Beetroots, been a part of your salad, left dark pink stains on your kitchen, and you are still hunting for its benefits. Beetroot, commonly called beets and Chukandar in Hindi, is considered one of the healthiest vegetables. And, beets are also called blood turnips. Beets are rich source of essential nutrients and provide you many nutritional benefits. So, are you ready to find out the health benefits of beetroot? Then, delve into this article.
What are Beets?
Beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant. It is one of the several varieties of Beta vulgaris and belongs to the Chenopodiaceous family. They are cultivated for their edible taproots and leaves. Apart from this, beets are also used as a medicinal plant and industrially as red food colorant. Beetroots are eaten boiled, roasted, raw, or as an ingredient of salad. There are few varieties of beetroots, they are Chioggia, Formanova, Golden beets, Detroit dark red, and Lutz green leaf. All of them differ in appearance, color and the growth. Beets are usually pinkish or red due to presence of a pigment, betalain. And, the another variety of beets are white beets, they lack betalain and do not leave any stain. Beetroots are also frequently used to make refined sugar because of its high sucrose content.
Some Beetroot Facts
- Beetroots have heart-shaped leaves and are usually 2-8 inches long.
- The beetroot fruit is called nutlet, has hard structure, and are arranged in clusters.
- In the 19th century, women used beetroot for dyeing of hair.
- Beet plant is biennial plant, it finishes its life cycle in two years.
- The world’s heaviest beetroot weighed 3.4 kg and was grown by Ian Neale from Somerset in 2001.
- During Roman times, beetroot is used as aphrodisiac, its high boron-content stimulates the production of human sex hormone.
- Leaves of beetroot are also edible and tastes like spinach.
- In ancient Greece, leaves of beetroots were used for binding wounds.
- It was also used as a mouth freshener as it eliminated the smell of garlic.
- Beetroot juice can be used as an indicator of acid and base. A drop of beetroot juice turns pink in acid and yellow in base.
- Beetroot develops small, green or reddish flowers that appear in dense spikes.
Nutritional Value of Beetroot
The nutritional value of 100 grams of raw beetroot is given below:
- Energy: 45 cal
- Carbohydrates: 9.56 g
- Protein: 1.61 g
- Total Fat: 0.17 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g
- Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
- Folates: 109 micrgrams
- Niacin: 0.334 mg
- Pantothenic acid: 0.155 mg
- Pyridoxine: 0.067 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.057 mg
- Thiamin: 0.031 mg
- Vitamin A: 33 IU
- Vitamin C: 4.9 mg
- Vitamin E: 0.04 mg
- Vitamin K: 0.2 micrograms
- Sodium: 78 mg
- Potassium: 325 mg
- Calcium: 16 mg
- Copper: 0.075 mg
- Iron: 0.80 mg
- Magnesium: 23 mg
- Manganese: 0.329 mg
- Zinc: 0.35 mg
- Beta carotene: 20 micrograms
- Betaine: 128.7 mg
Health Benefits of Beetroot
The rich nutritive value of beetroot surely promises to provide a number of health benefits. Let’s check them out.
Lowers Blood Pressure
In some studies, beetroots have been found to lower the blood pressure. This because the nitrates in beetroots converts into nitric oxide in our body and expands the blood vessel. This prevents the high blood pressure and related problems.
Drops the Risk of Heart Disease
Apart from having a positive effect on the blood pressure, it also decreases the risks of heart disease. The fiber in beet helps to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol which cause heart-related problems. Beetroots, in turn, increase the level of HDL cholesterol defense against these problems. They contain a plant alkaloid called betaine and vitamin B folates which reduce the level of homocysteine in blood, which in high level causes damage to arteries and other blood vessels.
Beetroot Benefits in Pregnancy
Beets are a rich source of vitamin B which help in the developments of infant’s spinal column. It also provides nitrate supplements to the pregnant women. Additionally, the presence of folic acid in beetroots is beneficial during pregnancy as it prevents the neural tube defects in the baby.
Prevents Certain Cancer
Beetroot contain pigment betacyanins that combats the cancerous cell growth and prevents skin, lung and colon cancer. Many studies have result into the anticancer and chemopreventive properties of beets. They also inhibit the cell mutations caused due to the production nitrosamine compounds in the body, and prevents the cancer formation.
Improves Your Respiratory Health
Abundance of vitamin C in beetroot prevents respiratory disease, like asthma. Vitamin C is an powerful antioxidants that boosts the immune system, prevents inflammation in the respiratory tract, and defends the effects of free radicals in the body. Beetroot also contains natural beta-carotene that helps to prevent lung cancer.
Protects Your Liver
The main function of liver is to remove toxic substances or detoxify your body. Consumption of beetroot can lighten its load. The betaine and amino acids found in beetroot prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver. It improves the liver function and increase the level of detoxifying enzymes in the bloodstream.
Beta-carotene in beets is a form of vitamin A that reduce the risks of cataract formation. It also protects against the age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A is also an powerful antioxidants that improves the overall health of your eyes.
Improves Sexual Health
In ancient Roman times, beets were used as aphrodisiac or sexual booster. That’s true. Significant level of boron present in beetroot facilitates the production of sex hormones. Eventually, this leads to increased fertility and improved sperm mobility. According to some studies, beets can also treat sexual weakness.
Beetroot Benefits for Athletes
Because of its high essential nutrient content, beetroots are known to boost immunity. Furthermore, it makes the muscle fuel-efficient and improves your stamina. The nitrates in beets improves blood flow and increases your energy level. These factors are more beneficial for the athletes. It also contains adequate amount of carbohydrates that provide energy for prolonged sports activities. Intake of beetroot has also been found to enhance the performance of female kayak athletes.
Makes Your Brain Work Better
As the nitrates in beetroot expands the blood vessel, the blood flow in the brain increase. This improves the function of your brain. Eating beets facilitates more blood flow in the frontal lobe of the brain, a part that execute functioning skills, like focus, organisation, etc. It improves brain neuroplasticity and improvcognitive function.
Helps Treat Anemia
Deficiency of iron causes anemia. Beetroot is a rich source of iron and its absorption is better from beets than from other vegetables. The folate in beets also fight against anemia.
Beauty Benefits of Beetroot
- Skin: Combating skin cancer is one of the beetroot benefits for skin. Vitamin A in beets maintains the mucus membranes and improves your skin health.
- Face: Wondering what are the beetroot benefits for face? It fights against free radicals and the formation of wrinkles. This is because of the potent antioxidant lutein, vitamin A, and carotenoids.
- Lips: The best beetroot benefits for lips is that it can lighten your lips naturally. A simple homemade beetroot scrub will do the magic and restore your pink lips.
- Hair: There are many beetroot benefits for hair. The components of beetroot help in preventing hair loss, dandruff, graying of hair, and promote hair growth.
The list just doesn’t end. Beetroot also helps in digestion, controls blood sugar, strengthens bones and teeth, owing all to its composition. Now, you know, you can’t beat the beets ’cause they are unbeetables. Enjoy its scrumptious treat.