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How Beets Can Improve Your Heart Health—And Sex Life

How Beets Can Improve Your Heart Health—And Sex Life

We’ve mentioned before that beets (sometimes called beetroot) and beet juice help heart health and provide performance boosts to athletes by increasing levels of artery-relaxing nitric oxide. Relaxed arteries mean increased blood flow and that means better athletic (and don’t forget sexual) performance. Russian and Eastern European countries’ teams have long treated their top athletes to beet stew, soup or borscht during training sessions and before competitions. American athletes finally picked up on that and have been doing it for a while, too.

But in addition to improved performance, there are many health boosts from beets and beet juice. The phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color have powerful anti-cancer properties, boost the immune system and help cleanse the liver. And research has found that for seniors, drinking beet juice before working out may significantly increase exercise’s brain-boosting effects.

A study looked at 26 participants, mean age 65, who had a shot of beetroot juice one hour before a moderately intense, 50-minute treadmill workout. Those folks showed greater connectivity between the somatomotor cortex, a brain region associated with motor function, and the insular cortex, a brain region associated with cognitive functioning. The researchers said test subjects “had brain networks that more closely resembled those of younger adults.”

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