Beetroot, a very common vegetable found in our local markets, is extremely nutritious and is a great source of vitamins and minerals. It is somewhat sweet yet low in calories.
Lowers Blood Pressure: People suffering from high blood pressure can take beet juice to get some relief. A thorough study has been done by the doctors at Queen Mary University of London on thousands of volunteers and their blood pressure was checked. Beetroot juice was given to those who suffer from very high blood pressure and they were kept under observation. It was proved that this juice increases the percentage of nitric oxide in the blood which is helpful in circulation of
blood in the body. The content of nitrate in the beetroot strengthens the valves of heart and helps keep blood pressure under control.
Good for heart: Beetroot contains large amounts of soluble fiber, flavanoids and betacyanin. Betacyanin gives beetroot the red colour, which is also a powerful antioxidant. It helps in the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and does not allow plaque to form on the walls of the artery. This helps protect the heart from heart attacks and stroke. Beetroot is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system and to produce red blood cells and potassium.
Liver friendly: Beetroots are known as liver protective foods. They act as a wonderful tonic for liver. They help purify the blood and prevent a number of cancers.
Fights dementia: It helps in the proper functioning of the brain and beats the onset of dementia.
Controls diabetes: Beetroot contains sugar that is fat free and low in calorie, with a medium glycaemic index. Medium glycaemic index means it releases sugars very slowly into the blood. This helps keep blood sugar levels low.
Helps treat anemia: Beetroot contains a lot of iron. This iron helps in the formation of haemoglobin and helps transport oxygen and various other nutrients to various parts of the body. This iron content helps treat anemia.
Pregnant women: Folic acid that is present in beetroot is very important for pregnant women and unborn babies. It gives extra energy required during pregnancy.
Bone health: Beetroot contains silica an important component for the body to use calcium efficiently. A cup of beetroot juice helps keep conditions such as osteoporosis, brittle bone disease at bay.
Boosts energy: The high nitrate content in beetroot helps the arteries stay dilated and helps in proper transportation of oxygen to various parts of the body. This increases the energy levels and the iron that is present in the vegetable helps increase the stamina.
Treats depression: This vegetable contains betaine which is used in the treatment of depression
Other benefits: One cup of chopped beetroot (about 170g) has 10 per cent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. It is also a key antioxidant and also provides a large dose of fiber. One cup of shredded beetroot has 35 per cent of your daily folate requirement. Another group of nutrients present in beetroot is flavanoids, which give them that deep red color and are powerful cancer fighters.
Beetroot can be grated into salads. It can also be added as a puree into soup. You can add chunks of beetroot to make dal and subzi colourful. It can also be pureed and added to chapattis or paranthas for festive colour. You can marinate it in lemon juice, olive oil and eat it along with fresh herbs as a side dish.
This root is naturally available and it does not have any side effects when taken moderately.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna