Beetroot extract is sold as a powerful addition to juices and smoothies. Read on to learn what you can get out of just a small amount of this extract.
As a nutritionist, I recommend nothing more than a tablespoon of beetroot extract in a mix of 2 to 3 glasses of juice. “Is that really enough?” is the main question I get from clients. Read on to find out why you need very small quantities of extract to get the required benefits.
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This is a preparation made by extracting and isolating the desirable properties, usually nutrients like vitamins and minerals and/or desirable flavors from foods. This solid/liquid separation process is done by placing the plant in a solvent such as alcohol or water. The plant components are solubilized and contained in the solvent. The result is a liquid with concentrated levels of the sought after nutrients or flavors.A second separation process may be done to eliminate the solvent leaving a powder or dry extract.
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Common types of extracts include almond, chocolate and vanilla which are mostly used to add their district flavors to pastries, milkshakes and ice creams. Extracts from nutrient-packed vegetables such as beetroots are also made though they are not as common as the ones mentioned.
Why Take Beetroot Extract?
Nutritionists recommend 2 cups of beetroot per day. Unsurprisingly, very few people can claim to meet this daily requirement in their diet. This is why extracts are useful. They enable you consume significant quantities quickly and conveniently in a small quantity of liquid or powder. What you get from a few teaspoons of beetroot extract is equivalent to the nutritional benefits you would get from a few whole beetroots. The general estimation is that one teaspoon of liquid beetroot extract is equivalent to one medium-sized vegetable. These quantities may differ depending on the manufacturer of the extract.
Beetroot extract can be taken in a glass of cool water, in juice or blended into smoothies.
Health Benefits of Beetroot Extract
Energy Boostand Increased Stamina
Beetroot extract contains high levels of nitrates which the body converts into nitric oxide. This gas causes a temporary but significant widening of blood vessels which increases oxygenation of cells. Improved oxygenation causes a boost in energy levels. Stamina is increased because beetroots also help increase the efficiency of energy use. Healthy adults who consumed beetroot extract before a work out reported an ability to work out for up to 16% longer than without the extract.
Supports Healthy Blood Pressure
Blood pressure management is a common medicinal use of beetroots and their extracts. Nitrates contained inthem help to dilate and relax blood vessels which automatically causes a drop in blood pressure. A study conducted at Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom showed that one glass of beetroot juice or extracts taken on a daily basis helped to lower blood pressure in hypertensive people, including those who were unsuccessful in controlling blood pressure through drug treatment.
Beetroots contain natural betalains and polyphenols which are known to be powerful, natural antioxidants. Antioxidation is important because it contributes to the health of organs such as the heart and the liver by protecting them against free radical damage. Free radicals are blamed for a variety of life-threatening conditions including many types of cancer.
Helps Relieve Erectile Dysfunction
Beetroot extract is often sold as a dietary supplement to relieve erectile dysfunction (ED).This is a condition in men generally identified by an inability to get and/or maintain and erection. Nitric oxide, which the body derives from beetroots not only helps improve blood circulation to the entire body, it also helps maintain pressure in the corpus cavernosumnecessary to maintain an erection. In instances where ED is caused by high blood pressure, beetroot extract helps to relieve both problems.
Helps Maintain Healthy Radiant Skin
Beetroot extract is very rich in vitamin C which helps reduce blemishes and skin discoloration. Antioxidant properties in beetroot extracts also help to delay appearance of wrinkles and fine lines which are signs of aging. Oxidation produces free radicals which contribute to wrinkling of skin. Extracts are usually taken in juices and smoothies so the extra hydration indirectly benefits the skin and helps keep it well hydrated.
Beetroot extract is a great way to incorporate the goodness of beetroots into your diet. The amount of extract you should take generally depends on the reason you are taking it. If you are making a pre-workout beverage for an energy boost for example, one tablespoon of beetroot extract added to your fruit juice or smoothie should be sufficient. If your aim is medicinal such as lowering of blood pressure, it is best to consult a physician for individualized advice.
What is the difference between extract and concentrate?
Extracts are made by removing the nutrients and flavors using solvents such as alcohol and water. Concentrates are made by removing water from a plant’s juice and is reconstituted by adding a similar amount of water.
How much sugar is in beetroot extract?
It is difficult to come up with exact amounts because a lot of estimation is involved. Considering that one beetroot contains about 6 grams of sugar and one teaspoon of extract is equivalent to one beetroot, it is safe to assume one teaspoon of extract contains 6 grams of sugar.
Are beetroot capsules stronger than extract?
General estimates assume one teaspoon of beetroot extract is equivalent to one medium-sized beetroot. Capsules on the other hand are of varying concentrations so it is necessary to check the label to find out the ratio of the specific capsules.
Is it safe to drink extracts directly?
Most extracts come with a dropper to allow you measure your use in drops. If you don’t mind the sometimes unpleasant taste, you can take the extract straight out of the dropper.
Will beetroot extract help digestion?
Beetroot extract does not contain fibre which is what helps improve digestion.