Beet or beetroot is the taproot portion of beet plant. It is grown for its edible taproots and leaves. They are eaten boiled, roasted, raw, and alone or combined with the salad.
Different varieties of beets are there- red, orange –yellow and white. The red color of red beet is because of betalain pigments. Yellow beets have betaxanthin pigments.
Beets was used by the ancient Romans, to intensify the sexual desires. Beets are actually the natural Viagra. The studies confirm that beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.
Beets are an excellent source of phytonutrients, betalain, and carotenoids. Betanin and violaxanthin are the two betalains present in beets. They are wonderful anti-oxidants. Lutein or zeaxanthin, carotenoids are present in beets. They also contain dietary fibers, vitamin C, minerals, phosphorus, glycine, copper, iron and the most important flavonoids known as anthocyanin. They also contain inorganic nitrates which have health benefits related to blood pressure.
Beets are very low in calories and have no cholesterol. But they do have the highest sugar content of all vegetables.
The beets help to lower the blood pressure, boost the stamina of body, fight inflammation reactions, possess anti- cancer properties, detoxify the body, prevents respiratory diseases, improve the digestive problems, maintains bone health, boost blood circulation and also prevents cataracts.
Nutritional value per 100g
- Energy – 180KJ
- Carbohydrates – 9.96g
- Dietary fiber – 2.0g
- Sugars – 7.96g
- Protein – 1.68g
- Vitamin A – 33 IU
- Vitamin C – 3.6mg
- Folate – 80μg
- Niacin – 0.331mg
- Calcium – 16mg
- Magnesium – 23mg
- Phosphorus – 38mg
- Potassium – 305mg
- Sodium – 77mg
- Iron – 0.79mg
- Zinc – 0.35mg
- Betaine – 128.7mg
- Beta carotene – 20 μg
Health Benefits of beetroot
1. Helps to lower blood pressure
High blood pressure causes damage to blood vessels and heart and increases the risk of stroke or heart attacks. Dietary nitrates, present in beetroots, get converted into a biological messenger molecule called nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide travels through the artery walls, send signals to the tiny muscle cells around the arteries telling them to relax .When these tiny muscle cells relax, our blood vessels dilate and blood pressure goes down.
2. Boosts up stamina
Beets contain carbohydrates that provide fuel for energy and extended sports The carbs present in beets are not heavy like the other foods and do not have side-effects. Carbohydrates are the natural building blocks of energy metabolism and thus helps in boosting energy.
Oxygen uptake is greatly increased by the high nitrate content present in beets. This increases stamina for exercising and sports. Beet juice is a good sports person drink, leads to better performance.
3. Reduce inflammation
Beets contains betalain, which has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They fight from inflammation in the body, thus reducing the risk for diseases.
4. Prevents cancer
Beets contain betalain and vitamin C which are excellent anti-oxidants. They destroy the free radicals that induce tumor growth, maintaining cells healthy. Beets are helpful in preventing skin, lung, and colon cancer.
Beetroot juice helps to detoxify the liver. This is due to the Betaine and pectin that it contains. They both induce the liver cell formation and support detoxification. The juice also prevents from the fat depositions in the liver that is caused by protein deficiency and alcohol abuse.
6. Bone health
Beets contain a good amount of calcium which helps to maintain bones and teeth making them strong. It also contains magnesium which also promote bone health, strengthening the muscles.
7. Lessen the birth defects
Beets contain folate which is good for pregnant women. It helps in the development of infant’s spinal column. Folate deficiency could lead to problems called neural tube defects.
8. Aid in respiratory problems
Beta-carotene helps to prevent lungs cancer. Vitamin C in beetroot helps to prevent asthma. It enhances the activity of white blood cells, which is basically the main line of defense against foreign bodies. It also protects against viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoan toxins.
9. Healthy eyes
Beta-carotene helps to prevent cataracts as well as macular degeneration. These are mostly age related problems. Older people generally face these issues. Beta-carotene is a type of vitamin A and is involved in many other activities also, protecting the body.
Tip: Add carrots to your diet to improve Eye Sight!
10. Reduce strokes
Potassium deficiency in the body increases the conditions of stroke. Potassium-rich beetroot is recommended to maintain heart health for that reason as well. Potassium functions by relaxing the blood vessels and this reduces blood pressure throughout the body. When the vessels and arteries are no longer contracted, blood clots are less likely to form. Clots and plaque formation lead to hearts attacks, therefore beets help in not accumulating more plaque, acting as a health booster.
11. Healthy stomach
Red beets are loaded with dietary fiber, a carbohydrate that is important for digestive health. The fiber in red beets lowers the risk of colon inflammation that causes gas, bloating, irregular bowel movements, and nausea. The fiber clears the stomach by eradicating harmful bacteria’s and feed the right ones important for health. This eradication also reduces the risk of cancer.
12. Increase sexual desires
Beets can help boost and maintain a healthy sex drive. It was used by ancient Romans as an aphrodisiac. Beets increase the blood flow to reproductive organs. This is due to their high levels of nitrates and boron. They help the body to regulate the production of human sex hormones. Increased blood circulation and more energy in beets lead to healthy sex life.
13. Maintains liver
Betaine and pectin, present in beets help to detoxify the liver. Betaine stimulates the functions of the liver and also protects the liver and bile ducts, which are important for the liver to function properly. It helps the liver to produce more bile juice which helps in digestion and thus protects the gall bladder.
14. Increase RBC production
The iron in beets increases body’s ability to produce red blood cells. Increased RBC carries more nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, boosting energy and also maintain heart health.
15. Glowing skin
Beets help to cleanse the digestive tract and blood. Antioxidants in beets kill the free radicals that harm skin cells and help to naturally slow the aging process. Vitamin C produce more skin collagen and reduce inflammation of skin cells. Beets are also a great source of fiber, boosts the metabolism which also support weight loss, making you looking fit and healthy.
Tips to add beets to your diet
- You can eat beets raw. Slice them and serve with lemon.
- You can also grill it with your salad, enjoy a healthy refreshing salad.
- You can drink beet juice. Just blend them with lemon, apples, celery and enjoy the drink. You can drink only beet juice also with nothing added in it.
- Pickled beets are just awesome, gives you a tangy and sweet taste together. Add roasted or steamed beets to a mixture of vinegar, honey, chopped gingerroot, hot peppers and a little salt. Leave for few days and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy the pickle but consume it in a month.
- Beets are also used as a coloring agent. You can also use them to add color to your food.
- You can also eat roasted beets. Heat them until they get soft and juicy, then add some spicy greens, cheese, and hazelnuts.
Beets having plenty of benefits has side effects too. But consuming the appropriate amount of beets provides you with health benefits.
Eating bets change your stool color. But there is no need to worry. It’s not blood, actually harmless.
- Beets are high in sugars, so it’s better to consume a limited amount of beets. Not more than two a day.
- Eating too many beets also worsen kidney conditions. If you’re suffering from a condition of kidney stones, better to eat beet greens with caution. Oxalates in beets, can form small crystals and contribute to the development of kidney stones.
- High oxalate concentrations, can also contribute to gout that develops when too much uric acid builds up in the body.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women must take advice from doctors before eating beets.
Eat everything in required amount. Never overdose that tin a thought of seeing benefits faster. Eat healthy, stay healthy.