Benefits of beetroot
. Beetroot, also known simply as the beet, has been gaining in popularity as a new super food due to recent studies claiming that beets and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow. New products incorporating this highly nutritious food are sprouting up everywhere, especially in juices and drinks. Beetroot, or table beets, although from the same family as sugar beets (beta vulgaris), are genetically and nutritionally different. Sugar beets are white in color and commonly used for sugar extraction and sweetening manufactured foods. Sugar cannot be obtained from beetroot, which are most commonly found in red and gold varieties.
An introduction to beetroot
. Like many modern vegetables, beetroot was first cultivated by the Romans. By the 19th century it held great commercial value when it was discovered that beets could be converted into sugar. Today, the leading commercial producers include the USA, Russia, France, Poland and Germany. Many classic beetroot recipes are associated with central and Eastern Europe including the famous beetroot soup known asborscht. Beetroots earthy charm has resulted in its ubiquitous influence on fashionable menus and recipes. Its delicious but distinctive flavour and nutritional status have escalated it to the root you cant beat!
. Both beets and Swiss chard are different varieties within the same plant family (Amaranthaceae Chenopodiaceae) and their edible leaves share a resemblance in both taste and texture. Attached to the beets green leaves is a round or oblong root, the part conjured up in most peoples minds by the word beet. Although typically a beautiful reddish purple hue, beets also come in varieties that feature white, golden/yellow or even rainbow color roots. No matter what their color, however, beet roots arent as hardy as they look; the smallest bruise or puncture will cause red beets red purple pigments (which contain a variety of phytonutrients including betalains and anthocyanins) to bleed, especially during cooking. Betalain pigments in beets are highly water soluble, and they are also temperature sensitive. For both of these reasons, it is important to treat beets as a delicate food, even though they might seem rock solid and difficult to damage.
A history of health
. Beetroots have long been used for medicinal purposes, primarily for disorders of the liver as they help to stimulate the livers detoxification processes. The plant pigment that gives beetroot its rich, purple crimson colour is betacyanin; a powerful agent, thought tosuppress the development of some types of cancer.Beetroot is rich in fibre, exerting favourable effects on bowel function, which may assist in preventing constipation and help to lower cholesterol levels too.
. Beetroot fibre has been shown to increase the level ofantioxidant enzymesin the body, (specifically one called glutathione peroxidase), as well as increase the number ofwhite blood cells, which are responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells. Beets are also one of the richest sources ofglutamine, an amino acid, essential to the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract.
Nutritional breakdown of beetroot
. One cup of raw beets contains 58 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 4 grams of fiber) and 2 grams of protein. It provides 1% of daily vitamin A needs, 2% of calcium, 11% of vitamin C and 6% of iron. Beetroot is a rich source of folate and manganese and also contains thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B 6, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium. Beets are high in dietary nitrate, which is believed to be the reason why many of the potential health benefits of beetroot are being studied.
Fruits and vegetables
. Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle related health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like beetroot decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, overall lower weight.
Heart health and blood pressure
. A 2008 study published in Hypertension examined the effects of ingesting 500mls of beetroot juice in healthy volunteers and found that blood pressure was significantly lowered after ingestion. Researchers hypothesized this was likely due to the high nitrate levels contained in beet juice and that the high nitrate vegetables could prove to be a low cost and effective way to treat cardiovascular conditions and blood pressure. Another study conducted in 2010 found similar results that drinking beetroot juice lowered blood pressure considerably on a dose dependent basis.
. The website lovebeetroot.co.uk says the vegetable became popular in Roman times and it was used to treat fever, constipation, wounds, skin problems and was used as an aphrodisiac. Most beetroot on sale is round and red, but yellow, white and stripy versions are available.The beetroot taste is described as sweet, earthy and tender to eat. It is grown in the ground and is related to turnips, swedes and sugar beet. Beetroot has featured in recipes from top chefs including Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal.
Beetroot for blood pressure management
. Researchers have known for some time that juice may help lower blood pressure, but in 2010 UK researchers revealed that nitrate is the special ingredient in beetroot which lowers blood pressure and may help to fight heart disease. In a Queen Mary University of London study, healthy participants had to drink a glass of beetroot juice while others had a dummy (placebo) drink. Others took nitrate tablets. Blood pressure was lowered within 24 hours in people who took nitrate tablets and those who drank beetroot juice. The researchers admitted to BootsWebMD that beetroot juice is a love it or hate it kind of drink, but found people in the study didnt mind it so much when they were drinking it every day.
Beetroot for the brain and dementia
. Drinking beetroot juice increases blood flow to the brain in older people, which may be able to fight the progression of dementia, a 2010 study suggested. Beetroot contains high concentrations of nitrates, which are converted into nitrites by bacteria in the mouth. Nitrites help open blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to places lacking in oxygen.
