Originating from the coastlines of North Africa, Asia, and Europe, beetroots are a good source of nutrients. They come in various types and are distinguished by their color — yellow, white, pink, or dark purple.
In this article, I've touched on everything you need to know about beets, let's go.
What Exactly Are Beetroots?
Beetroot (Beta vulgaris), belonging to the same family as spinach, is a bulbous, sweet root vegetable also known as red beet, table beet, garden beet, or just beet. Beets are not new on the vegetable block but they're popularity has risen in recent times. The beauty about beets is that both its leaves (known as beet greens), and root are edible - the leaves have a bitter taste and the roots are sweet. Although beetroots are sweet, and available all year round, they're sweetest during their peak season (from June to October).
Nutritional/Health Benefits Of Beetroots
As always, I won't talk about food without providing the nutritional bad health benefits. Concerning nutrition, beetroots are low in calories, and contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They also have many health benefits, and I've curated a list, out of which I have explained 3 that I find very important.
1. Heart Health
Eating beetroots helps lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is a strong risk factor for heart diseases, stroke etc. Beetroots are naturally rich in Nitrates, and study has shown that drinking a glass of beetroot juice (or eating an equivalent amount) can reduce systolic blood pressure within hours. This is because eating fruits and vegetables rich in inorganic nitrates help widen and relax the blood vessel, and this increases blood flow, ultimately lowering blood pressure.
Another study also suggests that the presence of Nitrates in beet juice may improve muscle power in people with heart failure. The results from the 2015 study showed a 13 percent increase in the muscle power, of people with heart failure, just two hours of drinking beet juice.
2. Increased Exercise Capacity
The Nitrate content in beets have come into play again. Study has shown that when athletes include beetroot juice to their regimen, they're performance is improved. This is because of the stamina-boosting properties, that come with drinking beetroot juice, which can improve physical exercise by 16 percent. Not only that, beetroot aids quick recovery - the nitrates it contains help to bring oxygen to muscles cells helping them recover quickly.
3. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Beetroots contain betalain compounds which are responsible for the vegetables' rich pigmentation. Betalain compounds are water-soluble antioxidants, and have been found to have various anti-inflammatory properties. They are also thought to be able to find and destroy unstable cells in the body. This means that they have the ability to protect cells from inflammation, damage and may also be helpful in the fight against cancer.
Other health benefits:
May help maintain a healthy weight, slows down the progression of dementia, supports liver health, may reduce cholesterol, and it may also help with managing diabetes.
As much as beets have these benefits, there are also side effects associated with them. They are usually well tolerated except in individuals who are prone to kidney stones. This is because of the oxlates contained in the leaves. One major aftereffect of consuming beetroots is your urine looking pink or reddish. There's no cause for alarm if you experience this, it's causes by the pigmentation of the vegetable. Also, allergies may occur, in very rare cases. Allergy symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting stomach cramps, and hives.
When it comes to selecting beets, make sure that they're free of blemishes. Your beets can be stored in a refrigerator until you're ready to use them. Also, when cooking beets, you can be as versatile as you can with other vegetables. Both the leaves and roots can also be eaten fresh - either in a salad or alone. I really hope you've learned a thing or two from this piece and that you have had a lovely read. Till I come your way again, stay healthy.