By Foodism Team
The health benefits of beetroot
Beetroots are packed with nutrients and help fight against diseases. Read the blog to know everything about beets.
We all can relate that as kids, our mothers made us eat beetroot be it raw or in the form of juice and were told that it’s good for our health. Today, beetroot is gaining popularity and how! It is considered a superfood because of the health benefits for which our mothers coaxed us into eating it.
Beetroot has been cultivated since time immemorial and for centuries beetroot was used to treat fever, constipation and skin problems. Romans used this vegetable as an aphrodisiac.
Currently, many juices and drinks have started using this vegetable to make it nutritious.
Beetroot is also known as red beet, table beet, garden beet or beet. In Hindi, it has an interesting name as it is called chukandar.
There are many varieties of beetroot based on their colour- yellow, pink, white and dark purple.
It is lesser-known that the leaves of beetroot known as beet greens can also be eaten.
Beetroots contain essential nutrients like fiber, folate, iron, potassium, manganese and vitamin C.
Beetroots have the earthy sweetness which has its own fans and haters. Some people like it while some are disgusted by it. But whatever the choice, nobody can deny its profuse health benefits.
1. Increase energy:
Nitrates are found abundantly in green leafy vegetables, beetroot juice and beetroots. This substance passes through the artery walls and sends signals to the tiny muscles around the arteries to relax. Through this process, the blood pressure goes down.
Nitrates in beetroot can improve physical performance, especially during high-intensity exercise.
Consuming beetroots or beetroot juice can improve performance in outdoor activities like cycling, running by increasing stamina and boosting oxygen use.
2. Lowers blood pressure:
A study showed a considerable reduction in blood pressure in people with hypertension after drinking one cup of beetroot juice everyday. Some patients also showed an improvement in the elasticity of their blood vessels.
The nitrates in beetroot juice have a pressure-reducing effect. This substance has the ability to widen blood vessels and promote blood flow.
Foods like beetroot have inorganic nitrates that eliminate the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and increase nitric oxide formation.
3. Ability to prevent cancer:
Betalains are the compounds found in beetroots that give them their yellow and red colour. This compound can obstruct the cancerous mutation of cells.
Beetroots cannot be replaced with standard cancer reduction methods, but it has certain functions that can reduce the risk of this chronic disease.
4. Beneficial for people who have diabetes:
The antioxidant named alpha-lipoic acid can lower the glucose level and increase insulin sensitivity.
A study examined the effects of alpha-lipoic acid on diabetic neuropathy. The administration of this antioxidant orally or intravenously found a decrease in symptoms of peripheral and autonomic neuropathy in diabetics.
5. Fight inflammation:
Betalain has anti-inflammatory properties as it suppresses cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme that is said to cause inflammation.
Chronic inflammation can expose us to the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer.
A small study in 2016 concluded that inflammation was improved in people with high blood pressure after two weeks of including cooked beetroots or beetroot juice. Raw beetroot juice was proved to be more effective than cooked beetroot.
6. Good for the brain:
As beets can lower blood pressure, they can also lower the risk of stroke and other cognitive problems. High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke and other cognitive deterioration.
A study in 2011 conducted on older adults found that nitrates in beets increased the blood flow in the essential parts of the brain, like the frontal lobe, which is associated with attention and working memory.
Who can have adverse effects from eating beetroot?
Beetroot doesn’t suit individuals who are prone to kidney stones.
Oxalates present in green beetroot can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. They also have antinutrient properties, meaning they may hinder the absorption of micronutrients.
The root has a high amount of oxalates, but the amount of oxalate in the root vegetable is also considered high.
FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) are short-chain carbs that feed the bacteria.
FODMAPs can cause gastrointestinal diseases, especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
It can also cause beeturia, making the urine turn red or pink. There’s nothing to worry about this condition, but it is often confused for blood. Additionally, the stool can be discoloured and beeturia can become normal after discontinuing or limiting the beetroot intake.
Beetroot is high in iron, fibre, potassium and other nutrients. It has various health benefits and is easy to include in an individual’s diet. Beetroots are versatile as one can eat it raw, cooked, boiled, baked, make a juice or a soup.