I’m always excited when I come across something natural that helps promote good bone health. And when it also helps other aspects of your health, that’s even better. That’s how I feel about what I’ve learned about a certain common vegetable that I hadn’t paid much attention to before. I had no idea it was such a nutritional powerhouse for your bones. But that’s not all, it also has some other pretty amazing health benefits. Let me tell you about it.
Drink This Ruby Red Veggie Daily for Better Bones and More
It’s pretty rare when I come across a new food, or nutrient, that can do so much for bone health. I’m so impressed by what this veggie does for your bones that I’ve been telling all my patients to go buy a big bunch of beets and make their own beetroot juice to drink daily.
Other than having my grandmother’s borscht on occasion, or eating a Greek salad now and then, I’d never thought much about beets before. But, recently, I found out that this ruby red veggie has been carrying a secret for bone health that I wished I had known sooner.
Beets, it seems, is an extremely rich source of certain vitamins and minerals that are crucial to bone health. These include:
- Manganese. A trace mineral that helps connective tissue form in cartilage and bone.
- Vitamin C. Helps build collagen that forms the matrix of bones and cartilage.
- Magnesium. Works with calcium to form new bone cells.
- Copper. Helps create collagen, elastin and tissue proteins crucial to the development of bones, joints and even skin.
- Folate. Folate helps lower/normalize homocysteine levels which have been proven to increase bone fracture risk.
- Betaine/betalains: Both work to remove toxins from the liver and gut to promote nutrient absorption. Decreased calcium, Vitamin D, absorption can occur with age from a gut loaded with toxins. As a result, bones can grow weaker from depleted bone building nutrients. So, it’s important to maintain your good bone health by decreasing toxins to increase nutrient absorption.
- Uridine. This compound nutrient helps maintain natural dopamine “feel good” chemicals in your brain. Dopamine helps reduce stress and lowers cortisol – a major stress hormone. Too high cortisol levels impair new bone cells from forming and new bone from maturing. This results in decreased bone density and osteoporosis leaving you prone to fractures.
- Silica. A trace mineral, silica is what keeps your bones, cartilage, and your skin “knit” together in a strong, cohesive unit. Silica also helps you better absorb calcium as well.
- Boron. A trace mineral that fights arthritis by keeping joint cartilage healthy. Studies show that people who get adequate boron have much thicker bone densities.
Reap ALL The Health Benefits of Beetroot
Aside from keeping your bones healthy, regular beetroot consumption also helps:
- Lower cholesterol. Carotenoids (vitamin A precursors) contained in beets keep bad LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and forming plaques.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Fight fatigue. Beets contain nitrates which help oxygen circulate better. More oxygen in your blood boosts your energy levels and helps you exercise more.
- Heals a hangover. Clears toxins from liver.
- Fights anemia. Beets boost red blood cell development by boosting your iron stores.
- Boosts the immune system. Beets are high in carotenoids and flavonoids that are excellent antioxidants.
- Fights cancer. Betacyanin compounds fight breast and prostate cancers.
- Boosts sexual health. Nitrates release nitric oxide and help dilate blood vessels so blood can pump more easily to genitalia.
- Fights inflammation. Betaine also turns down inflammation by protecting the nearby proteins.
I recommend that you get some beets, or beetroot juice, into your diet at least 3 times a week. They can really boost both your bone health, immunity, and your exercise tolerance levels. If you can exercise more frequently, you’ll go a long way to build bone. Eating beets, or drinking beet juice, can also help you relax and fight stress.
If you’re diabetic you’ll want to limit eating fresh beets regularly as they contain a lot of natural sugar which can wreak havoc. Instead, eat beet greens or buy Betaine tablets. These are extracts of beets, dried, compressed into a tablet. They help break down bile and sludge in your liver and remove toxins. But, they also contain all the vital nutrients of whole beets. You can find these at your local health food store or online.
Mark Bromson, M.D.
The Purple Food that Builds Your Bones, http://saveourbones.com/the-purple-food-that-builds-your-bones/
Folic Acid and Bone Health, http://www.naturalhealthresearch.org/folic-acid-found-to-help-bone-health-2/
Essentiality of Boron for Healthy Bones and Joints, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7889887