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Beet: 18 amazing benefits, properties and contraindications

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Beet is native to North Africa and Mediterranean Europe. It is currently known worldwide thanks to its delicious flavor and its excellent properties.

For many years, it was the primary source of sugar in the world.

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In this article, we will know more about beets, their uses, vitamins, and nutrients. We will also see how beet juice is prepared and its properties and benefits.

What is it?

Beet is known by many names around the world, its scientific name is Beta vulgaris and is a thickened root with a deliciously sweet taste, being widely used in different culinary recipes.

The beet plant is perennial and is part of the Amaranthaceae family. It can grow to a meter high. Its visible part has multiple branches, leafy green or violet.

The root for its part has an elongated or spherical shape, with variable size and color depending on the type of beet. The one used for consumption has an intense reddish-purple color.

There are three types of beets, these are red beet or table beet, which is commonly used for human consumption.

It can be round, long, or intermediate, and its culinary uses are multiple, due to its sweet taste and its attractive color.

The sugar beet is also known, which is white, and from it, the beet sugar is extracted.

It is elongated and has a high starch level. On the other hand, is a fodder beet that is used for animal consumption.

Beet: vitamins

Beet is a vegetable with a variety of vitamins in its composition. Among them can be highlighted.

It has reasonable amounts of vitamin A, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and vitamin C.

All of these are essential vitamins that fulfill various functions in the body.

Beet: nutrients

It’s great variety of vitamins and nutrients make beets an essential food to include in a balanced diet. Among the components in its composition can be mentioned:

Manganese

A trace element that plays a fundamental role in good health and for proper growth, always at the right levels.

Folic acid

Folic acid is a nutrient that is involved in the formation of red cells in the body.

It is an essential nutrient that must be consumed by pregnant women, as it prevents neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly in the development of the fetus.

Potassium

Beets are a great source of potassium, which is a mineral that favors electrical functions and cellular functions.

A potassium deficiency can cause sensitivity to salt and high blood pressure.

Beta carotene

Beet leaves are an excellent source of beta-carotene; this is a form of vitamin A present in vegetables and fruits of intense colors.

Some carotenoids act as excellent antioxidants. These protect the cells from the action of free radicals.

Iron

Another mineral of great importance for the organism that is in high concentration in the beet leaves.

Iron helps with the transport of oxygen. It is also necessary for the regulation of growth and cell differentiation.

The deficiencies of this mineral can lead to a low level of oxygen in the cells, which leads to improper functioning of the organism.

It also contains amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, polyphenols — all essential for the proper functioning of the organism.

How to consume it?

Beet can be consumed in various ways. It can be consumed raw or cooked. However, it is advisable to consume it raw, and with its shell, since this way, all its properties are completely preserved.

In the case of being cooked, it is recommended that it be for a short time since excess cooking can affect its properties.

Beet leaves can also be consumed. In fact, it has large concentrations of vitamins. They can be included in salads, combined with other vegetables.

Another excellent way to consume beets is in juice, which provides excellent health benefits.

 How to make beet juice? – Recipe

Beet juice provides a high concentration of vitamins and minerals to the body.

It is a drink with high antioxidant properties that act against free radicals.

Its preparation is simple and can be easily done at home; it only requires:

  • Three medium red beets
  • Water to taste

Steps to follow:

1st step: Wash the beets very well and dry them. The skin can be removed, or it can also be left.

2nd step: Cut into small pieces and place them in the blender. If necessary or if desired, some water can be added. Blend well

3rd step: You can add a little lemon in the preparation. As well as some fruits or other vegetables if desired.

Beet Properties and Benefits

Thanks to its composition, beets have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, vasodilator, detoxifying properties, among others. All these properties provide significant benefits to the body.

Among some of them we can mention:

1. Excellent anticancer

The red beet pigment, betanin,  is a flavonoid considered a great anticancer. Studies have shown that its consumption can prevent the appearance of cancerous tumors.

2. Help control blood pressure

Beet juice helps lower blood pressure as it increases nitric oxide levels in the blood, which helps dilate blood vessels.

