During the Middle Ages, beetroot was considered a medicinal plant and was used to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, constipation, and skin problems. It was also believed to have aphrodisiac properties.
Today, beetroot is enjoyed all over the world and is used in a variety of dishes, from salads and sandwiches to smoothies and juices. Its bright red colour and sweet, earthy flavour make it a favourite among chefs and home cooks alike. It remains a valuable and beloved vegetable, cherished for its versatility and health benefits.
Beetroot – Nutrition facts
Beetroot has a low energy value, a small amount of protein, and almost no fat. It also contains not a big amounts of carbs and sugar; has low fibre and comparatively low glycemic index.
9 Good news about beetroot
1May have anti-cancer properties
The plant pigment that gives beetroot its deep purple colour is betacyanin, a powerful substance believed to help inhibit the development of certain cancers, including bladder cancer.
2Improves digestive health
Beetroot is one of the richest sources of glutamine, an amino acid essential for the health and maintenance of our intestines. It is also rich in fibre, which not only supports intestinal function but also helps maintain the intestinal environment and the beneficial bacteria that live in it.
3Can increase the effectiveness of exercise and maintain energy levels
Beetroot juice gained popularity after Paralympic gold medallist David Weir claimed that his secret to success was drinking it.
Research backs this up: results show that if athletes add beetroot juice to their regimen, it can support endurance and enhance performance. It also promotes recovery because when muscles are at rest, the nitrates in beets help deliver more oxygen to muscle cells, contributing to better muscle recovery. For everyone else, including beetroot in your diet can be a good energy booster.
4Can have an anti-inflammatory effect
Red beetroot has been recognised as one of the 10 most powerful antioxidant vegetables. The betalain compounds, responsible for the beetroot red colour, have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This means they help protect cells from damage and may be useful in combating age-related diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
5Reduces high blood pressure
Beetroot contains nitrates, which means they increase nitric oxide levels in our bodies. Nitric oxide, a gas naturally present in the body, causes our blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure. Drinking just one glass of beet juice (or eating the equivalent amount) can lower systolic blood pressure by 4-5 mmHg. This makes beetroot an effective addition to your diet for the prevention and treatment of certain cardiovascular diseases.
6Maintains a healthy liver
Beetroot contains compounds called betalains, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds may help protect the liver from damage and support its detoxification processes. This ensures organ protection and allows it to work more efficiently.
7Great source of many essential vitamins and minerals
A single medium size beet (386 g) contains: 13% of Vitamin B9, 127% of Manganese, 45% of Potassium, 30% of Iron and 43% of Vitamin C. Well, as we can see the level of important health nutrients is impressive.
Vitamin B9 is one of the B vitamins, it is important for normal tissue growth and cell function. It is especially needed by pregnant women.
Manganese is an essential trace element, it is found in high amounts in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
Potassium can lead to reduced blood pressure levels and positive effects on heart health.
Iron. An essential mineral that performs many important functions in the body. It is essential for the transporting oxygen in red blood cells.
Vitamin C. This well-known vitamin is an antioxidant that is important for immune function and skin health.
8Helps you keep your weight in-check
The nutritional value of beetroot is what makes it so helpful for people wanting to lose weight. Eating beetroot makes you feel full while eating less than other foods. And its low-calorie content makes it a healthy and effective addition to your weight-loss diet.
9Beetroot juice may cure your hangover🙂
Beetroot juice may have potential benefits for hangovers. Beets are a rich source of antioxidants and other nutrients that may help to reduce inflammation and support liver function. Because the liver is our natural filter and is directly involved in removing toxins from our body, especially when drinking alcohol. It could be a fun addition to your Sunday morning ‘Bloody Mary’.
Beetroot – Bad news
Beetroot is slightly not for everyone.
Beetroot is high in oxalate and can directly contribute to kidney stones formation. It increases urinary oxalate excretion, which can lead to the development of calcium oxalate stones.
How to manage
Consume beetroot and beetroot juice in moderation to avoid stone formation. If you already have stones, your doctor might recommend you stop or reduce beetroot consumption.
Like any other vegetable that contains fibre, beetroot can cause side effects such as gas, bloating and intestinal pain if you suddenly start eating too much beetroot.
How to manage
When consuming beetroot, keep an eye on your condition, as no one will answer to you better than your body, and try not to overeat it.
Fun & curious facts about beetroot
Beetroot was adored by the ancient Greeks – but they ate the leaves, not the root 🙂
Sugar production from beetroot began on Napoleon’s orders, as he did not want to buy expensive imported sugar.
Beetroot in the Blue Zones
In the Blue Zones, long-livers follow a predominantly plant-based diet, eating plenty of vegetables and fruits. And beet also takes place in their diet. Especially in Loma Linda, California, long-livers love beets and even grow them in their gardens.
Beetroot. Experiment by our expert
Let’s sum beetroot up
Beetroot is a nutritious root vegetable that is rich in essential nutrients and has several potential health benefits. Consuming beetroot or its juice may help reduce blood pressure, improve exercise performance, help you train longer in your workouts, and also it will support liver health.
Not enough? Here is more from our colleagues
In this video, a certified nutritionist Derek Simnett explains how beneficial beetroot is for your strength and how it may help to improve you performance of exercises.
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