. Researchers at Wake Forest University have found that drinking juice from beetroot can improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older adults. According to Daniel Kim Shapiro, director of Wake Forests Translational Science Center, blood flow to certain areas of the brain decrease with age and leads to a decline in cognition and possible dementia. Consuming beetroot juice as part of a high nitrate diet can improve the blood flow and oxygenation to these areas that are lacking.
. Beets contain an antioxidant known as alpha lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress induced changes in patients with diabetes. Studies on alpha lipoic acid have also shown decreases in peripheral neuropathy and/or autonomic neuropathy in diabetics.
Digestion and regularity
. Because of its high fiber content, beetroot helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract. Beets are highly nutritious and
. Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in beetroot that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
Exercise and athletic performance
. Beetroot juice supplementation has been shown to improve muscle oxygenation during exercise, suggesting that increased dietary nitrate intake has the potential to enhance exercise tolerance during long term endurance exercise. Quality of life for those with cardiovascular, respiratory, or metabolic diseases, who find the activities of daily living physically difficult because of lack of oxygenation, could be improved. Beetroot juice improved performance by 2.8% (11 seconds) in a 4 km bicycle time trial and by 2.7% (45 seconds) in 16.1 km time trial.
Potential health risks of consuming beetroot
. If improperly stored, nitrate containing vegetable juice may accumulate bacteria that convert nitrate to nitrite and contaminate the juice. High levels of nitrite can be potentially harmful if consumed. A high nitrate diet may interact with certain medications such as organic nitrate (nitroglycerine) or nitrite drugs used for angina, sildenafil citrate, tadalafil, and vardenafil. Drinking beetroot juice may cause red urine or stool. It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.
. Beetroot is extensively cultivated on the coasts of Europe, North America, and Asia and in the muddy maritime marshes of England. Beetroots are not just available in one single colour, as most people assume; it is also available in other colours like white, golden and even multi colour.The leaves and roots attached to the beets are also edible and are highly nutritious.
Amazing source of sugar
. The popularity of beets grew leaps and bounds when it was discovered that they are an amazing source of sugar. Historical evidence suggests that when the British restricted the use of sugar cane for sugar production, Napoleon ordered beet to be used for the production of sugar, which increased its popularity.
Naturally sweet in taste
. The deep red roots of beets can be cooked, boiled or baked as a vegetable. In India, it is mostly eaten raw in salads. Another common form of consuming this vegetable is by extracting its juice. Beetroot juice is naturally sweet in taste with a plethora of health benefits. Other vegetables like carrot, apples or even beet leaves are added to the beetroot juice to reduce its strong effect. You can also add herbs to enhance the flavour of the juice.
Nutritional value of beetroot juice
. Beetroots are high in folic acid and manganese. The green leaves of this root vegetable are also nutrient dense and contains Vitamin A, C and K. It contains minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, copper, sulphur, silica and chlorine. These nutrients have a favourable effect on the blood, improve red cell production, increase the level of haemoglobin and improve the nutrition of the cells with oxygen. Beet juice is one of the richest sources of nitrates. It contains trace amounts of amino acids including D amino acids and alpha amino acids. Various antioxidants like flavonoids and carotenoids are also found in this vegetable.
Exhibit anti cancer activity
. Research has revealed betanin in beets may exhibit anti cancer activity. The betacyanin that the juice contains prevents the formation of cancerous tumours and detoxifies the body from harmful toxins. It is known to reverse cancer like leukaemia, lung, skin, and breast, prostate and testicular cancer. It has known to have critical impact on people suffering from stomach cancer by inhibiting cancer cell mutation. The betanin in beet juice has been proven to fight both skin and liver tumours when treated with beet juice. Cigarette smokers should especially incorporate beet juice in their diet to expel cancer forming agents. Moreover, a German study concluded that beetroot juice was rated as the most popular alternative cancer treatment.
Beetroot contains a pigment
. Beetroot contains a pigment, which is known as betalain. This is a powerful antioxidant, anti inflammatory and fungicidal. The high antioxidant content and phenolic compounds of this juice prevents cell and DNA damage which helps to remove damaging and ageing free radicals.It also prevents oxidative stress which is common among people of this generation.
Raw oxalic acid found in beetroot juice
. Raw oxalic acid found in beetroot juice is known to be a good solvent of inorganic calcium deposits in the body. The inorganic calcium deposits are considered as the main reason for chronic diseases. Thus, regular consumption of beet root juice relieves from diseases related to calcification like arthritis, kidney stones, and varicose veins and so on.
Improving the digestive health
. Beetroot juice is also associated with improving the digestive health, especially fat digestion as well as bodys metabolism. Beet juice perfectly cleanses intestines, stimulates their performance and improves peristalsis. It also stimulates the nerves in the intestine. It even helps people suffering from hypochlorhydria, a condition which increases stomach acidity. The fiber content in beet keeps waste materials moving through the small and large intestine at a great pace.
Beneficial for pregnant women
. Beetroot juice is extremely beneficial for pregnant women as the folic acid found in beet juice prevents various birth defects and even provides a healthy pink skin tone to the baby. It aids in tissue growth and proper development of babys spinal cord.
