Beetkvass is made from fermenting beetroots... so here is a little bit on why beetroots and ferments are so good for our health.
Where to start….there are so many health benefits of beetroots and so many different things we could focus on, so here is just a brief overview… Enjoy!
The Nutritional Profile of Beetroots
Beetroots are a nutritional powerhouse! They contain exceptional levels of vitamins and minerals, with really high amounts of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, magnesium and potassium. With smaller quantities of copper, calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc. They are also loaded with fibre, amino acids, phytonutrients and are super anti-oxidants rich.
When fermented, the nutrient levels increase further, making beetkvass a real health tonic.
Some of the effects these nutrients have in our bodies:
- Folate (B9) is important for normal tissue growth and cell function.
- Manganese is an essential trace element, is the component of antioxidant enzymes and facilitates bone development.
- Potassium is linked to reduced blood pressure levels and has positive effects on cardiovascular health.
- Iron has many important functions in the body, particularly important for the transportation of oxygen in red blood cells.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is important for immune function and skin health.
Phytonutrients are plant compounds that have a positive effect on the health of humans.
Beetroots are a unique source of the phytonutrients; betalains. These betalains have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
Beetroots are packed with the antioxidants betacyanins. Betacyanins are the red pigment in the beetroot and have been shown to aid the oxygen carrying ability of the blood.
A word on anti-oxidants
Anti-oxidants generally work by soaking up free-radicals. Therefore reducing free-radical damage in the body, which helps cells stay healthy and reduces the risk of various diseases.
Inorganic nitrates found in beetroots, in the body can transform into nitric acid, which has many important functions in the body. Research shows that diets rich in nitrates have a positive effect on blood pressure levels and decrease the risk of many diseases.
Glutamine is an amino acid and is essential to the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract. The enterocytes (intestinal calls) feed off it and so it plays a major role in the first line of the immune defence in the intestine as well as the whole body.
Some Specific Health Benefits
Blood oxygen and exercise performance
Beetroots have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure and increased exercise performance.
Studies have shown betanin pigments from beetroots to lessen tumor cell growth through the inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes (cyclooxygenase).
A word on sugar
Beetroots are a starchy vegetable and so contain higher amounts of sugar than some other vegetables. But these sugars aren’t all bad and having natural sugars through fruit and vegetables is not the same as having sugar from chocolate or cake. As well as this, although the glycemic index of beetroots is considered medium level, the glyceamic load is really low. This is helped by the high content of fibre.
Our beetkvass is fermented, making the sugar content substantially lower. This is because when fermented the natural bacteria on the beetroot feeds off the sugar, helping it ferment and also decreasing the sugar content.
Fermentation and Probiotics
Beetroots are an ultra probiotic superfood, especially when fermented.
When something is probiotic this means it is packed with friendly and beneficial bacteria and yeast that are the answer to the health of the gut and the rest of the body.
Our digestive system relies on a delicate balance of good bacteria. In our modern day lives there are many things that can cause disruption to this, reducing the population of good bacteria through things like processed foods, pollution, pesticides, chemicals and stress to name a few. Eating probiotic food and drink is really helpful to maintain this healthy balance.
Probiotics can help reduce digestive complaints like bloating, constipation and other IBS symptoms. The ‘good bacteria’ also aids the absorption of nutrients, meaning you’ll get more out of all that healthy food your eating.
Good bacteria and yeast is very important for our immune system, 70-80% of immune cells are located in the gut. This is often referred to as our microbiome. An unhappy gut leads to an impaired immune system, resulting in more colds, flu and other infections. There are many other diseases that are association with the immune system too, for example: allergies, auto-immune diseases and cancer, to name a few.
Good bacteria act as a barrier to harmful bacteria, so having a diet rich in probiotics will help maintain a healthy microbiome and a healthy immune system too.
Having a good population of friendly bacteria in the gut will support the delicate pH balance and help relieve digestive problems. A digestive system in better condition will help keep inflammation under control.