While aging is a normal part of life and we can’t avoid growing older, that doesn’t mean that natural methods for looking and feeling younger don’t exist. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
In fact, one of the most recent foods to be dubbed a superfood – beetroot, has been associated with potent anti-aging properties. Maybe getting rid of wrinkles and fine lines is as easy as eating some beets?
That’s what you’re about to find out as today’s post is all about beetroots and anti-aging. We’ll dig deep in other to find relevant scientific data that supports the alleged benefits that this super veggie offers regarding fighting the signs of aging.
Is there any scientific evidence about the supposed anti-aging benefits of beetroot?
Yes, there is. According to a 2017 issue of The Journals of Gerontology, drinking beetroot juice can actually improve brain function by mimicking the behavior of a younger brain. Or in other words – by consuming beetroot, your brain will perform as if it was younger!
The primary purpose of this study was to determine if there’s a connection (or a synergistic effect) between beetroot juice consumption and working out and their impact on neuroplasticity – a scientific term for the change of structure in our brains, in response to new experiences, the environment that we live in etc.
The main approach of this research was rather straightforward:
- They used 26 elderly individuals (with an average age of 65 years) as test subjects
- The test subjects were spread in two random groups:
1) Physical exercises and beetroot juice consumption
2) Physical activities and placebo
- The duration of the study was six weeks
Eventually, they found that the brains of those who consumed beetroot juice were more efficient, leading to enhanced motor activity. The researchers even state that test subject’s brain networks were kind of similar to those of younger individuals.
What that means is that in essence, beetroots possess anti-aging capabilities – in this case by making your brain younger. One of the reasons for that is the nitrate content in beets since that provides vasodilation (better blood flow) so that more blood and subsequently oxygen reaches your vital organs, like your brain.
The correlation between oxidative stress and aging
While it might be common knowledge that oxidation plays a significant role in aging, there is substantial scientific data that backs such claims.
A study conducted by the Journal of Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology found that certain oxygen species (reactive, or ROS) that are free-radical derivatives can lead to oxidative stress through complex reactions.
Researchers even mention that complementary studies (both animal and human) point at the relation between high amounts of ROS (reactive oxygen species) have the potential to cause DNA damage, as well as disrupting lipids and proteins.
And that’s when oxidative stress kicks in – when the levels of ROS are exceptionally elevated. The findings of that study clearly indicate that oxidative changes in the body are connected to aging mechanisms.
More scientific evidence that oxidation and aging go hand in hand (and why you need antioxidants)
In 2015, a scientific review courtesy of an open source journal called “Biomolecules” analyzed the effects that oxidative stress has on the skin and how it accelerates the aging process.
Note that the actual study is rather lengthy so we’ll just skip to the conclusion. And the conclusion is that oxidative stress can indeed lead to specific signs associated with skin aging such as fine wrinkles.
The researchers also recommend the use of potent antioxidants to battle the signs of aging and especially oxidative damage, as that plays a crucial role in skin aging. They mention particular enzymes like:
- Coenzyme Q10
- L-Ascorbate (a.k.a. Vitamin C)
- Beta-carotene (an organic pigment)
Okay, so far so good. But what about beetroot – can it be used as a potent antioxidant against aging?
Utilizing beetroot’s antioxidant properties to battle the signs of aging
Thanks to its betalain content, the beetroot is a potent antioxidant. Beets are an excellent way for fighting oxidative stress and free radicals and that’s well documented.
In a brilliant and quite extensive study from 2015, researchers discovered a plethora of fantastic benefits related to red beetroot consumption, most notably:
- Increased nitric oxide production leading to lowered blood pressure and improved endothelial function
- Improved cognition
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Reduced oxidative stress
The data collected from this research is conclusive – beetroot provides potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular protection. Subsequently, it can adequately protect against oxidative and free radical damage.
The same study found two additional, very intriguing benefits associated with beets – improved cognition and athletic performance.
Animal-based studies provide even more evidence that beetroot can fend off oxidative damage
A relevant research from 2009 conducted by the Journal of Nutrition Practice and Research examined the impact of beetroot supplementation on the antioxidant status of mice.
Scientists fed the rodents with a diet that includes a small portion of red beet leaf and then analyzed the results. Quite impressively, the oxidative stress of white blood cells was considerably reduced.
This led to the logical conclusion that red beetroot offers excellent antioxidant protection while lowering oxidative stress of DNA found in various tissues and also in the blood. Researchers also mention potential benefits regarding body weight reduction, although this is related to mice.
It’s evident that beets can be used as a powerful tool to efficiently fight the signs of aging. Excessive oxidative stress is one of the primary causes of aging and that means one thing – having a powerful antioxidant is a must.
And one such superb antioxidant is a fantastic superfood, known as beetroot. By adding beetroot to your diet, you’ll significantly increase your antioxidant protection, thus leading to fewer wrinkles and fine lines and a more youthful appearance.
Now make sure to leave a comment in the comment section below. Let me know if you’re currently using beetroot for its anti-aging properties and if not, what are you waiting for?
- Beet Root Juice: An Ergogenic Aid for Exercise and the Aging Brain – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28329785
- Oxidative stress and aging – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14713123
- Oxidative Stress in Aging Human Skin – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4496685/
- The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425174/
- Red beet (Beta vulgaris) leaf supplementation improves antioxidant status in C57BL/6J mice fed high-fat high cholesterol diet – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2788172/