Your best bet to achieve your skin care goals is to simply raid your kitchen and add some of those fruits and veggies to your routine and of course your diet. Natural ingredients from fruits and vegetables still are the champions in terms of healthy and valuable nutrients. So much so that they make their way as ingredients into all kinds of creams and essence as well as diet supplements.
One prominent example is the beetroot. It’s somewhat polarising. Some love its slightly bitter earthy sweetness while others can’t stand its distinctive taste. Or some may think it contains too much sugar to be healthy while others associate it with an uninspired salad buffet.
But the truth is that beetroot is a nutritional powerhouse. Research has shown that eating beets or drinking its juice can have some profound benefits to your overall health – to your eyes, heart, brain, and of course skin. It can even improve stamina (or in jargon “cardiorespiratory endurance”) and increase overall efficiency.
A little bit of background
The beetroot has been on our table since the times of Ancient Rome. Beetroot is the red part of the beet plant which belongs to the same family as spinach. The red rood is more commonly known to be edible with its earthy sweet taste. But the leaves too can be eaten, although they taste bitter.
The most widely available kind has the typical beet red colour, but there are also heirloom varieties with white and yellow beets. They can be eaten raw, pickled, or cooked.
So, why should you incorporate beets into your diet?
If you’re controlling your weight or have weight management goals, beets are a valuable contribution. They’re low in calories but high in fibre, so that they’re filling.
Beets are a good source of vitamins A, C, and B group. They also contain minerals, especially calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese. While these attributes are good, they are not all that unique. What makes them special is that they also contain compounds such as nitrates, betalains, and betaine.
These compounds have been shown in research to have positive effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, cardiovascular health, and cognition. Take betalains. These are what gives beets their red colour. They have powerful powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Another pigment is betacyanin. This is what gives the beet its ruby-red, almost purple colour. Some research has shown that this pigment can help protect against common carcinogens.
Betaine is involved in many cell functions. It protects your cells from osmotic stress.
Remember how beets can boost your endurance and performance? This is linked to the nitrates found in the beetroot. When you eat nitrates, you help to improve blood flow: The blood vessels are relaxed, which increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure.
This means more nutrients and more oxygen reaching your muscles and thus you can exercise for longer. In short, better cardiovascular health and better performance.
It also means, more blood flows to your brain. As with everything in your body, as you age the levels decrease. And so it is also with blood flow to the brain and this can lead to a decline in cognition. For this reason, eating or drinking beets can help improve blood flow to the brain which in turn helps slow down age-related ailments like dementia.
Back to the “normal” nutrition profile. Since the beetroot contains vitamin C and minerals such as potassium, it helps strengthen your immune system. Its nutrition profile also helps strengthen the health of your never and muscle function.
In general, beets have profound anti-ageing benefits, both for your overall health as well as for your skin. It contains many antioxidants which help with free radical-induced damage in the cells of your body. They can also decrease the depth and severity of wrinkles in the skin.
So, why should you add beets to your skin care regimen?
Not only can eating beets be beneficial both for your inner and outer health, but it’s also a food that you can actually put on your face. Literally skin food. And more: From tinting your cheeks a rosy healthy hue and keeping wrinkles away to making your hair thick and shiny.
If your age is north of 50, you may be wondering how to keep wrinkles at bay. Oh, well, wrinkles can start to appear regardless of your age, but beets can help you. Containing lots of antioxidants, the beetroot is your first line of defense for free radicals and helps increase your skin elasticity.
As a rich source of vitamin C, beets can help you even out and brighten your skin. Vitamin C is effective in treating all kinds of discolourations: dark spots, sun spots, blemishes, and freckles. Vitamin C decreases melanin formation, the skin pigment. Vitamin C can solve other major skin concerns besides evening out skin tone: Reduce acne marks and blemishes as well as lift and firm sagging skin.
If you’re looking to even out textured skin, beetroot is a natural remedy to make your skin smooth and silky. It soothes, hydrates, and brightens all in one go.
Beetroot can even help strengthen your hair. The vitamins and nutrients found in beetroot improve your hair health, boosting hair thickness and making it shine. It even makes an all-natural hair dye that doesn’t damage your hair.
So, what about the sugar levels? It’s true that beets have more sugars than a lot of other veggies. But the sugar you get by eating beetroot is hardly the same as eating, say a slice of cake. The fibre in the beetroot traps the sugar and so slows down its absorption into your blood stream.
You may find eating beets help you go to the bathroom. Don’t be alarmed if you find a red or pink colour in the urine or stool. It’s totally harmless.
You may also want to exercise caution if you know you’re prone to kidney stones. Beets are high in oxalates, which can form small crystals and so contribute to kidney stone formation.
Using beets on your skin and hair gives you all the benefits without leaving any unwanted chemicals. You can protect your skin against signs of ageing as well as make your skin glow. You can even make all-natural lip and cheeks tint with it.
Let me know in the comments below if you want DYI recipes for the lips and cheeks tint, toner, face pack, or hair dye.