Good source of carotenoids
. Beetroot is a good source of carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. These two compounds are extremely beneficial for the health of the eyes, especially retina.Drinking raw beet juice helps to absorb the carotenoids easily. These carotenoids get destroyed easily while cooking so please consume it raw.
Improves physical activit
. Drinking beet juice regularly improves physical activity and reduces negative effects of exercise in the body. It enhances energy and stamina which motivates people to work out harder for the day. Beetroot juice has also shown to help the body respond better to exercise by balancing oxygen use and increasing stamina.
Can reduce blood pressure level
. 1 cup of beetroot juice can reduce blood pressure level; the juice provides an excellent blood pressure lowering ability. Studies done on more than 200 people proved that people who drank beets juice showed clear reduction in blood pressure with the systolic blood pressure showing the best reduction. It lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol level in the body.
. Drinking one glass of beet juice daily aids blood flow to the brain and halts age related ailments like dementia. Beet juice energizes the elderly to lead active lives by widening blood vessels and by reducing the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during physical activities.
Beetroot juice is rich in iron and antioxidants
. Beetroot juice is rich in iron and antioxidants, both of which are essential for proper blood supply. The iron content in beetroot juice is useful to people who suffer from anemia or low hemoglobin problem. It facilitates iron absorption which in turn increases blood count and improves blood circulation and oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells. Nitrates in beetroot juice are compounds which improve the blood flow throughout the body, including brain, heart and muscles. Natural nitrates increases molecule in the blood vessels called nitric oxide, which opens up the blood vessel and allows more oxygen to flow in the body.
Protects the liver and bile ducts
. Betanin in beet juice stimulates the function of cells and protects the liver and bile ducts. Fiber in beet increases production of detoxifying enzymes in the liver. It benefits the liver by protecting against fatty depositions caused by alcohol abuse, protein deficiency and other reasons.
. The juice effectively boosts the immune system and fights inflammation. It protects from recurrent infections and age related degeneration. In other words, it provides more endurance, less fatigue and increased stamina which provides more vitality and energy to lead an energetic life. The magnesium present in this juice eases muscle tension, stress and anxiety.
Great benefit to people
. Taking beetroot juice can be a great benefit to people who are suffering from glandular fever or Epstein Barr infection. Botanically, this tuberous root vegetable belongs in the Amarathaceae family, in the beta genus. Its scientific name is Beta vulgaris. Swiss chard is another member in the beta genus grown for its edible leaves.
Beets are high in fibers
. Beets are high in fibers and low in calories and are often used in the weight loss diet due to the soluble fibers present in it. Inclusion of beetroot juice in your diet can help metabolism in obese and overweight people and can treat obesity in overweight people holistically.
Beneficial in the prevention and cure of skin inflammations
. Drinking beetroot juice regularly is beneficial in the prevention and cure of skin inflammations like acne and boils. Its anti inflammatory property prevents outburst of acne and pimples. Care must be taken as it does not completely cure it. So visit a doctor if problem persists.
. It purifies the blood from within and cleanses toxins and excess water from the body, imparting a healthy glow to the face. Applying beet juice on the skin will keep the skin hydrated and supple. Regular consumption will give you a fair and glowing complexion. Moreover, it promotes removal of the skins dead cells and replenishes it with new ones that give the skin a radiant glow.
Neutralizing free radicals effects
. Since it has powerful antioxidants, it benefits the skin and protects it from premature ageing by neutralizing free radicals effects. It also works as an anti ageing substance and prevents wrinkles and fine lines. Lycopene found in beetroot juice maintains the skin elasticity and protects the skin from harsh sun rays. Thus, it protects against sun burn and skin cancer.
Complexion a pinkish tinge
. Using beetroot juice as a mask can give your complexion a pinkish tinge. Mix 1 tablespoon of carrot juice with 1 tablespoon of beetroot juice. Apply it all over the face with a cotton ball. Leave it for 10 minutes and then wash off. Garden beet is very low in calories (provide only 45 kcal/100 g), and contain zero cholesterol and small amount of fat. Its nutrition benefits come particularly from fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant derived anti oxidants.
Remove blemishes and dark spots
. You can also add beet juice to your clay mask, like multani mitti to make your skin fair and flawless. It will remove blemishes and dark spots if used regularly for a month. Beets are small herbaceous plants with broad dark green leaves. Its underground taproot matures in 50 60 days of sowing and weighs about 100 to 150 g. If not harvested at the right time, it keeps growing in size to more than a pound and may develop surface cracks, lose taste and become unappetizing because of excess fiber content.
