Beetroot, also known as beet, has been gaining in popularity as a new super food due to recent studies claiming that beets and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure, and increase blood flow.
An Introduction to Beetroot
Like many modern vegetables, beetroot was first cultivated by the Romans. By the 19th century it held great commercial value when it was discovered that beets could be converted into sugar. Today, the leading commercial producers include the USA, Russia, France, Poland and Germany. Many classic beetroot recipes are associated with central and Eastern Europe including the famous beetroot soup known as borscht. Beetroot's earthy charm has resulted in its ubiquitous influence on fashionable menus and recipes. Its delicious but distinctive flavour and nutritional status have escalated it to the root you can't beat!
Belonging to the same family as chard and spinach, both the leaves and root can be eaten - the leaves have a bitter taste whereas the round root is sweet. Typically a rich purple colour, beetroot can also be white or golden. Due to its high sugar content, beetroot is delicious eaten raw but is more typically cooked or pickled.
Beetroot and beet juice are good sources of various nutrients.
One cup of raw beets contains:
13 grams of carbohydrate, including 9 grams of sugar and 4 grams of fiber
2 grams of protein
Beetroot provides 1 percent of the daily needs for vitamin A, 2 percent of calcium, 11 percent of vitamin C and 6 percent of iron. Vitamin C, an antioxidant, plays a key role in creating collagen and some neurotransmitters, and in the metabolism of proteins. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, the protein that transfers oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues. It is needed for growth, development, and cell function. A lack of iron leads to s certain type of anemia.
It is a rich source of folate and manganese. It also contains thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium.
Folate is important for a healthy metabolism, encourages healthy skin and hair, and protects the mouth from soreness and ulceration. Folic acid is recommended during pregnancy and studies suggest that it contributes to a healthy birth weight and prevents congenital heart defects and other problems such as neural tubal defects in the newborn.
Manganese occurs in small amounts in the body, but it is needed for a range of functions. A lack of manganese can contribute to infertility, bone malformation, weakness, and seizures.Beets are high in dietary nitrate, which is believed to benefit the cardiovascular system and may protect against cancer.
Beet Root Extract
Red Color Powder
The Benefits of Beetroot
1. Manages your blood pressure
Beetroot juice can help in temporarily lowering high blood pressure. Researchers have attributed this to the presence of nitrates in beets. The naturally occurring nitrates increase nitric oxide found in the blood vessels which allow more oxygen to flow to your brain, heart and muscles and thus, lowering high blood pressure.
2. Gives you glowing skin
If you’re healthy from within, it reflects on the outside. Beetroot juice acts a great blood purifier. Beetroots are also rich in Vitamin C which helps in clearing blemishes and evens out your skin tone while giving it a natural glow.
3. A great way to detox naturally
Beetroots are a unique source of betalains – a type of phytonutrient. These compounds are known to provide powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. For long, beetroot has been known as the liver-protective food. It is a great liver cleanser and helps in flushing out all the toxins. With the help of compounds like methionine and glycine, it prevents fatty acids from building up and stimulates the liver cells.
4. Boosts energy and stamina
Beetroot juice helps in opening the blood vessels and thus increases the flow of oxygen throughout your body making you feel more energetic and active. This is probably why it’s best to have it early morning to wake up your sleepy organs. It has been often promoted as a great workout drink and good for athletes as it increase the flow of oxygen to the muscles preparing them for the stress ahead.
5. Good for digestion
Beetroot juice with its pulp is full of fiber which helps in regulative your digestive processes and also relieves constipation. A glass of beetroot juice is also a great home remedy for an upset stomach.
6. Lowers blood glucose
Though high in sugar, beetroot actually helps in regulating your blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that it does not lead to high glucose concentration in the blood. This simply means that the natural sugars in beetroot are released very slowly in the body and thus, prevents sudden spikes. In the form of the juice, it may actually help diabetics.
1. Might Cause Beeturia
What you take throughout the day can influence the color of your urine. Excessive consumption of beets can cause your urine to appear pink.
According to the Harvard Health Blog, beetroot is rich in oxalate that can cause kidney stones . If you already have stones, your doctor might advise you to quit beetroot or reduce its consumption.
You may not be in danger if you don’t have a history of kidney stones. But if you do, you might contract the condition again upon beetroot consumption .
There are four types of kidney stones, with calcium being the most common one. The mineral can combine with other substances, especially oxalate, and form a stone. Beetroot is high in oxalate – and can directly contribute to kidney stones . They achieve this by increasing urinary oxalate excretion, which leads to the development of calcium oxalate stones.
Well, no vegetable or fruit can be bad. We need all of them. However, they might cause certain side effects if not taken as they must.
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