Home Brain & Cognition How To Beet It For Powering Up Your Brain Health As You Age! 
Brain & Cognition

How To Beet It For Powering Up Your Brain Health As You Age! 

This ruby-red wonder, not just a pretty garnish anymore, is packed with surprising nutritional firepower. Scientists are uncovering its potential to improve your brain, especially when aging. Explore how beetroot can promote brain health according to science. Learn some tips on adding beetroot to your diet. And find out ways to keep your brain in shape.

What is Brain Health?

Brain health doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all definition. It generally means how well the brain works, like thinking, learning, and remembering. The CDC defines it as being able to do all mental tasks. Moreover, the American Heart Association views it as functioning normally for your age and being free of brain diseases. 

The brain is complex, handling senses, movements, thoughts, feelings, and social interactions. So, brain health is about keeping all these functions in top shape as you age and avoiding diseases that can harm it.

As you get older, your brain ages, too, which can lead to a decline in brain function. By 2050, about two billion people will be over 60 years old, increasing the number of brain and nerve (neurological) disorders. These disorders can cause physical disabilities, mental issues, and social problems. Plus, they’re expensive to treat.

Experts note that neurological disorders are a leading cause of disability. It’s also the second leading cause of death globally. Strokes, migraines, Alzheimer’s, and meningitis cause a lot of this disability. One in four adults might have a stroke in their lifetime, starting at age 25. Right now, about 50 million people have dementia, and this number could triple by 2050. 

How Does Beetroot Improve Your Brain Health?

Your brain is the most complex and vital organ in your body. It controls your thoughts, emotions, actions, and memories. It regulates your heartbeat, breathing, digestion, and other bodily functions. That’s why it’s essential to take care of your brain health and keep it in optimal condition.

One of the ways to improve your brain health is to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, and eggs can nourish your brain and enhance performance. But did you know that beetroot is one of the best foods for your brain?

Beetroot, or beet, is a deep red or purple root vegetable. It has a sweet, earthy taste and can be eaten raw, cooked, juiced, or pickled. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. 

Beetroot can improve your brain health in several ways, mainly by increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to your brain. It can enhance your cognitive function, memory, and mood. Here are some of the mechanisms and evidence behind it.

Nitrate Power

Beetroot is one of the richest sources of nitrate, a compound that can be converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide is a molecule that can relax and widen your blood vessels, allowing more blood and oxygen to reach your brain. It can improve your brain function and prevent cognitive decline. 

Several studies have shown that consuming beetroot juice can increase the blood flow to your brain, especially in the regions involved in executive functions. It includes attention, planning, and decision-making.

A study aimed to see if a diet high in nitrate could improve blood flow to the brain in older adults. A high nitrate diet didn’t change overall blood flow to their brain, yet it increased blood flow to specific brain parts involved in decision-making and problem-solving. It shows that dietary nitrate might help improve brain function in older adults.

Moreover, a study explored the combined effects of exercise and beetroot juice (BRJ) on brain health in older adults. After six weeks, the group that exercised and drank BRJ showed improved brain network organization.

Older adults who exercised and drank beetroot juice (BRJ) showed stable brain connections related to movement. They were similar to younger people. This study suggests combining BRJ with exercise might help the brain work better than exercising alone.


Your brain works hard and needs a lot of energy, but they don’t have a lot of natural defenses against damage. When there’s an imbalance between harmful and protective substances in the brain, it can lead to brain diseases. 

Scientists are looking into extra ways to protect the brain, like adding more antioxidants. These antioxidants help fight the damage and keep the brain’s cells healthy. Antioxidants are substances that can protect your cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, which are major causes of brain and nerve aging.

Beetroot contains beneficial compounds like betalain pigments, phenols, and saponins. Scientists suggest these compounds could prevent brain and nerve conditions like Alzheimer’s. Additionally, beetroot is packed with antioxidants and nitrates that convert into NO. It improves blood flow and oxygenation in the brain.

