Beetroots have an amazing nutritional profile. They contain antioxidants and essential nutrients that may help enhance your stamina, promote healthy detox, and reduce the risk of various diseases.
Since they are rich in valuable nutritional compounds, many cuisines all over the world are adding this superfood to many of their recipes.
But what exactly can you expect from beetroots and how can they support your health? Also, what are the easiest and tastiest ways to add them to your diet?
This article will explore the uses of beets, and potential roles they can play in your health and wellness.
What is Beetroot?
Beet is the common term used to describe the members of Beta vulgaris. It is also used to describe the plant's edible root, which is regarded as a vegetable.
All the other nine species in the Beta genus are called beet, but Beta vulgaris is the most commercially known as it is also the most common.
Beet not only provides nutritional value for humans but also for various animals like insect larvae. And thanks to human creativity, Beta vulgaris now has varieties.
The four main cultivar groups include the sugar-producing beet, the garden beet, the mangel-wurzel, and the Swiss chard.
Today, sugar beets make up about thirty percent of the world’s production of sugar.
Beetroot: Interesting Facts
Beetroots made it to the outer space! During the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975, USSR’s Soyuz 19 cosmonauts welcomed the astronauts from Apollo 18 by serving beet soup in zero gravity.
Beetroot also penetrated world records! According to the Guinness World Records, the heaviest beetroot in the world weighed 23.4 kilograms or 51.48 pounds and was presented by Ian Neale on the 7th of September 2001, at the National Giant Vegetable Championship in Somerset, UK.
The Victorians used beet juice as a natural hair dye since the 16th
What are the Uses of Beetroot?
Beetroots are used in various ways. Some of its common uses include the following:
Beet as a food
The leaves and the fleshy root of the beet are eaten. The garden beet and the Swiss chard are the common beets used as a food.
They can be canned as a vegetable, cooked, or added to a soup. But the most known health food made from the plant is garden beetroot juice.
The roots of the beet are rich in vitamin C, while the leaves contain significant amounts of vitamin A. They are also packed with antioxidants, dietary fiber, and folate.
Another essential nutrient contained in beet is the betaine, which is known to promote cardiovascular health.
Beet as a medicine
Beet was also used for medicinal purposes during ancient times. The Romans used beet to treat constipation and fevers among other illnesses.
It was also known as an aphrodisiac, helping to address several sexual dysfunctions. Beetroot was also considered an effective treatment for blood illnesses and digestive problems.
Beet in sugar production
Table sugar is derived from either sugar cane or sugar beets, which contain higher sugar content than sweet corn and carrots. The sugar contained in sugar beet is typically between 15 and 20 percent.
Today, sugar beet contributes roughly 30 percent of sugar production all over the world.
Sugar beets are most prominent in regions that have cooler climates such as northern Japan, United States, and eastern and northwest Europe.
Other beet uses
Beet is also used as a food for animals like the insect larvae, and as an ornamental plant.
What are the Benefits of Beetroot?
Due to the high amounts of nutrients that it contains, beetroots are said to help improve one’s health. Below are some of the amazing beetroot benefits:
Beetroots give you a clearer skin
Beetroots also help purify the blood. As a result, your skin looks healthier and clearer.
Beetroots also contain vitamin C, which promotes an even skin tone and gets rid of blemishes while making it naturally glowing.
Beetroots regulate your blood glucose
Even though it contains high amounts of sugar, beetroots are still helpful in regulating blood sugar levels. A research was conducted to identify the potential hypoglycemic properties of beetroot.
The study concluded that a daily intake of 10 percent of beetroot juice can lessen blood glucose, suggesting the potential role of beetroot juice in aiding people with diabetes.
Beetroots help regulate your blood pressure
Beetroot juice was found to help lower blood pressure. A study conducted on free-living healthy adults showed that beetroot juice, included in a normal diet, can reduce blood pressure.
Researchers attributed the result to the nitrates that are naturally occurring in beets.