Beetroot juice contains carbohydrates
. Beetroot juice contains carbohydrates, protein, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and Vitamin B and C. All these nutrients enable blood circulation in the scalp which promotes healthy hair growth.Raw beets are an excellent source of folates. It contains about 109
Beetroot juice helps to eliminate itchy scalp
. Beetroot juice helps to eliminate itchy scalp and scalp dryness by its anti pruritic properties. Its enzymatic properties destroy excessive dead cells and dry conditions of the scalp. It moisturizes the scalp and alleviates dryness and itchiness that accompanies a dandruff and oily scalp. Beet juice mixed with vinegar will cleanse the scalp off its dandruff and even psoriasis.
Reddish tint to your hair
. Beetroot juice can be mixed with henna as a natural dye to get auburn hues.As it is chemical free, it will keep the hair healthy and beautiful.You can also rinse you hair with pure beetroot juice diluted with water to give a reddish tint to your hair.
Carotenoids in beet juice improve the quality
. Carotenoids in beet juice improve the quality, thickness and shine of the hair. It assists in blood circulation which nourishes the hair follicles, which in turn promotes hair growth and produces good quality hair. The natural silica in beetroot improves the general health and gloss of the hair. Mix beet juice with ginger and massage your scalp with this mix. This will prevent hair loss and baldness.
Beetroot juice is laxative and diuretic
. Beetroot juice is laxative and diuretic, so excess consumption can cause intestinal or stomach upset. Different cultivars exist; red, orange yellow and white verities. The unique crimson red color of red beet is due to betalain pigments, such as betanin and betacyanin. Yellow varieties are rich in
Beet juice is very powerful
. Beet juice is very powerful so you require just a little dosage to get the benefits. You can increase the amount from half a glass to 1 glass gradually. Fresh tubers contain small amounts of vitamin C; however, its top greens are rather excellent sources of this vitamin. 100 g of beet greens provide 30 mg or 50% of RDA. Vitamin C is one of the powerful natural antioxidants, which helps the human body scavenge deleterious free radicals one of the reasons for cancer development.
Beets are natures Viagra
. Seriously. One of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac. And thats not just urban legend science backs it up. Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.
Beets are high in many vitamins and minerals
. Potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta carotene, beta cyanine; folic acid. These are but a few of the many nutrients, vitamins and minerals that can be found in beets and beet greens. Beets are particularly beneficial to women whom are pregnant, as the vitamin B and iron are very beneficial to new growth cells during pregnancy and replenishing iron in the womans body.
Beets cleanse the body
. They are a wonderful tonic for the liver, works as a purifier for the blood, and can prevent various forms of cancer. Nuff said, right? Tastes good and prevents cancer? Sign me up! The root is also rich source of B complex vitamins such as niacin (B 3), pantothenic acid (B 5), pyridoxine (B 6) and minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
Beets help your mental health
. Beets contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well being, similar to chocolate. Beets can also lower your blood pressure. So if youre already steamed about not eating beets, you can get a two fer by diving into them right away.
Beets are used as a stomach acid tester
. How in the world does that work? Glad you asked. If you are eating a lot of beets or beet juice, and your pee turns pink, guess what? You have low stomach acid. Pee still clear? Ratchet it up and get juicing (use the greens too)! Nutritionists use beets and beet juice to test stomach acid levels, so stay ahead of the curve by adding beets to your diet now.
Beets are a high source of energy
. At the same time they are low in calories and high in sugar (although the sugar is released into your system gradually, as opposed to chocolate). Very few foods found in the natural world are as beneficial as beets in this regard. Beets are a wonderful addition to any dietary need. With their high volume of nutrients, delicious taste, and multitude of uses, anyone can jump right into beets without missing a beat.
Bet you didnt know
. Beets were served in space when the astronauts of Apollo 18 met up with their brethren in Soyuz 19. They served borscht. Further, the root compose of moderate levels of potassium. 100 g fresh root hold 325 mg or 7% of daily requirements. Potassium lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism inside the cells by countering detrimental effects of sodium.
. If you are juicing, but havent gotten to veggies yet, give beets a try. Use a small amount at first to supplement your already yummy fruit smoothies. In the store, choose fresh, bright, firm textured beets with rich flavor and uniform size. Avoid those with slump looking or soft in consistency, over mature and large. Whenever possible, go for organic to get maximum health benefits.
Reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks and strokes
. Research has shown that beetroot can help reduce blood pressure as well as its associated risks such as heart attacks and strokes. This is because the high content of nitrates in beetroot produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. A daily dose of 250ml of beetroot juice or 1 to 2 cooked beetroot (approx. 100g) can help dramatically reduce blood pressure and its associated risks. For more information on heart health, help, facts and lifestyle advice, visit the British Heart Foundation.
Powerful antioxidant properties
. Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are believed to help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, in turn protecting artery walls and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. In the farmer markets, oftentimes the roots with intact top greens put for sale. If you are buying whole vegetable, severe tops from its root as soon as possible since, they rob moisture and nutrition from the roots.