3. It is beneficial in cases of asthma

It has a high concentration of vitamin C consumed raw, in salads, or juice helps prevent asthma attacks.

4. Prevention of atherosclerosis

It can be an excellent ally in a diet rich in fiber, which helps decrease cholesterol absorption and prevent diseases such as atherosclerosis.

5. Help fight inflammation

The betaine, in its composition, helps protect cells and act against free radicals. It helps fight inflammation at different levels of the body.

6. Avoid constipation

Its high fiber content favors intestinal transit, avoiding illness. Many people consume them considered to be able to go to the bathroom regularly.

7. Effective against anemia

Beet consumption provides an adequate level of iron, an essential mineral for hemoglobin production.

8. Prevents aging

Beet has excellent antioxidant properties that help prevent the onset of early signs of aging.

9. An ally of beauty

Beet provides an adequate level of methionine, an essential amino acid to achieve an excellent physical appearance. It promotes the appearance of hair, nails, and skin.

10. Prevents eye problems

This vegetable contains lutein and zeaxanthin in its composition, a pair of carotenoids that help preserve eye health.

11. Helps detoxify the body

The beet has excellent purifying properties; it favors the renal, intestinal, and hepatic functions, contributing to the expulsion of toxins and wastes from the organism.

12. Helps reduce tiredness

Beet consumption brings energy and vitality to its consumers. Its ability to dilate the arteries allows oxygen transport to be adequate, which helps increase strength.

13. Improves sexual health

By helping to dilate the arteries and veins enhances blood circulation, which favors both male and female sexual health. Also, it contains boron that helps in turn to the production of the sex hormone.

14. Promotes cognitive ability

Studies have shown that beet consumption can favor a person’s performance up to 16%, thanks to its nitrate concentration.

In addition to promoting the transport of oxygen to the cells, which is essential for brain function.

15. Improves the mood

Adequate beet consumption favors the body’s production of dopamine, which helps improve mood and prevent depression.

16. Prevent defects in the renal tube

Appropriately consumed, it provides a significant contribution of folic acid during pregnancy, which helps prevent defects in the fetal renal tube.

17. Help control weight

It is a vegetable rich in water and low in calories, in addition to containing insoluble fiber, which helps provide a feeling of satiety. It is ideal for including in any diet to lose weight.

18. Beneficial for hypothyroidism

Beet is rich in iodine, which helps maintain adequate levels in the body.

Side effects

Despite being a food with great properties, its excessive consumption can cause some side effects.

One of the ones that can attract the most attention to its consumers is that it can cause urine color. It is not a serious effect but usually attracts attention.

Wilson’s disease: excessive consumption of beet can cause an excessive increase in iron and copper, so people with hemochromatosis (iron overload) or with Wilson’s disease (difficulty in removing excess copper) is not recommended its consumption

Its betaine content can cause stomach upset, causing nausea and diarrhea. It can also cause kidney problems, or problems in pregnancy if consumed in excess.

Beet consumption helps lower blood pressure, but in case people are medicated for this condition, excessive consumption can cause a very significant decrease.

Consuming pure or excess juice can cause throat irritation.

Contraindications

Despite being a great food, not all people can consume it.

It is a contraindicated vegetable in people who have the following conditions:

  • Diabetes, due to its high sugar content.
  • Kidney stones, due to its high content of oxalic acid.
  • Uric acid elevated.

Conclusion

There are three types of beets, the white one, used mainly to obtain sugar. The fodder, used for animal consumption. And the red one, which is the one used for human consumption.

Beet is a thickened root widely used worldwide thanks to its delicious flavor and the great benefits it brings to the body.

Not only does the root have excellent properties, but its green leaves are also consumable and have lots of vitamins.

It has an excellent concentration of nutrients and vitamins essential for the functioning of the body, so it is advisable to include it in the diet.

Beet can be consumed in various forms, is the most recommended raw in the form of salad or juice, since this will preserve all its properties.

Like all foods, its consumption must be adequate, never in excess, since for some people it can be unfavorable. It can cause diarrhea, nausea, excessive decrease in blood pressure, among others.

Similarly, its consumption should be supervised by a specialist in the case of diabetes or kidney stones.

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