The beet (Beta vulgaris) is an edible plant that was first cultivated as a good source in the Mediterranean, approximately four thousand years ago. Today, beets, or beetroots, can be found across the globe because they grow easily and thrive in most climates. Apart from the classic red root, other cultivars have arisen, such as the orange- or yellow-colored golden beet and the red-and-white chioggia beet.
List of known nutrients
Of all vegetables, beets have the highest sugar content. Despite this, they are still considered to be nutritious vegetables thanks to their wealth of minerals, vitamins, and organic compounds. Moreover, beets are low in calories and have no cholesterol. Beets contain the following nutrients in varying amounts:
- Betaines, including trimethylglycine
- Fiber, including pectin
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B9 (Folate or folic acid)
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
Medicinal uses for beets
Consuming beets diminishes the risks of heart diseases and disorders like atherosclerosis and strokes. Beets are a rich source of betaines, which are phytochemical compounds that prevent platelet clotting and atherosclerotic plaque formation. Equally important to the heart is vitamin B9 or folate, a vitamin that ensures blood vessels expand and contract in a healthy manner, and one that raw beets have in abundance.
Thanks to their abundance of nutrients, beets are good for other ailments such as:
- Cancer, including stomach cancer and colon cancer
- Chronic infection
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Liver diseases and disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Skin disorders
Women undergoing their menstrual cycle are usually recommended to drink beet juice. Beets are rich in iron, the essential mineral for healthy red blood cells. Moreover, beets assist in the conversion of nitrate into nitric oxide. This compound relaxes and dilates blood vessels and makes it easier for blood to flow to and from all parts of the body, including the uterus.
In addition to betaines and vitamin B9, beets have a lot of potassium, a mineral that softens blood vessels and reduces blood pressure throughout the whole body. Potassium ensures that blood clots are less likely to form and that plaque won’t be building up on the walls of blood vessels.
Beets are dense with carbohydrates, making them a good source of energy to fuel all the necessary bodily functions.
The betaines in beets improve liver function by lightening the accumulation of fat in the liver.
Individuals who suffer from kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid beets. The oxalates in beets can cause body fluids to crystallize, which can exacerbate kidney and bladder stones in people with the aforementioned conditions.
Body systems supported by beets
Beets have been regarded as an aphrodisiac for millenia due to their significant levels of boron. This mineral promote the generation of sexual hormones that in turn can lead to increased fertility, improved sperm mobility, and an overall healthier reproductive system.
Eating beets can benefit the whole body, primarily:
- Biliary system, including liver
- Digestive system, including bowels
- Immune system
Ways to use beets
Beets are naturally sweet and can be eaten right after being grilled, baked, roasted or boiled. They can even be eaten raw with a simple seasoning of salt, pepper, or lemon juice.
There is no shortage of more robust beet recipes, however, thanks largely to that well-known natural sweetness. Beets can be incorporated into salads, transformed into spreads, pickled for future snacking, prepared into pasta, and blended into juice.
Where to learn more
- Beets are an Alternative Cancer Treatment
- Beets can fight cancer, reduce blood pressure and more
- Beets detoxify the liver
- Beets help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease
- Beets Juice Detoxifies Liver, Colon, Boosts Brain & Improves Circulation! How to Prepare it?
Beet juice is usually recommended for menstruating women.
Beets are an excellent source of potassium.
They are also rich in essential carbohydrates.
Beets promote healthy liver function.
Beets should not be consumed by those with kidney or gallbladder problems.