. Beetroot contains folic acid which is essential for normal tissue growth. Folic acid is crucial to the development of a babys spinal cord during the first three months of pregnancy and can help prevent spinal cord defects such as spina bifida. Beetroot also contains iron so is a fab pick me up for mums to be suffering from fatigue during pregnancy. Expectant mums must remember though that cooked beetroot has lower levels of folic acid than raw beetroot. For more information on the importance of folic acid during pregnancy, visit the NHS website. For more information on foods containing folic acid see Bountys Folic Acid Factfile.
Reduces risk of osteoporosis
. Beetroot contains the mineral silica. This helps the body to utilise calcium, which is important for musculo skeletal health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Beet greens, just like other greens, should be washed thoroughly in clean running water and rinsed in saline water for about 30 minutes in order to remove soil, sand, dirt, and any insecticide residues before use.
. Beetroot contains soluble fibre, which has also been shown to have cholesterol lowering capabilities. It also contains carotenoids and flavonoids, which help prevent LDL or
Beetroot is virtually fat free
. Beetroot is virtually fat free and low in calories. Although it has a medium GI (Glycaemic Index) of 64, It has an extremely low GL (Glycaemic Load) of 2.9 which means its converted into sugars very slowly and therefore helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Treats anaemia and fatigue
. Beetroots iron content means its good for those with anaemia and fatigue. Top beet greens should be used while they are fresh. Beetroot, however, can be kept in the refrigerator set at high relative humidity for few weeks. Beeturia is a harmless condition of passing red or pink color urine after eating beets and its top greens. The condition can be found in around 10 15% of the populations who are genetically unable to break down betacyanin pigment.
Helps slow progression of dementia
. A recent study by Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA has shown that the high content of nitrates in beetroot may also help fight the progression of dementia, as nitric oxide in the blood (produced by the nitrates in beetroot) also helps increase blood flow to the brain. Beetroots folic acid may also play a part as studies suggest it can help protect against Alzheimers and dementia.
Beets are an ancient
. Beets are an ancient, prehistoric food that grew naturally along coastlines in North Africa, Asia, and Europe. Originally, it was the beet greens that were consumed; the sweet red beet root that most people think of as a beet today wasnt cultivated until the era of ancient Rome.
Lower Your Blood Pressure
. Drinking beet juice may help to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4 5 points.The benefit likely comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
Boost Your Stamina
. If you need a boost to make it through your next workout, beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 percent longer.4 The benefit is thought to also be related to nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high intensity exercise.
. Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. Its also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.5 As reported by the Worlds Healthiest Foods.
Anti Cancer Properties
. The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi organ tumor formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water, for instance, while beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers.
Rich in Valuable Nutrients and Fiber
. Beets are high in immune boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
. The betalin pigments in beets support your bodys Phase 2 detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body. Traditionally, beets are valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify your blood and your liver.
Eat Your Beet Greens Too
. If you simply throw away the green leafy tops to your beets, youre doing yourself a disservice, as these are among the healthiest part of the plant. Besides containing important nutrients like protein, phosphorus, zinc, fiber, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, beet greens also supply significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Beet greens actually have even more iron than spinach (another leafy green in the same botanical family) as well as a higher nutritional value overall than the beetroot itself.
How to select and store
. Good quality, fresh beetroots should have their greens intact. The greens should be fresh looking with no signs of spoilage. The beetroot should be firm, smooth, and a vibrant red purple, not soft, wrinkled or dull in colour. Fresh beets with the greens attached can be stored for three to four days in the fridge, but beets with the greens removed can be stored in the fridge for two to four weeks. Raw beets do not freeze well since they tend to become soft on thawing. Freezing cooked beetroot is fine as it retains its flavour and texture.
. Slightly limp greens can be restored to freshness if stored in the refrigerator in water. However, if its too late, you can simply cut them off.Wash beets gently under cool running water, taking care not to tear the skin. It is this tough outer layer that helps keep most of the beetroots pigments inside the vegetable. The leaves can be steamed lightly to retain their nutritional quality. When boiling beetroot, leave the beets with their root ends and one inch of stem attached and dont peel them until after cooking since beet juice can stain your skin.
. For some people, eating beetroot may induce beeturia; a red or pink colour in the urine or stool. It is totally harmless! Beet greens and, to a lesser extent, the roots contain high levels ofoxolate. Individuals with a history of oxalate containing kidney stones should avoid over consuming beetroot.
Prevents plaque formation and reduces
. Beetroot is known to contain large amounts of soluble fibres, flavanoids and betacyanin. Betacyanin is the compound that gives beetroot its purplish red colour and is also a powerful antioxidant. It helps reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and does not allow it to deposit on the walls of the artery. This protects the heart from potential heart attacks and strokereducing the need for medication.
Is great for pregnant mums
. Another amazing quality of the root is that it has an abundant supply of folic acid. Folic acid is important for pregnant mums and unborn babies because it is an essential component for the proper formation of the unborn childs spinal cord, and can protect the child from conditions such as spina bifida (is a congenital disorder where the childs spinal cord does not form completely and in most cases looks like it has been divided into two at the base). Beetroot also gives mums to be that extra energy boost required during pregnancy. Read more about why women need folic acid during pregnancy.