It could be especially beneficial for older adults. They are at a higher risk of brain conditions due to impaired blood flow to the brain. Scientists need to do more research. But, the potential of beetroot in preventing Alzheimer’s shows promise.

Dietary Fiber

Beetroot is also a good source of dietary fiber, the indigestible part of plant foods. It contains 2g of fiber for every 100g. Dietary fiber can help you maintain a healthy gut, essential for your brain health. The gut-brain axis connects the gut and brain, a two-way communication system involving nerves, hormones, and immune cells. 

Your gut microbiota, the trillions of bacteria in your intestines, can also influence your brain function and behavior. Dietary fiber can feed your beneficial gut bacteria and support their growth and diversity. It can enhance

How To Add Beetroot Into Your Diet?

Beetroot is a versatile and delicious vegetable that you can easily add to your diet. Here are three ways to enjoy beetroot and reap its benefits for your brain health:

  1. Eat or drink it Raw: Choose fresh and organic beetroots whenever possible. They have more nutrients and fewer pesticides than conventional ones. You can also use the beet greens, which are edible and nutritious. Add them to salads, pickled, juiced, and smoothies.
  1. Prepare beetroot foods:  Cook beetroot into soups, stews, cakes, or muffins. Be creative and experiment with different recipes and flavors.
  1. Take supplements: You can also supplement with beetroot powder from dried and ground beetroots. It has a similar nutritional profile and benefits to fresh beetroots but it is more convenient and shelf-stable. Mix beetroot powder with water, milk, or yogurt, or add it to your oatmeal, pancakes, or baked goods.

Be aware that consuming beetroot can cause your urine and stool to turn red or pink. It is normal and harmless and does not indicate any health problems. However, if you have any medical condition or take any medication, consult a healthcare provider before consuming beetroot.

How To Care For Your Brain?

New research shows three more things we can change to lower dementia risk: drinking too much alcohol, preventing head injuries, and avoiding air pollution. These add to the 2017 list. Here’s a quick rundown of 10 ways to promote brain health, according to experts:

  1. Keep your blood pressure below 130 mm Hg starting around age 40.
  2. Use hearing aids if needed and protect your ears from loud noises.
  3. Stay away from air pollution and second-hand smoke.
  4. Try to avoid head injuries.
  5. Limit alcohol drinking.
  6. Quit smoking.
  7. Manage your weight and stay active, even later in life.
  8. Tackle depression.
  9. Get enough sleep and live a healthy lifestyle.
  10. Be social by connecting or engaging in activities with family and friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Can beetroot juice boost my brainpower? 

Research suggests beetroot’s nitrates might improve blood flow to the brain, potentially enhancing memory and focus. While beetroot offers unique benefits, a diverse diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is crucial for optimal brain health.

Question 2: What are the side effects of eating beetroot?

Beetroot is generally safe, but it can change the color of urine and stool to pink or red. It’s a harmless condition called beeturia. Although, taking too much beetroot may worsen kidney problems and lower calcium levels.

Question 3: How much beetroot juice or supplement should I take?

Some suggest 3–6 grams of powder, while others recommend 2–3 teaspoons. However, the right amount can vary based on age, health, and other personal factors. It’s always a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional before starting beetroot supplements. 

Key Takeaways

  • Brain health means how well our brain functions, like thinking and remembering. The CDC says it’s doing all mental tasks, while the American Heart Association adds being disease-free. As you age, your brain can face challenges like Alzheimer’s or strokes, affecting your mental and physical abilities. So, keepng your brain healthy is key.
  • Beetroot, rich in nitrates, boosts brain function by improving blood flow. Its antioxidants may protect against brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. High in fiber, it supports gut health, which is linked to better brain function. Try eating or juicing it raw for a fresh, nutrient-rich boost. Get creative and cook it into soups, stews, or baked treats. Or, for a quick option, use beetroot powder in drinks or recipes. 
  • Boost brain health after 40: Control blood pressure, protect ears, avoid pollution & smoke, manage weight, stay active, address mental health, prioritize sleep, stay social. Also, visit a healthcare professional for a regular check-up and seek advice for any brain-related concern.

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