Beetroot as the name depicts is the root component of the plant that is used as a vegetable. The beetroot grows underground and the leaves grow above ground.
The botanical name of the beetroot is Beta vulgairs and belongs to Goosefoot or beet family. They are grown largely all over the world. It is grown for their edible root component and green leaves.
In industry, beetroot is also used as food colorant.
It is grown worldwide; in Pakistan it is available all year around.
Possible Health Benefits
Beetroot is naturally gifted with unique mix of
phytochemicals (plant chemicals). Its characteristic red
colour contains antioxidants and vitamin B9.
Many studies have confirmed that eating it regularly prevent diseases and provide excellent nutritional source. The phytochemicals provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification effects.
Antioxidants – Prevent damage to the cells
The betalains and anthocyanins (antioxidant) are the substances that gives beetroot its dark pigmentation and prevent damage to normal body cells. Antioxidants are substances that prevent cells damage from free radicals. Our body make some antioxidants, however it largely depends on plant soured for antioxidants. Most plants, fruits and seeds are rich in many different types of antioxidants.
Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Beetroot is rich in nitrates, betaine and other antioxidants (betacyanin). Nitrates are chemicals that improve blood flow. Research studies support use of beetroot in lowering blood pressure, dementia and exercise performance.
Anti-inflammatory – reduce unwanted inflammation
Beetroot phytochemicals betanins and vulgaxanthin are found to reduce unwanted inflammation in the body. Many diseases such as heart diseases and stroke are caused due to the unwanted inflammation (swelling) in the walls of the blood vessels that hinders the smooth blood flow. Based on limited available evidence, beetroot reduces unwanted inflammation.
Beetroot neutralizes the toxins by making the toxins water soluble to be able to excrete through urine. The betalain substances seem to help glutathione substance that effectively removes toxins
The leaves also contain antioxidant lutein and zeaxanthin which are very good for eye health.
Reduce Cancer Risk
Some small scale studies support utilization of beetroot in some cancer prevention.
How to use
Beetroot can be used as raw and cooked. It is best to use them raw in salad or steamed.
Beetroot juices is also served as detoxifying agent. It is used to inactivate the toxins, which are formed as part of the natural biochemical reaction in the body.
Possible side effects
Beetroot use in moderation is generally safe for everyone. People who have some existing medical condition should consult their doctor before use such as diabetes patients.
Avoid use with other foods
It is generally safe to use with other foods in modernity.