The health benefits of beets include treatment of anemia, indigestion, constipation, piles, kidney disorders, dandruff, gallbladder disorders, cancer, and heart diseases. They also help prevent macular degeneration, improve blood circulation, aid in skin care, prevent cataracts, and treat respiratory problems. These benefits of beetroots can be attributed to their richness in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
What are Beets?
Beets or beetroots, as they are often called, belong to the Chenopodiaceae family. Beetroots are one of the varieties of the Beta vulgaris species. Their history stretches back to ancient times, and the earliest signs of their cultivation were approximately 4,000 years ago in the Mediterranean region. From there, they were probably transported to Babylon, and by the 9th century AD, they had made their way into the Chinese culture and cuisine. They have long been associated with sexuality and have been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years.
Beetroots are frequently added as an ingredient to salads, soups, and pickles and are also used as a natural coloring agent. Even though beets are available throughout the year, they are still considered seasonal vegetables. Besides their use as an actual food item, beets are valuable as a source of sucrose, which makes them a viable replacement for tropical sugar cane. They are frequently used to make refined sugar.
Nutritional Value of Beets
Beets have a wide range of health benefits because of their nutritional content, including vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds like carotenoids, lutein/zeaxanthin, glycine, betaine, dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus, while also being a source of beneficial flavonoids called anthocyanins. They are very low in calories, with no cholesterol, but they do have the highest sugar content of all vegetables.
Health Benefits of Beets
The roots and leaves of beets have plenty of medicinal uses which include the following:
Improve Heart Health
Beet fiber helps reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing the level of good HDL cholesterol. Having a high level of triglycerides increases the risk for heart-related problems, so an increased HDL cholesterol is a good line of defense against that. The presence of the nutrient betaine lowers the levels of homocysteine in the body which can also be harmful to the blood vessels. Thus, consumption of beetroot helps prevent cardiovascular diseases in multiple ways, so conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke are less likely to develop. The fiber in beets also works to strip excess LDL cholesterol from the walls and helps eliminate it from the body quickly.
Reduce Birth Defects
Beets are good for pregnant women since they are a source of B vitamin folate which helps in the development of infant’s spinal column. Deficiency of folate can lead to a variety of conditions called neural tube defects.
Prevent Certain Cancers
Studies have revealed that beets are good at preventing skin, lung, and colon cancer since they contain the pigment betacyanins, which counteracts cancerous cell growth. Nitrates used in meats as preservatives can stimulate the production of nitrosamine compounds in the body which can also result in cancer. Studies have now shown that beet juice inhibits the cell mutations caused by these compounds. Researchers in Hungary have also discovered that beet juice and its powdered form slows down tumor development. Adding a healthy amount of beets to your diet can keep your body cancer-free for a very long time.
Improve Liver Health
Betaines in beet juice stimulate the functions of the liver and keep it healthy.
Prevent Respiratory Problems
Beetroot is a source of vitamin C that helps prevent asthma symptoms. The natural beta-carotene in beetroot also helps to prevent lung cancer. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system in a number of ways. Besides acting as an antioxidant itself and defending against the effects of free radicals in the body, it also stimulates the activity of white blood cells, which are the body’s main line of defense against foreign bodies, as well as viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoan toxins that can result in a multitude of infections and illnesses.
The presence of beta-carotene, which is a form of vitamin A, helps prevent age-related blindness called cataracts as well as a reduction in macular degeneration that commonly occurs as we get older. Vitamin A is considered a powerful antioxidant substance that is involved in many essential activities of the body.
The flavonoids and vitamin C in beets help support the structure of capillaries.
Act as Aphrodisiac
Beets have been considered an aphrodisiac or sexual booster for millennia. Part of this stems from the fact that beets contain significant levels of the mineral boron, which has been shown to boost the production of sexual hormones. This can lead to a boost in your libido, increased fertility, sperm mobility improvement, and a reduction in frigidity in the bedroom. Your sexual life can get a legitimate and time-tested push in the right direction by adding beets to your diet.
Beets contain a significant amount of carbohydrates that provide energy for prolonged sports activities. Carbohydrates are the natural building blocks of energy metabolism, and beets provide them without any of the negative side effects of many other carbohydrate-heavy foods. When the body has a sufficient amount of carbohydrates, it is able to fuel all of the necessary functions as well, including the important metabolic reactions that keep the organs functioning efficiently.
In a related function, researchers have noticed that oxygen uptake is greatly increased by people who drink beet juice due to the high nitrate content. The results show that oxygen uptake increases by up to 16%, which is an unheard of boost and is actually more than a normal person can improve by, even when training extensively. This increases stamina for exercising and participating in sports, making beet juice an interesting sports drink that most people would never consider.
The beta-carotene present in beetroot aids in reducing or slowing macular degeneration in the eyes. Macular degeneration is often associated with an increase in free radicals, which drastically affect the premature aging process of many people. Beta-carotene is a powerful form of vitamin A, which has antioxidant capabilities and defends the eyes against the damaging effects of free radicals.
A deficiency of potassium in the body increases the risk of stroke. Therefore, potassium-rich beetroot is recommended to improve heart health for that reason as well. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relaxes the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure throughout the body. When blood pressure is reduced and the vessels and arteries are no longer contracted, blood clots are far less likely to form or get stuck, and the plaque that may have built up along the walls of your blood vessels will not accumulate to form additional clots. Clots are what eventually lead to heart attack and stroke, so beets and their potassium content are quite a health booster!
What is more impressive is that studies have shown the effect to be ongoing. Blood pressure will continue to drop over the course of 24 hours, as though beets are naturally delaying their effects so the body can adjust, rather than plummeting the blood pressure at a dangerous speed.
In ancient times, beets were used to cure fever and constipation. In the Middle Age, beetroots were also used as a remedy for digestive disorders. Finally, beet leaves are good for speeding up the healing process of wounds.
Word of Caution: Beets contain oxalates, which when consumed in excess can cause bodily fluids to crystallize. People with kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid beetroots because they could exacerbate kidney and bladder stones.
Are beets good for you?
Beetroots are very good for your health. Rich in antioxidants, they help prevent cancer and fight inflammation. Beets are rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, iron, and magnesium. They also boost liver and heart health. Apart from beetroot, beet greens are also very healthy for the body and can be included in the diet.
What is beetroot?
Beetroot is a part of the beet plant consumed all over the world. It is also known as a red beet, golden beet, table beet, or garden beet. It is one of the varieties of Beta vulgaris that is cultivated around Southern Europe and Western Asia. Apart from its use as a food, it is used as a medicinal plant and also for food coloring.
What are beets good for?
Beets are good for lowering inflammation and blood pressure. They also help to detoxify the body, boost immunity, and prevent respiratory issues. Beet greens are packed with important nutrients such as potassium, copper, magnesium, and vitamin A, K, and C. They also help lower your risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and stroke.
How to eat beets?
Beets can be eaten in many ways. But before consuming them, one needs to remove the thin skin. They can be sliced and added to a salad or simply eaten raw. You can roast them or make a pickle using vinegar. Another way to eat beets is by adding them to your soups.
Can you eat beets raw?
Are pickled beets good for you?
Pickled beets are good for health. They are low in fat and are a rich source of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and minerals like potassium and magnesium. One can easily make pickled beets at home and they are also available in grocery stores.
How many calories in beetroot?
1 cup (136 g) of raw beetroot contains 59 calories. It also contains various minerals and vitamins that promote optimal health. So add it to your diet and reap all the benefits!