Beetroots Benefits

Beetroots Benefits, History, Recipes & Nutritional Information

Beetroots, commonly known as beets, are root vegetables that have been a part of human diets for centuries. Beets are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that have numerous health benefits. They come in various colors and sizes and can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. This superfood has gained popularity in recent years due to its unique nutritional profile and various health benefits. In this article, we will showcase the many beetroots benefits that can help improve your health and well-being.

Introduction To Beetroots

Beetroot, also known as red beet, has been naturally growing alongside the coastlines of Asia, Europe, and North Africa for centuries. This root vegetable is believed to have been consumed for its green leafy part during prehistoric times. However, the sweet red bulb beetroot that we consume today was cultivated only during the ancient Roman era, for its remedial properties for ailments related to digestion or blood. It was only in 1542 that beetroot was grown specifically for consumption in Italy and Germany.

Beetroot was embraced as a dietary staple in North Eastern Europe during the 1700s. In 1747, a chemist in Berlin, Andreas Sigismund Marggraf, along with his student, Franz Achard, discovered the method of extracting sugar from beets. Today, almost 20 percent of the world’s sugar comes from beets. Compared to sugarcane production, beetroot production requires almost four times less water, making it a popular crop choice throughout Europe and in infertile countries like Egypt. The leading producers of beet sugar currently are the United States, Russia, France, Poland, and Germany.

Beetroots contain an organic compound called geosmin, responsible for a distinctive earthy aroma known as petrichor, which is noticeable after rainfall. This gives beetroots a very earthy flavor. However, humans are sensitive to geosmin, and some individuals either love the earthy sweet taste of beets while others cannot tolerate it. Beetroots benefits though are so crucial to your health that they should be a part of your regular dietary regime because of the unique and health-boosting nutrients they provide that may not be found in other food items you consume.

Beetroots Soup Borscht
Beetroots Soup (Borscht)

Beetroots Benefits To Your Health

Lowers Your Blood Pressure

Beetroots contain nitrates that convert into nitric oxide when consumed. This process dilates your blood vessels and helps you relax, paving way for easy flow of blood through your veins. One recent study regarding beetroots benefits found that drinking a glass of beet juice lowered blood pressure by 4-5 points in just a few hours. Another study published in the 2017 National Library Of Medicine journal about beetroots benefits, found that drinking beet juice prior to cycling helped cyclists cut 11 seconds off their four-kilometer times and 45 seconds off their 16.1-kilometer times.

Stamina Boosts

Nitrates in beets enhance blood flow through the blood vessels, allowing for improved exercise endurance. One study found that subjects who drank a glass of beet juice prior to exercise were able to perform up to 16% longer. This is due to the ease of oxygen flow, which enhances tolerance for high-intensity exercises.

Reduces Risk of Cancer

Among the known beetroots benefits, research has shown that beetroots can reduce the risk of cancer. The phytonutrients responsible for the reddish color in beets are known to fight cancer. Administering beetroot extracts in simple drinking water has shown a reduction in various tumor formations in animal subjects of research. More research is currently underway.

Nutritional Value

Beetroots are a high source of immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and minerals such as manganese essential for healthy bones, and proper functioning of the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Potassium present in beets helps in the healthy functioning of nerves and muscles. Vitamin B Folate, present in beets, helps reduce the risk of birth defects, and pregnant women are often advised to include beets in their diet for this reason.

Combats Inflammation

Beetroots contain a significant amount of a beneficial nutrient known as Betaine. This nutrient provides protective benefits to various body components such as enzymes, proteins, and cells from environmental stress factors. In addition to these beetroots benefits, it has been linked to reducing inflammation, enhancing performance, and shielding internal organs, which could help prevent chronic diseases.

The World’s Healthiest Food publication has reported that “Betaine’s presence in our diet has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. As a group, the anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shown to provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits for other body systems.”

