Beetroot, juice, powder, capsules you can’t ignore the numerous benefits of this little red vegetable. If you check the many e-commerce portals you will be surprised by the number of nutriceuticals selling this goodness in little capsules. But no one can beat the real deal, that’s the vegetable, fresh from the farm to your kitchen approximately!
Red beetroot is finding its name among famous veggie peers when it comes to health benefits. It is a root veggie and scientifically known as beta vulgaris rubra.
It’s not only health promoting but also a disease preventing functional food. My fondest memory of beetroot is a delicious veggie side dish my mom used to cook in winters. Your childhood food memories go a long way in building adult habits and health.
What does Beetroot have?
It’s a source of nitrogen and is a good way of increasing nitric oxide production inside the body. Nitric oxide helps relax the endothelial muscle and helps in hypertension control.
Beetroot’s effect on the vasculature is largely attributed to its high inorganic nitrate content (250 mg∙kg−1 of fresh weight).
- Type 2 Diabetes
There is high bioavailability of beetroot’s inorganic dietary nitrate is well established. Some reports suggest almost full absorption following digestion.
Oral antibacterial treatment
Antibacterial mouthwashes reduce beneficial bacteria in the oral cavity and gut . This lowers production if the beneficial nitric oxide
Betalain pigments: This has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventive activity in vitro and in vivo.But the bioavailability of the pigment inside the human body is limited as seen from several studies. Further studies are needed in this field.
100 gram of beetroot has the following nutrients(source)
Protein: 1.6 grams
Carbs: 9.6 grams
Sugar: 6.8 grams
Fiber: 2.8 grams
Fat: 0.2 grams
Micronutrients in Beetroot
Beetroot is a rich source of phytochemicals like ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids, magnesium, potassium, iron, and flavonoids.
A number of studies report that beetroot, in the form of a juice supplement, protects against oxidative damage to DNA, lipid and protein structures in vitro.22 other varieties of fruits and veggie juices including carrot, tomato, orange, and pineapple were also tested. Only Pomegranate juice showed antioxidant activity(measured by FRAM) more than beetroot
Store bought juices may have undesirable amounts of sugar and this should be kept in mind while drinking them especially for those who are diabetic. Excessive sugar should always be avoided.
Supplementation with beetroot juice diminishes muscular fatigue associated with high-intensity exercise.
Beetroot capsules are also available to provide the benefit of beetroot all year around.
How to cook beetroot?
In a stir fry with potatoes, peas and seasonal veggies. It’s best to peel and boil beetroot and other veggies before you stir fry them.
You can pressure cook in a double boiler system, inside a pressure cooker. MethodIn a bowl take cubed potatoes, beetroot, julienned ginger, salt, black pepper and butter in a tightly covered steel tiffin box. Place it in the pressure cooker with water just up to half the height of the tiffin box(the tiffin box should not be floating) Then pressure cook. (Recipe credit mom)
Pancake with beetroot: Peel, mash beetroot and use it in your pancake batter. Don’t forget to add orange juice or lemon juice to balance the flavors. It gives a lovely reddish pink hue to the pancakes.
As a salad, mixed veggie fritter or as a part of your chicken stew, beet will be a powerful addition to any diet. Eat it as a savory or a sweet dish , beet will not disappoint!
Precaution with beetroot
Due to its high nitrate content and ability to produce nitric oxide, the safety profile for medicinal use of beetroot in pregnancy and breastfeeding is not known.
Kidney disease: Eating too many beets might make kidney disease worse. Since beetroot contains oxalates, there’s a risk of kidney stones with excessive beetroot supplementation.
If you take beet capsules you must know this
The right dose of beet will need to be checked against factors like age, body weight, kidney, and liver function. There is insufficient data about the dose range for beet. Just because it’s natural, it’s not necessarily safe! Dosages are always important and always consult your doctor before taking nutriceuticals with bioactive compounds.
Have you eaten beetroot? Let me know in the comments below about a favorite beetroot dish and get featured in the book of veggies coming out in May!
My book on Probiotics for Life is available as a summary here
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Disclaimer: This is meant to spread healthcare information and not be taken as medical advice. Kindly include supplements in your diet after consultation with personal physician.
Nutrients. 2015 Apr; 7(4): 2801–2822.
Published online 2015 Apr 14. doi: 10.3390/nu7042801
Tom Clifford,1 Glyn Howatson,1,2 Daniel J. West,1 and Emma J. Stevenson1 (Pubmed)
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