Health Benefits of Beetroots and Beet Juice
Beetroot or garden beet is an excellent health food. It belongs to the plant family of Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae. Beetroots come with variety of colors like red, white, yellow and even in rainbow colors. Beetroots are extremely juicy and great in taste. They are high in sugar content and the greens attached to the beetroots are very rich in nutrients. These leaves can be used in soups or can be boiled in small amount of water for a short time to get the maximum health benefits. Beets or beetroots are available throughout the year.
Origin of Beetroot
Beetroot has been part of human diet for over 2000 years and native to the region of Europe, West Asia and North Africa. Although, previously only beet greens were used and not the roots; but later ancient Romans were cultivated beets to use the roots as the food. It is said that in the 16th century beetroots became more popular and in the 19th century when it was discovered that beetroots are great source of sugar, the food value of beets got much higher. Today, beetroots are mainly cultivated in North America, Britain, India, Philippines, Indonesia and most parts of the Africa.
Nutritional Profile of Beetroots
Beets are excellent source of healthy folate. They are also very good source of manganese and potassium. In addition, beets are good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, tryptophan, iron, copper and phosphorous. Betalain pigments in beetroot which are responsible for the beetroot colors contain powerful antioxidant properties.
Health Benefits of Beetroots
Beetroots and leaves have many medicinal uses and they are excellent for the health. Here are the major health benefits of beetroots:
• Good for the Heart: Beetroot and beetroot juice help to lower blood pressure levels. Also, dietary fiber in beetroots reduces the cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Phytonutrients present in the beetroot work as anti-inflammatory agents. Often different types of heart diseases occur because of the unwanted inflammation. Beetroots anti-inflammation properties help to reduce these unwanted inflammations. In addition, beetroots are excellent source of Betalain and carotenoid phytonutrients which are also anti-inflammatory compounds and good for the cardiovascular benefits.
• Good for the Liver Function: Betaine (sweet tasting alkaloid that occurs in sugar beets) presents in beetroot is very good for the liver function. Beet juice is very good for the liver as it stimulates the functions of liver.
• Good for the Digestion: Betalin pigments in beetroot are good for the body’s detoxification process and digestion. It is a very good laxative and good for metabolism. Beetroot is used to cure constipation.
• Anti-Cancer: Because of beetroot’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties it is very good for the reduction of the chances of cancer. Studies showed beetroot reduces the chances of colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular cancers.
• Good for the Anaemic: It is said that beetroot has blood forming qualities. They are high in iron which reactivates the red blood cells. Juice of the red beetroot strengthens the body's powers of resistance.
• Other Health Benefits: Beetroot and beetroot juice increase the production of sex hormone. Vitamin C in Beetroot helps to prevent asthma. Two carotenoids in beetroot lutein and zeaxanthin are good for the eye health.
Caution: Beet contains certain amount of oxalates and in excess oxalates can cause body fluid to crystallize and this can lead to health problems. People who are suffering from kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid eating beet greens or beetroot.