Health Benefits of Beetroot Juice
An interesting fact among vegetables is that, a very of them make it to the juice consumption without disturbing the taste criteria, beetroot is one of them. This vegetable is ingredient for several popular cuisines and is also a well known juice. A well know variety of Beta vulgaris, beetroots are widely popular in the coastal regions where they are easily grown. Vegetables grown as roots are known for dietary nitrogen content and several minerals that they absorb in the soil. Beetroot is no exception to it and is a nutrient rich food. This article would detail with the benefits of beetroot and will detail with the various methods in which it can be consumed.
Beetroot: History and trends
Researchers say that beetroot was one of the first vegetables that ancient human started to consume plants and herbs. It is easily grown and is very abundant in the coastal regions. Moreover, this plant also has mentions in various ancient Greek and Roman plays. Historians have reported several popular dishes and drinks in the European states that were based on beetroot. It has been known as a blood tonic since a long time.
Several beet root types have also been found as the vegetable popularized all over. Some popular beetroot types are:
1. Red Beets: The most popular variety of beetroot, red beets have a red-cyan chromic appearance. They are more often sold with the leaves which themselves are known to be a healthy source of nutrition.
2. Chioggia Beets: Sweeter than the red beets, these beets are also known as candy cane beets. Named after an Italian town near Venice, Chioggia beets are more known in the European region and are popular for their tasty pickles.
Besides these types, beets have many modifications in their shape and sizes which were encountered when vegetable was grown in different types of climate.
Currently, beetroot is a part of almost all types of cuisines and has several dishes, salads and juices based on it.
Benefits of Beetroot: Why Beetroot is good?
Beetroot is regarded beneficial for the following nutrients:
- Dietary Nitrates
- Carbohydrate and Natural Fruit Sugars
- Calcium, Magnesium, phosphorous.
- Vitamin (A, B2, B3, B6, B9, C,E)
- Mineral Silica
A potential anti-cancer food, beetroot has a lot of advantages. Let’s now find out how beetroot does wonders to the human body with the long list of health benefits.
1. Reducing Heart Disease Risks
Homocysteine, a protein derived product that is found in the human blood, is responsible for damaging arteries and causing heart related diseases. This compound is found in blood and its quantity is increased when one eats meat and other non vegetarian stuffs. The levels of this compound are lowered by Folate (Vitamin 9) and betaine (type of nitrate product) which are present in ample amount in beetroot.
2. Benefits of Beetroot for Controlling Blood Pressure
There are several allopathic treatments and medicines which claim to control high blood pressure or hypertension based reactions. Natural treatments are, however, a more effective option here. The betacyanin (coloring agent of beetroot) is credited for this which, along with dietary nitrates, is known to calm down the blood pressure by almost 2%. Betacyanin also makes beetroot a very good antioxidant.
Beetroot can control high blood pressure and its regular intake will take care of B.P based problems for a really long time.
3. Purifying Blood
Chemically, beetroot is known as an alkaline plant. Human blood has a pH (acidity or alkalinity levels) range of 7.35 to 7.45, thus being slightly basic. Due to intake of spicy or unhygienic foods and drinks, the pH level drop down and blood becomes relatively more acidic. Beetroot, being an alkaline vegetable, increases the pH level to bring it towards the same values of slight alkalinity. Hence, beetroot is very effective in purifying blood.
4. Strengthening through Iron
Iron, present thoroughly in beetroot, is essentially needed to increase the oxygen carrying capacity of blood and its lacking can result into anemia. Iron also aids in keeping health of females strong enough during pregnancy and menstruation days.
5. Cleaning liver and its associated organs
Liver can be regarded as one of the busiest human organs. Out of 500+ functions liver takes care, some are: It is needed to digest carbohydrate, high fat, and alcohol. It is also required to store excess glucose and release it when body needs it. It is also one of those organs which can regenerate their tissue when damaged.
Hence, it is one’s prime responsibility to keep the liver healthy all the time and regular intake of beetroot can do it very nicely. Betaine present in beetroot can flush out toxins out of the liver. Since betaine is associated with reducing homocysteine, it also aids in smoothening the functioning of the liver as all fats are to be digested by liver. Further extending its roles in acting as liver cleanser, beet optimizes the flow of bile liquid through the liver, thus improving overall metabolism of the human body.
It also helps liver in recovering when diseases like jaundice, cirrhosis etc create adverse working conditions.
Smoothening liver working results in better digestion, food assimilation and bowel movement. Problems such as acidity, constipation etc. also reduces significantly. It is for these liver benefits that beetroot was also popular as medicinal plant in the ancient times.
6. High Energy Source
Beetroots are rich with carbohydrates and fruit sugar. These compounds are one of the most vital sources of energy one can have as they are easily absorbed by the body. Thus beetroot also serves as an instant energy source.
7. Mineral Silica
In addition to calcium, beetroot also contains mineral silica which helps in absorbing calcium to a better extent. Better absorption of calcium is highly needed in older ages when body is unable to absorb much at its own.
8. Benefits of Beetroot for Beauty
Beetroot juice can be mixed in natural hair dye to give a tinge of cyan color to the hair. Also, beetroot based face mask give the skin a pinkish shade which is quite attractive for fair skinned.
Cook to good health: Best ways to consume Beetroot
A much known root vegetable, beetroot can be made a delicacy in several vegetable, salad and juice forms. Beetroot can be chopped and mixed with vinegar for a tasty healthy snack. Cloves and other spices can also be added to make it more delicious.
Salsa: A more finely chopped beetroot can serve as an ingredient for salsa which is popularly used as burger fillings and while serving fish based dishes.
Salads: Beetroot based salads have also been highly preferred as a regular breakfast and brunch option.
Sauces & soups: Beetroot can also be grinded to produce paste which can be used in form of taco dips, hummus, sauces etc.
A Russian soup called “Borscht” is also an age old beetroot based dish widely known.
Juices: Other than being a sole ingredient for various dishes mentioned above, beetroot can be combined with other vegetables like coriander, carrot etc to make delicious soups and juices.
Unconventional dishes: Beetroot flavored puddings; chocolate cakes cup-cakes have also been popular in the recent days.A recent known beetroot based product is the wine which takes a fortnight or so for fermentation and tastes amazing.
Besides, all these delicacies, it is up to one’s culinary skills to improvise various beetroot dishes.
A tip to remember: With respect to beetroot based vegetables, it is advised to make them less oily and less steamed otherwise the vegetable would lose it major nutrients.
Apart from cuisines, beetroot juice and beetroot based dyes are well used too. Ancient texts also detail with using beetroot along with honey, when placed on stomach, would ease the digestion process. Beetroot, along with honey, would relax digestive processes in the stomach and intestine.
Beetroot, when toasted with coal and consumed in bits with garlic, would relieve one of the bad breaths that garlic might cause.
Cautions with Beetroot
Beetroot contains high amount of oxalate compounds (calcium and phosphorous) which can cause stones in gall bladder and kidney. Its consumption is hence, advised to be limited for those who are sensitive to stone formation.
Beetroot’s consumption is limited for those who have a sensitive stomach.
Though beetroot is not found to be allergic in most of the cases, one must observe reactions of his body if consuming it for the first time.