If you’re a fan of DIY beauty products, you’re probably familiar with the many amazing benefits of your beets. They are not only very potent beautifying agents; they possess an abundance of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants components, making them good for treating everything from itchy scalp to acne.
Beetroot gives off an earthy flavor that is simply beautiful, but what you’d fall in love with is its incredible ability to transform anything into pink. Its very vibrant hue, from a pigment known as betanin, can completely take over your dish, add color to your wines and used to create dyes.
It was first cultivated in Rome but originated from Europe. However, by the 19th century, beetroot was found to contain one of the highest contents of sugar any vegetable could have. Sucrose was then extracted commercially from the beet plant. Unfortunately, for so many years, this very powerful root vegetable was restricted to being used for dishes and making salads. However, thanks to its amazing health credentials, beetroot has made a well-deserved comeback.
If you know just how good beetroot is, you’d find it difficult resisting it for long. Here are all the surprising ways that beets can be beneficial to your health.
Low in calories and fat
Of course, its sugar content is very high; it is low in calories and almost fat-free. Its high fiber content can also make you full on lower calories. For people trying to keep their weight down, beetroot is a nutritious option..
Supports Heart health
According to some studies, the high content of nitrates in beetroot creates a gas known as nitric oxide. This gas is helpful in relaxing and dilating blood vessels which in turn increases blood flow and regulate blood pressure.
Beetroot is well-known for its purifying effects. It detoxifies the body by moving toxins into the colon from where they can be evacuated. Interestingly several studies have found that beetroot juice might also be helpful in building stamina and stimulating the production of red blood cells.
Contains Vitamin C, Fiber, Folate and other minerals
If you think diabetic patients should avoid beetroot because of its high sugar content, you’re not alone. But ironically, you’re wrong. Beetroot is a good source of fiber and minerals such as potassium, manganese, and iron which are essential for good health. As a matter of fact, the Vitamin C in beetroot boosts the immune system, its fiber helps in improving digestion, and its folate content supports normal tissue growth. What more, beetroot is very high in iron and protein.
Possesses antioxidant properties
The pigment in beetroot called betanin is an antioxidant and is responsible for its color. In addition to a class of antioxidants known as polyphenols, betanin has been getting lots of attention in recent times. In fact, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms that antioxidants help to minimize the oxidation of bad cholesterol, fortify the walls of arteries and prevent heart-related diseases.
Improves Skin Appearance
Like we mentioned earlier, beetroot is high in antioxidants. Applying it on your face can help treat skin issues such as acne and wrinkles. Interestingly, you can make different beet-infused face masks with honey, oatmeal, or coconut oil. Try not to go overboard with this, or else its deep hue might make your face beet-red! That’s not even all; to improve your skin’s appearance, drinking beet juice can make all the difference.
Treats Hair Issues
To combat an itchy scalp and flakes, beetroot has proven to be one of the best home remedies. You only need to boil some beets in water and massage the concentrated liquid into the scalp. Otherwise, you can mix some beetroot juice, ginger juice and vinegar and apply to the scalp. Rinse after 20 minutes.
How to take beetroot
Since the nutrients in beetroot are sensitive to heat, when cooked, its antioxidant content reduces and Vitamin C, which is a water-soluble is destroyed as well. As if this is not enough, it also loses over 25 percent of its folate. The best method is to use low temperature to mildly bake or steam it. Fresh beets are still the best.
Try out the leafy greens of beetroot
Do not overlook or toss the tops of beetroot away. They are actually loaded with calcium, iron, Vitamin A, C and K. The vitamin K in it helps in blood clotting. An average male needs about 120 micrograms of this vitamin while female adults need about 90 micrograms – a cup of beet greens will provide adequate amounts of this vitamin.
How about beet juice?
A concentrated quantity of betalains can be gotten from beet juice, while cooked beets will give you more fiber. From ancient times, beet juice has been used for cleansing the liver, remedying anaemia, purifying the blood, and managing iron deficiency. Beet juice is, therefore, a healthy source of all nutrients that may have been lost to cooking.
Risks and side effects
- All vegetable juice containing nitrate collect bacteria if not properly stored. These bacteria are responsible for converting nitrate into nitrite and contaminating the juice. It’s important to note that high levels of nitrite consumption are harmful to the body. In fact, a high-nitrate diet may interact with some medications such as organic nitrate drugs
- Drinking beet juice may result in red stool or urine.
The Bottom Line
No matter how you prepare them, beets are healthy. However, beet juice is a better and more enjoyable option because cooking beets reduces its nutritional value. For people who may not like beet juice, adding some mint, carrot, citrus, or apple slices, mint, citrus may improve its taste.
The trick to adding beet juice to your diet is to take it easy at first. See how your body responds to small quantities of beetroot. Then, you can drink more as your body gets used to it,
It is advisable to take beetroot along with a variety of other foods because it is the total diet that is most important in achieving good health. Beetroot products are easily-accessible and available as juice, powder, supplements, pickled beets, and extract.