. Beetroot is packed with mineral silica, an important component for the body to use calcium efficiently. Since calcium makes up our bones and teeth, having a glass of beetroot juice a day could help keep conditions such as osteoporosis and brittle bone disease at bay. Heres some information on how you can prevent osteoporosis.
Keeps diabetes under check
. For all you diabetics out there, fulfil your sweet craving with a little beetroot. Since it contains sugars, is fat free, low in calories and has a medium glycaemic index it is just what the doctor ordered. A medium glycaemic index means that it releases sugars very slowly into the blood. This property helps keep a persons blood sugar levels low while satiating that sugar craving.
. It is a common myth that because beetroot is reddish in colour, it replaces lost blood and is therefore good to treat anaemia. While this may sound a bit outrageous to many, there is a partial truth hidden in the myth. Beetroot contains a lot of iron. Iron helps in the formation of haemagglutinin, which is a part of the blood that helps transport oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. It is the iron content and not the colour that helps treat anaemia. Read more about the causes of anaemia.
Helps relieve fatigue
. A study presented at the American Diabetics associations conference stated that beetroot helps boost a persons energy. They said that due to its nitrate content it helped dilate the arteries thereby helping in the proper transportation of oxygen to various parts of the body, increasing a persons energy. Another theory was that because the root is a rich source of iron, it helps in improving a persons stamina. Whatever the source, a pick me up at the end of a tiring day can be just what one needs.
Improves sexual health and stamina
. Also known as
Beats constipation and keeps the stomach healthy
. Because of its high soluble fibre content beetroot is a great laxative. It cleanses the colon and clears out the stomach helping in regularising ones bowel movements. Here area few home remedies to relieve constipation. Beet greens contain oxalic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in some vegetables, which may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people. It is therefore; in individuals with known oxalate urinary tract stones are advised to avoid eating excess greens. (Medical Disclaimer).
Boosts brain power and may treat dementia
. A study performed by the University of Exeter, UK, showed that drinking beetroot juice could increase a persons stamina by 16 percent, because of its nitrate content. Known to increase the oxygen uptake by the body, the study also found that because of this one factor, it could also help in the proper functioning of the brain and beat the onset of dementia. It has also been seen that nitrate when converted to nitrite helps in the better transmission of neural impulses, making the brain work better. Heres how weight loss can help you to boost memory.
Promote Optimal Health
. The pigments that give beets their rich colors are called betalains. There are two basic types of betalains: betacyanins and betaxanthins. Betacyanins are pigments are red violet in color. Betanin is the best studied of the betacyanins. Betaxanthins are yellowish in color. In light or dark red, crimson, or purple colored beets, betacyanins are the dominant pigments. In yellow beets, betaxanthins predominate, and particularly the betaxanthin called vulgaxanthin. All betalains come from the same original molecule (betalamic acid). The addition of amino acids or amino acid derivatives to betalamic acid is what determines the specific type of pigment that gets produced.
Anti Inflammatory Benefits
. Many of the unique phytonutrients present in beets have been shown to function as anti inflammatory compounds. In particular, this anti inflammatory activity has been demonstrated for betanin, isobetanin, and vulgaxanthin. One mechanism allowing these phytonutrients to lessen inflammation is their ability to inhibit the activity of cyclo oxygenase enzymes (including both COX 1 and COX 2). The COX enzymes are widely used by cells to produce messaging molecules that trigger inflammation. Under most circumstances, when inflammation is needed, this production of pro inflammatory messaging molecules is a good thing. However, under other circumstances, when the body is undergoing chronic, unwanted inflammation, production of these inflammatory messengers can make things worse. Several types of heart disease
Support of Detoxification
. The betalin pigments present in beets have repeatedly been shown to support activity in our bodys Phase 2 detoxification process. Phase 2 is the metabolic step that our cells use to hook activated, unwanted toxic substances up with small nutrient groups. This hook up process effectively neutralizes the toxins and makes them sufficiently water soluble for excretion in the urine. One critical hook up process during Phase 2 involves an enzyme family called the glutathione S transferase family (GSTs). GSTs hook toxins up with glutathione for neutralization and excretion from the body. The betalains found in beet have been shown to trigger GST activity, and to aid in the elimination of toxins that require glutathione for excretion. If you are a person who thinks about exposure to toxins and wants to give your body as much detox support as possible, beets are a food that belongs in your diet.
Other Health Benefits
. Its important to note two other areas of potential health benefits associated with beets: anti cancer benefits and fiber related benefits. The combination of antioxidant and anti inflammatory molecules in beets makes this food a highly likely candidate for risk reduction of many cancer types. Lab studies on human tumor cells have confirmed this possibility for colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular cancers. Eventually, we expect to see large scale human studies that show the risk reducing effect of dietary beet intake for many of these cancer types.
