Beetroots, often called as beets are root vegetables from the Chenopodiaceae family. Their scientific name is Beta vulgaris. Beetroots have been in use for more than thousand years now. They were first used in Babylon, from where they were spread to different parts of the world.
Although the root parts of the beets are most widely consumed, the delicious greens can also be eaten. It is an interesting fact that the beets were first cultivated only for their greens. The beetroots are deep red in colour, and are an excellent source of a wide variety of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Beets contain Niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, riboflavin, vitamin B1, thiamine, zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitami9n A, vitamin C and phosphorous. They are also a good source of dietary fiber. Because of their nutritional content, they impart numerous health benefits to their consumers.
Health benefits of consuming beetroot
- It prevents colon cancer in human beings. The presence of betacyanin in beetroot is responsible for its deep red color. This also acts as an anti-carcinogenic agent which enhances cellular uptake of oxygen which in turn fights against colon cancer. This is the reason why beetroot has been used since ancient times in cancer treatment.
- Beetroot is known to improve cardiovascular health because of its betaine content. Regular intake of beetroot prevents the development of vascular diseases, stroke and heart disease.
- Consumption of beetroots help in keeping your hair, bone, nails and skin healthy. This is owed to the good amount of silica present in them.
- Intake of beetroot juice helps in cleansing your liver and keeping it healthy. Research has also revealed that it can prevent liver disease even in cases where the liver the liver is affected by alcohol consumption.
- Drinking beetroot juice boosts the iron content in your blood, and thus is a natural way to combat anemia. It is recommended that women should consume beetroot juice during their menstrual days and during menopause. Regular intake of beet juice is a well known remedy for curing menstrual problems in women folks.
- Beetroot juice lowers high blood pressure dramatically.
- Consuming beetroot also helps in building a healthy immune system. Besides, it also purifies your blood and improves circulation.
- One interesting research finding states that drinking beetroot juice boosts your muscle endurance level, and helps you to exercise longer.
Tips to help you get the most out of beetroot consumption
- Get freshly harvested beetroots from a farmers market for getting enhanced health benefits out of eating beetroots. Avoid eating tinned beetroots that are saturated in vinegar.
- Try consuming beetroots in their raw state. The entire beetroot along with the skin can be eaten raw.
- Scrub the beets well and run them under tap water before eating them. They are likely to have soil sticking to them as they are the root portions.
- Beetroot can be juiced and taken early in the morning on an empty stomach to reap the beet health benefits.
- Beetroot juice consumption has to be done in moderation. Overdoing it can cause undesirable side effects such as diarrhea, cramps and/or purple colored urine excretion. Initially take the juice of only half a beetroot per week. Slowly you can raise it to 1 per week.
- If you do not prefer taking beet juice as such, mix it with other vegetable juices. Blend together a beetroot, a cucumber and celery in a blender and take this juice. It is a tastier option.
- Although raw beetroots can provide most of the health benefits of beets, cooking doesn't have much nutrient diminishing effect. So, if you do not prefer eating raw beetroots or drinking beet juice, you can slice and consume them fried, baked or steamed.