Beets, or beetroot, are a nutritious vegetable that have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including improved blood flow and cardiovascular health. One of the reasons for this is due to their ability to promote angiogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels.
One of the key compounds in beets that promotes angiogenesis is nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is a molecule that is produced naturally in the body and plays a critical role in regulating blood flow and vascular function. Beets are a rich source of dietary nitrates, which the body can convert into nitric oxide. When nitric oxide is produced, it signals the body to increase blood flow and expand blood vessels, which can lead to improved cardiovascular health and increased oxygen delivery to tissues throughout the body. (1)
In addition to their nitric oxide-producing properties, beets are also a rich source of polyphenols, which are plant-based compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. (2)
Overall, the combination of nitric oxide and polyphenols in beets makes them a powerful promoter of angiogenesis, which can have a variety of health benefits. For example, improved blood flow can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, while increased oxygen delivery can help to improve athletic performance and reduce fatigue.
To incorporate beets into your diet, try roasting them in the oven, blending them into smoothies, or adding them to salads. Just be aware that beets can also cause a temporary pink or red discoloration of urine or stool, which is harmless but can be alarming if you're not expecting it!