Tips for Preparing Beets
. Rinse gently under cold running water, taking care not to tear the skin, which helps keep the health promoting pigments inside. Since beet juice can stain your skin, wearing kitchen gloves is a good idea when handling beets. If your hands become stained during the cleaning and cooking process, simply rub some lemon juice on them to remove the stain.
The Healthiest Way of Cooking Beets
. Cook beets lightly. Studies show beets concentration of phytonutrients, such as betalains, is diminished by heat. We recommend healthy steaming beets for 15 minutes to maximize their nutrition and flavor. Fill the bottom of the steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to a rapid boil Add beets, cover, and steam for 15 minutes. Beets are cooked when you can easily insert a fork or the tip or knife into the beet. Peel beets by setting them on a cutting board and rubbing the skin off with a paper towel. Wearing kitchen gloves will help prevent your hands from becoming stained. Transfer to a bowl and serve with our Mediterranean Dressing and your favorite optional ingredients. For details see 15 Minute Beets.
. Consumption of beets can cause urine to become red or pink in color. This conditioncalled beeturiais not considered harmful. About 5 15% of U.S. adults are estimated to experience beeturia following consumption of beets in everyday amounts. One area in which beeturia may be a potential concern involves problems with iron metabolism. Persons with iron deficiency, iron excess, or known problems with the metabolism of iron are more likely to experience beeturia. If you experience beeturia and also suspect iron deficiency, iron excess, or iron metabolism to be a problem affecting your health, we recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider to determine your best dietary and health steps.
. Its possible for beet consumption to bring a red color into your bowel movements as well, although this outcome tends to be more common in children than adults. Once again, the production of a reddish color in the stool due to beets is not considered harmful. Its important, however, to be confident that the reddening of the stool is caused by the pigments found in beets and not by the presence of fresh or dried blood. If you experience reddening of the stool and have not recently (with the past 24 48 hours) consumed beets, we recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider to determine the reason for this change in your stool color.
Beets and Oxalates
. Beets (notably beet greens) are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, naturally occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating beet greens. Laboratory studies have shown that oxalates may also interfere with absorption of calcium from the body. Yet, in every peer reviewed research study weve seen, the ability of oxalates to lower calcium absorption is relatively small and definitely does not outweigh the ability of oxalate containing foods to contribute calcium to the meal plan. If your digestive tract is healthy, and you do a good job of chewing and relaxing while you enjoy your meals, you will get significant benefits
. Beets are unique in their rich combination of betalain pigments. Both betacyanins (red violet pigments) and betaxanthins (yellow pigments) can be found in beets. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are betalains that have gotten special attention in beet research. Beets are also an excellent source of folate and a very good source of manganese, potassium, and copper. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron, and vitamin B6.
In Depth Nutritional Profile
. In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in depth nutritional profile for Beets is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
. One of the major benefits of beet juice it that it contains a color pigment called betalain. This is a powerful antioxidant, anti inflammatory, fungicidal and aid in detoxification substance. There is research that indicates that betalain may exhibit anti cancer activity. Betalains may occur in any part of the plant, including the petals of flowers, fruits, leaves, stems, and roots.
Benefits of Beet Juice Overview
. Traditionally, people use beet juice to heal: anemia, liver, skin, kidneys, lymphatic circulation, tiredness, eye, liver, skin problems, detoxification, cancer. Beet juice may kill fungi, is a strong antioxidant and has anti inflammatory propperties. Beet juice may cause both your stool and urine to turn red. Dont be surprised if this happens! Beet juice benefits are very powerful. You only need a little bit of juice to get the benefits. Slowly increase the amount from 1 ounce to 2 ounce a week. Drink the juice raw because the most beneficial substances (like betalains) are lost when cooked. In addition, the oxalic acid in the beet becomes harmful when cooked, but is (in moderation) beneficial when raw(according to juice and nutrition experts Dr Walker, David Wolfe and Gabriel Cousins). Juice the whole beets: roots plus greens. The greens contain most of the healthy minerals and vitamins.
Reverses Chronic Diseases
. The raw oxalic acid in beet juice is known to be a good solvent of inorganic (= bad) calcium deposits in the body. World no 1 raw food teacher David Wolfe suspects that inorganic calcium deposits are the main cause of most chronic diseases.
Reliefs Skin Problems
. Drinking beet juice regularly may be beneficial in the prevention and cure of inflammations including skin inflammation like acne. The juice also helps eliminate blemishes and promotes healthy skin and hair growth. Beetroot is a dark red vegetable with an acquired taste which has had a lot of coverage in the news. It has been linked with better stamina, improved blood flood and lower blood pressure.
Prevents Birth Defects
. 100 grams of beet root provides 27% of the RDA for folic acid known to prevent various birth defects in babies. The beetroot taste is described as sweet, earthy and tender to eat. It is grown in the ground and is related to turnips, swedes and sugar beet. Beetroot has featured in recipes from top chefs including Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal.
