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Beetroot (Beta vulgaris) is touted as one of the healthiest vegetables that belong to the Chenopodiaceae family. The red-coloured vegetable is popularly known as beet, red beet, garden beet or table beet. This article will talk about the health benefits of beetroots.
Beetroots are used as a medicinal plant for the treatment of numerous health conditions such as lowering blood pressure, reducing diabetes risk and improving memory to name a few.
Beetroot is red in colour because of a pigment called betalain, which is why it is mostly used as a food colourant. Beetroots contain a chock-full of nutrients and beneficial flavonoids called anthocyanins.
Nutritional Value Of Beetroot
100 g of beetroot contains 87.58 g water, 43 kcal energy and it also contains:
- 1.61 g protein
- 0.17 g fat
- 9.56 g carbohydrate
- 2.8 g fibre
- 6.76 g sugar
- 16 mg calcium
- 0.8 mg iron
- 23 mg magnesium
- 40 mg phosphorus
- 325 mg potassium
- 78 mg sodium
- 0.35 mg zinc
- 0.075 mg copper
- 0.7 mcg selenium
- 4.9 mg vitamin C
- 0.031 mg thiamin
- 0.04 mg riboflavin
- 0.334 mg niacin
- 0.067 mg vitamin B6
- 109 mcg folate
- 6 mg choline
- 2 mcg vitamin A
- 0.04 mg vitamin K
Health Benefits Of Beetroot
1. Lowers blood pressure
Beetroots contain nitrates, which increases blood flow in the body. Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide, a molecule that expands the blood vessels and this, in turn, reduces blood pressure . A study showed that drinking beetroot juice can aid in lowering blood pressure levels .
2. Promotes heart health
Beetroots can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke due to the presence of nitrates. In addition, the fibre present in beetroots reduces cholesterol and triglyceride level by increasing the HDL (good) cholesterol in the body.
3. May aid in weight loss
Beetroots are low in calories and consist of water and fibre, which make them an ideal vegetable for losing weight. Fibre is known to accelerate weight loss by suppressing your appetite and making you feel full for a longer period of time, thus reducing your overall calorie intake .
4. Improves brain health
The presence of nitrates in beetroots may improve mental and cognitive function. The nitrates in beetroots dilate the blood vessels which increases blood flow to the brain, thus improving brain function and reducing the risk of dementia in older adults .
5. Fights inflammation
Beetroots contain betalains, which are known to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming this vegetable will help reduce pain and discomfort linked to inflammation.
6. Prevents anaemia
Beetroots possess significant amount of iron, an essential mineral that increases haemoglobin levels in the blood and prevents the development of anaemia . The vegetable also contains vitamin C, which is known to absorb iron better.
7. May have chemopreventive properties
According to a study, the bioactive compounds in beetroot inhibited the mutation of cancerous cells . The study was done on animals, further human studies are required to support the claim.
8. Improves athletic performance
The nitrate content in beetroots can improve physical performance by increasing the supply of oxygen to various parts of the body's cells. Studies have shown that consumption of beetroots enhance running performance in healthy adults .
9. Enhances digestive health
Beetroots are an excellent source of fibre, which is known to improve digestion, keeping your gut healthy and adding bulk to the stool. All these contribute to digestive health and prevents digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and constipation.
10. Helps in detoxification
Beetroots help with your body's detoxification process. It is due to the presence of betalains that stimulate the functions of liver and eliminate the toxins from out of the body. To get rid of the toxins from the body, consume beetroots on a daily basis.
11. Keep eyes healthy
Beetroots contain a significant amount of vitamin A, which can aid in reducing the risk of cataracts and prevent the occurrence of age-related macular degeneration .
12. Lowers birth defects
Beetroots are good for pregnant women because they are a good source of folate. Folate is an essential vitamin that is required for preventing various birth defects in babies, and which is why pregnant mothers should include beetroot into their diet .
13. Prevents osteoporosis
As nitrates get converted into nitrate oxide in the body, it can help in preventing osteoporosis. In addition, beetroot contains a good amount of calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper that can help strengthen the bones .
14. Improves sexual health
A study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences showed that a decrease in nitric oxide in the body can increase the risk of sexual dysfunction. Increasing the consumption of beetroot will alleviate sexual health issues including erectile dysfunction .
15. Enhances skin health
Beetroots are rich in vitamins and minerals that can help enhance your skin health by preventing the risk of premature ageing, boosting collagen production and protecting the skin from harmful skin rays.
What Are The Side Effects Of Beetroots?
The vegetable beetroot is known to be high in FODMAP, which are short-chain carbohydrates that are responsible for all types of digestive problems. People who have kidney stones should avoid the consumption of beetroots because of their high oxalate levels.
Best Ways To Eat Beetroots
- Grate beetroot and use it in a salad or coleslaw.
- Slice a beetroot and add a dash of beetroot juice and chilli powder.
- Make beetroot juice by adding beetroot, orange, mint, apples, ginger or any other fruit of your choice.
- Make a beetroot dip by blending Greek yogurt and beetroot in a blender.
- You can also make beetroot soup, beetroot cake, pickled beetroot and steamed beetroot.