related to its anabolic activity with leucine. Researchers who exposed muscle cells in test tubes to leucine, insulin, and varying concentrations of vitamin D3 found the more D3 in the test tubes, the greater the anabolic effect. Higher concentrations of D3 were also linked to the greater anabolic signal proteins such as Akt, GSK3, p70-S6K, and 4EBP1.

So make sure you’re getting adequate amounts of vitamin D in your diet, or exposing yourself to adequate levels of sunlight. – FLEX