. Raw beet greens contain two carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin. Science reports them to be extremely beneficial for the eye especially the retina. One of the benefits of beet juice (raw) is that you can absorb the carotenoids easily while maintaining the value these carotenoids are easily destroyed when cooked.
. The combination of iron (14% RDA) (a strong oxidant allows oxygen in the blood) in combination with the antioxidants (127% RDA) (prevent from damage from oxidants) in beet, make iron in beets a valuable source of iron. Therefore, beet juice benefits anemia reversal. (To treat anemia, it is important to also have enough vitamin B12 which is found mostly in animal food and some sea algae e.g. (E3 Live and marine phytoplankton))
. The betaine is one of the huge benefits of beet juice. It stimulates the function of liver cells and protects the liver and bile ducts. Beet fiber increased production of detoxifying enzymes in the liver (SOD, catalase, glutathione). Researchers have known for some time that juice may help lower blood pressure, but in 2010 UK researchers revealed that nitrate is the special ingredient in beetroot which lowers blood pressure and may help to fight heart disease.
More Benefits of Beet Juice
. Further beet juice is reported to be excellent in healing gout, kidney and gall bladder. It lowers homocysteine, improves production of stomach acid, reduce serum cholesterol and normalize blood pressure. If youre considering beetroot as one of your 5 a day, it contains potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants and soluble fibre.
. As mentioned earlier, it is important to consume beets raw. The powerful betalain reduces significantly when cooked and the oxalic acid may form calcium stones when heated. The researchers admitted to BootsWebMD that beetroot juice is a love it or hate it kind of drink, but found people in the study didnt mind it so much when they were drinking it every day.
. Drink beets as a juice. Beet juice goes well with carrots, cucumber and celery. People with very high blood pressure can end up being on multiple tablets, so a more natural approach could prove popular if the initial research results are confirmed.
. Peel, grate and eat as a salad (i.e. with raisins, grated carrot and apples!) Beetroot contains high concentrations of nitrates, which are converted into nitrites by bacteria in the mouth. Nitrites help open blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to places lacking in oxygen.
. Peel, grate and add purified water, apple cider vinegar (unpasteurized), sea salt, stevia or raw agave (and herbs). Let stand for at least 8 hours or overnight at room temperature. Previous studies have shown that nitrites widen blood vessels, but US researchers writing in Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry, the peer reviewed journal of the Nitric Oxide Society, say theirs was the first to find that nitrites also increase blood flow to the brain.
. Further adding to the health benefits of beetroot, the vegetable is also great forproviding energy and boosting stamina. In one study, participants consumed a selection of baked beetroot (200 grams) before one run and the same amount of cranberries before a second run. The researchersdiscovered thatbeetroot outperformed cranberries in boosting peak performance by a wide margin.
. The main factor to keep in mind, when reading about all the positive effects of beetroot juice, is that it is in most areas effective, since it contains extremely active antioxidants and phenolic compounds.The high anti oxidant content will help prevent cell and DNA damage and help remove damaging and aging free radicals.
Digestive help and regulating the metabolism
. Taking the juice is also associated with improving the digestive health as well as the bodys metabolism. Apart from helping with the digestion of food, especially fat digestion, it also stimulates the nerves in the intestine. The nutrient also helps individuals with hypochlorhydria, a condition causing abnormally low levels of stomach acid, by increasing stomach acidity.
Glandular fever Epstein Barr virus
. When beetroot was used on Epstein Barr virus (glandular fever) early antigen (EBV EA) induction, using Raji cells, revealed a high order of activity and taking beetroot juice could therefore be of benefit to people suffering from glandular fever / Epstein Barr infection.
Obesity and overweight
. In a clinical trial it was concluded that beetroot juice could help the metabolism in obese and overweight patients and that the inclusion of the juice could be important when treating obesity in overweight people holistically. Previous studies have shown that nitrites widen blood vessels, but US researchers writing in Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry, the peer reviewed journal of the Nitric Oxide Society, say theirs was the first to find that nitrites also increase blood flow to the brain.
Detoxifying the liver
. A clinical study showed that the introduction of beetroot juice helped the liver detoxify and clear it from oxidative stress, while also protecting the liver cells DNA. The glycine betaine and methionine contained in the juice supports liver detoxification and stimulates the function of liver cells. It also protects the liver and bile ducts, thereby improving liver, kidney and bladder functioning and overall health.
. After the catastrophe at Chernobyl, Russian scientists searched for compounds that could be used as radiation protectors and found that concentrates of dietary fibers (CDF) in beetroot (containing lignin) are a very effective agent when used for radiation protection and radiation poisoning.
. If you have problems with your kidneys or gall bladder it is advisable to first contact your medical practitioner before taking beetroot juice on a daily basis, as the juice is rich in oxalate. Please also check if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in beetroot juice. After consumption of the juice, you may have red urine (Beeturia) and red stools, but this is a normal manifestation when taking beetroot juice.