When we go to the vegetable market, a vegetable that we often ignore is the humble beetroot. Beets do not have a very attractive appearance, and most of us are attuned to go by gloss.
But beets have been one of the earliest cultivated vegetables- the Egyptians used it as a source of dye (that pesky bleeding property that has spoilt many a kitchen towel but is an excellent source of organic vegetable dye), the Chinese have used it for its many health properties. The humble beet is eaten across the world and even stars as the main ingredient in high-end restaurants.
So, let’s beet it, and try and understand the unbeatable benefits of the beetroot.
The beet is worthy of all the lavish praises being heaped on to it.
1. It’s a huge source of nutrients but low on the calorie count
Beets are an excellent source of essential nutrients. Also known as nature’s candy, beets are naturally sweet, but low on the glycemic index, so people with diabetes, can have it but in moderation. It also contains a huge spectrum of minerals like folate, calcium, manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins C, and B6. Beet greens are also a source of A, C, K, and B2.
2. Keeps the blood pressure in check
High blood pressure has afflicted every household, and it’s due to lifestyle issues and stressful environment. Low sodium content and the presence of nitrates help to lower the BP.
3. Keeps you hearty and happy
It has been found to lower cholesterol which reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Since beetroots produce a high quantity of energy and help in increasing the endurance (good for athletes), thus, keeping you active.
4. Beets are good for the liver
Iron, vitamin B, betaine are essential nutrients for a healthy liver. It thins the bile and helps in its easy passage, protects from oxidative damage, and the fiber in the beet helps to flush out the toxins.
5. Prevents inflammation
Research has found that beetroot juice is most effective in treating inflammation. Inflammation is a major cause of concern for heart problems, and also in osteoporosis.
6. Anticarcinogenic properties
Beets are high in antioxidants and protect us from the effects of free radicals. Betanin helps in detoxing the body and a 2013 study has shown that it reduces multiple tumor formation.
7. Keeps the brain sharp
The nitrates in beet increase brain oxygenation, which helps in increasing the cognitive functioning of the brain. It also prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia which is the main benefit of beetroot.
You can have 100gm of beets or about 150 ml of beet juice daily. Beet greens can also be incorporated in your diet, as it is equally beneficial.
By cooking the beet too much, you may lose the essential nutrients. So, it’s best to have it as juice or grated and incorporated with salads or just simple baked. There are many delicious recipes with beets. So let's beet it and reap the bountiful benefits!