These nitrates promote nitric oxide in the blood vessels, boosting the oxygen flow to the heart, brain, and muscles, which in turn lower blood pressure.
Beetroots aid in digestion
One of the beetroot health benefits is its ability to improve digestion. It contains betaine, a chemical compound that increases the acid levels in the stomach to enhance digestion.
Aside from regulating your digestive processes, beetroot juice can also help ease constipation. They are also packed with dietary fiber to promote overall digestive health.
Grabbing a glass of beetroot juice proves to be helpful if you’re suffering from an upset stomach.
Beetroots improve your stamina and energy
Many athletes are known to consume beetroot juice due to its ability to enhance one’s stamina and energy.
This beetroot benefit is attributed to its ability to increase oxygen flow through the body, allowing you to feel more active and energized.
Since it is a known energy booster, it’s best to consume it in the morning to get you pumped throughout the day.
Beetroots lower bad cholesterol levels
Beetroots can also reduce the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. Beetroot juice, in particular, was found to reduce total cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL or good cholesterol.
The study discovered that it decreased oxidative stress on the liver as well. Researchers attribute beetroot’s cholesterol-lowering effects to the flavonoids it contains.
Beetroots help cleanse your liver
Aside from essential nutrients, beetroots also contain detoxification, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties due to a phytonutrient called betalains.
Due to its detox properties, it helps the liver get rid of toxins, promoting a healthy liver. It also contains glycine and methionine, which prevent the build-up of fatty acids and promote liver cell stimulation.
Beetroots help you keep a healthy weight
Beetroot juice has virtually no fat and contains low calories. It’s a healthy choice for your morning or afternoon smoothie to perk up your day.
How Can You Add Beetroot to Your Diet?
Any food that contains high amounts of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals make a great addition to your diet.
Since beetroots boast an amazing nutritional value, it would be great to add them to your diet.
If you’re wondering how to use beetroots, below are some incredible ways by which you can incorporate beet into your meal plans:
Drink beetroot juice
Probably the most common and one of the best ways to add beetroot to your diet is by drinking its juice. Beetroot juice can reduce your blood pressure in as fast as an hour.
Regular beetroot consumption can help purify the blood, promote blood circulation, and prevent the risk of heart diseases.
Add some beetroot to your salad
Put some color and texture to your salad by adding beetroot to it. Your salad will not only look appetizing but will also taste great. Plus, it would be super healthy, too!
Toss it with some green leafy vegetables, corns, and other yummy veggies for a nutritious treat!
Make a beetroot soup
Some days you just want to sip a warm, nutritious soup. Why not make one that uses beetroots?
You can add them to your soups to make a tasty creation! You can look for several beetroot soup recipes online.
Treat yourself to a delicious beetroot milkshake
Beetroot milkshake? We say, why not? Making a beetroot milkshake is quite simple. Just puree the beetroot, add crushed ice, milk, sugar, syrup, and cinnamon powder, then blend.
Make it more delicious by adding vanilla ice cream, and then mix. Don’t forget to serve it chilled!
Key Points to Keep in Mind
You may notice color changes in your urine or stool after eating beets; it typically turns red or pinkish.
While you have nothing to worry about this condition called beeturia, you may be startled at first, especially when you aren’t expecting it.
Drinking beetroot juice on a regular basis may drop your blood pressure further, so be watchful of your blood pressure if you have low BP.
Refrain from drinking beetroot juice if you are more likely to form calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Beets are rich in oxalates, which can cause stones, and experts advise restricting oxalate-rich foods if you are prone to this risk.
Beets are rich in nutritional value. And the good news is, you can enjoy them however you want! Experts, meantime, believe that juicing is the best way to consume them.
This is because cooking may affect the nutritional content of the beet. But, if you can’t take beetroot juice as is due to its earthy flavor, you can add some mint or apple slices.
And should you decide to include beetroot juice in your diet, begin with small amounts. Juice half of a small beetroot. Observe your body’s reaction to it.
If there are no allergic reactions, you can start consuming more.