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Do Beets Lower Cholesterol?

Beets are often overlooked when choosing fresh vegetables, but there are some health benefits to eating these reddish purple vegetables. Research shows that beets might actually help to lower cholesterol levels. Do beets lower cholesterol?

With long-coking times and unique taste, beets are not always the first-picked vegetable to serve at the dinner table. Also, the purplish color of beets may stain hands and surfaces it comes in contact with. However, beets have multiple benefits to consider.

Beets are full of carotenoids, flavonoids and betacyanin (which produces the purplish color). Beets also contain other enzymes and phytochemicals which may help to lower cholesterol levels. In animal studies, beets helped lower total cholesterol levels by about 30%. However, you'd have to eat a lot of beets just to get the same effect.

Beets contain fiber, which is known to help lower cholesterol when part of a heart-healthy diet. Low in fat, beets are a good addition to a weight-loss diet, which can help lower cholesterol levels as well. Beets have a variety of vitamins and minerals to support many body functions.

Although high amounts of nitrates have been linked to cancer, they are important for producing nitrites in the body. Beets are high in nitrates. When these nitrates are converted in the body to nitrites it helps to lower blood pressure.

Other health benefits of beets include benefits to eye health, detoxification, anti-inflammatory properties and perhaps even anti-cancer properties. With the variety of nutrients and phytonutrients in beets, they make a healthy addition to nearly any diet.

It is important to note that those who are sensitive to oxalates should not eat beets, or at least limit their intake of this vegetable. Also, even in healthy individuals, high levels of oxalates can lead to kidney or gall bladder problems.

Although flooding your diet with beets may not lower cholesterol by itself, they can be another addition to a good food choices. In conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise, beets may help lower cholesterol.

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