Aids Detoxification

For centuries, beetroots benefits have only been recognized for their medicinal properties in purifying the blood and liver. The presence of betalain compounds in beets is known to facilitate the detoxification process, aiding in the elimination of broken-down toxins from the body. Moreover, beets are often recommended for individuals with low hemoglobin levels due to their high iron content.

Works as Aphrodisiac

According to Greek mythology, it was believed that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, consumed beetroots regularly to enhance her appeal. While this may be purely mythological, recent studies suggest that there may be some truth to this theory. Beetroots contain tryptophan and betaine, both of which are known to stimulate feelings of well-being in humans. In addition, beetroots also contain boron, a substance that has been shown to increase sex hormone levels in humans. As far back as ancient Rome, people believed that drinking beet juice promoted amorous feelings.

Beetroots Juice With Apple
Beetroots & Apple Juice

Nutritional Value Of Beetroots

Beetroots are packed with a variety of nutrients that can contribute to a healthy and balanced diet. A single cup of raw beetroots, which weighs around 136 grams, contains about 58 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and almost no fat. Additionally, beetroots are rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folate, potassium, and manganese. With such a long list of beetroots benefits, you should incorporate it into your diet.

Lesser Known Facts About Beetroots

  • Beet greens, the leaves of the beetroot plant, are often discarded, but in prehistoric times, they were the primary part of the plant cultivated for their nutritional value. Similar to spinach, beet greens are a rich source of essential nutrients including protein, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. In fact, beet greens have a slightly higher iron content than spinach.
  • In the 19th century, women used the juice of red beets to color their lips and cheeks, leading to the popular saying “red as a beet.” Beets were also commonly used to add color to wines during this time period.
  • Renaissance writer and gastronomist, Bartolomeo Platina, discovered that consuming beetroot with garlic could neutralize the effects of “garlic breath.” If you cherish garlic, these beetroots benefits might be for you.
  • Beetroots are also rich in Betanin, a compound commonly used as a food colorant in the food industry. Betanin is often added to enhance the colors and flavors of tomato pastes, sauces, jams, jellies, ice creams, and many other food products.

Side Effects Of Beetroots

Beetroots contain betanin, the compound responsible for their distinctive red coloration. However, the human body cannot break down this compound completely, resulting in a temporary condition called beeturia. In this condition, the consumption of moderate to high amounts of beetroots causes urine and stool to turn red, which may be alarming to some individuals due to its similarity in appearance to blood in urine or stool. Although beeturia can be unsettling, it is harmless and poses no health risks.

Incorporating Beetroot Into Your Diet

Beetroot, a vegetable with a long history of use, is a highly nutritious addition to any diet. This sweet, earthy red bulb can be consumed raw or cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, grilling, steaming, roasting, or pickling. The beet greens, which are similar in taste and texture to spinach, can also be enjoyed raw in salads or cooked. Borscht, a popular sour soup in Eastern European cuisine, is made from beetroots. Beetroot paired with apple or grated radish in the salad is another favorite among many. For those who prefer drinking their vegetables, beetroot juice can be made to personal taste preferences.

Beetroot Salad: Recipe

Beetroots Salad And Beetroots Benefits
Beetroot Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 medium-sized beetroots, cooked and diced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the diced beetroot, sliced red onion, crumbled feta cheese, parsley, and mint.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the beetroot mixture and toss gently to combine.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

This beetroot salad is not only healthy but also packed with flavor, making it a perfect side dish for any meal.

Conclusion

In conclusion, beetroot is a nutritional powerhouse that offers a wide range of health benefits. From boosting athletic performance to improving cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation, the beetroots benefits cannot be overstated. Whether you prefer to consume it raw, cooked, or in juice form, adding this superfood to your diet can provide your body with essential nutrients and promote overall wellness. With its rich history, versatility in cooking, and remarkable health benefits, beetroot is certainly a vegetable that deserves a place in your diet.

Since you have been looking for beetroots benefits in order to improve your healthy lifestyle, can I interest you in this comprehensive article about the various health benefits of Pineapple?

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