Beetroot is a food that, due to its high nutrient content, can help the body perform many metabolic functions and can also prevent the onset of some diseases.
This vegetable is very easy to consume , due to its sugary taste, allowing it to be easily integrated into many recipes in our daily diet.
In the following article, we give you all the information you need to know about this spectacular food and its benefits for human health.
What is beetroot?
Known worldwide as beets or beets (Beta vulgaris) , it is a food that is characterized by its intense red color and very sweet flavor, due to its high content of sucrose, a type of natural sugar, but this vegetable is low in energy.
Note: This herbaceous plant comes from the coastal area of North Africa and its consumption and production have spread in many areas of the world.
Its nutritional composition includes many important vitamins and minerals for nutrition and to strengthen some functions of the organism.
To highlight: Industrialization has managed to obtain from this vegetable a product called beet sugar whose consumption in some European countries is important. (1)
What benefits does beetroot have for health?
Thanks to its chemical and nutritional components, beets or beets offer extraordinary health benefits, which we describe below:
1. Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
One of the main benefits of beets is its contribution to cardiovascular health. The evidence is pointing to the fact that beetroot juice has nitrates that, when ingested, are converted into nitrites and then converted into nitric oxide by gastric juices .
You should know: Nitric oxide is a vascular vasodilator that relaxes and widens the walls of blood vessels , contributing to better blood circulation and lowering blood pressure. (two)
Additionally, its content of vitamin C and a group of antioxidants called betacyanins , contribute to reducing the degradation of bad cholesterol, reducing its presence in the blood.
Note: Its dietary fiber content regulates the absorption of cholesterol through the intestines, an aspect that benefits heart health.
2. Controls blood sugar levels
Thanks to its dietary fiber content , beetroot consumption regulates the absorption of glucose through the intestines, controlling its presence in the blood.
Consequently, this brings benefits, such as the prevention of diabetes, mainly due to the consumption of the soluble fraction of the fiber, being effective in the control of glycemia, delaying gastric emptying and decreasing the absorption of sugar from food, as it remains trapped by the viscosity of the fiber. (3)
3. Fight free radicals
The presence of vitamin C and betacyanins, as well as minerals such as selenium, manganese, iron and zinc, micronutrients with antioxidant properties, help eliminate free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to healthy cells.
These antioxidants prevent cell deterioration and premature aging of cells, avoiding many diseases of degenerative origin.
Note: Studies indicate that beets may provide protection against certain disorders related to oxidative stress in humans. (4)
4. Decreases inflammation
Beetroot or beets contain betalain, an antioxidant compound responsible for reducing inflammation in the body.
When the body accumulates toxins in tissues and cells, beet juice helps to reduce the presence of these toxins, reducing the likelihood of the appearance of inflammatory processes in the body.
To highlight: Betalain is a compound responsible for the dark purple pigmentation in beets.
5. Strengthens bones and teeth
Consuming beets regularly helps maintain the health of bones and teeth . The presence of calcium in this vegetable helps prevent degenerative processes in the bones such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. (5)
Note: Beetroot contains vitamin C, a nutrient that helps in the synthesis of collagen, a protein that gives bones elasticity.
6. Improves physical performance
Beetroot has the property of recovering muscle fatigue, improving performance in sports activities.
As previously mentioned, this vegetable contains nitrates that, when consumed, are transformed into nitric oxide, a vasodilator of the arteries, facilitating the supply through the blood of oxygen and nutrients necessary for muscle recovery . In addition, the carbohydrates present in this vegetable provide healthy energy that is immediately available to the body.
You should know: Beets or beets contain iron , an important mineral in the synthesis of hemoglobin and the production of red blood cells , and vitamin C, which helps in the absorption of this mineral.
7. Promotes pregnancy
The consumption of beetroot juice provides a good amount of folic acid , an essential vitamin in the gestation process in women.
The presence of vitamin B9 helps in the development of different fetal organs, as well as prevents congenital defects of the brain such as anencephaly and spinal cord such as spina bifida.
Important: The deficiency of folic acid during the gestation stage causes serious congenital anomalies known as neural tube defects. (6)
8. Stimulates intestinal transit
Beetroot has a significant contribution of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber , favoring intestinal function.
The soluble fiber of this vegetable traps the water content of food, turning it into a gelatinous mass during digestion, facilitating the transit of food through the intestines and regulating the absorption of nutrients from the stomach.
Meanwhile, insoluble fiber makes it easier for food to pass through the stomach and intestines and adds bulk to the stool, making it easier to pass.
To highlight: Dietary fiber from plant foods prevents discomfort in the digestive tract and prevents constipation. (7)
9. Prevents some types of cancer
Once again, the presence of betalain, a substance with antioxidant properties, helps prevent some types of cancer.
As is known, free radicals contribute to the development and proliferation of cancer cells in the body. Beet antioxidants inhibit this activity in these cells, preventing the appearance of colon, stomach, lung, breast, prostate and testicular cancer.
Note: Betalain is also considered a liver protectant.
Nutritional properties of beets
Beetroot contains a wide variety of fabulous nutrients that promote human health and that we mention below:
Beetroot provides the following vitamins: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid and vitamin C , with a greater presence of ascorbic acid and folic acid.
As for minerals are potassium, sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and selenium . Potassium has the greatest presence with 300 mg for each edible portion of 100 grams. (8)
Note: This vegetable also has a high content of water, fiber, carbohydrates and vegetable protein.
What is the best way to consume beets?
Traditionally, beets have been part of salads and juices for many years. However, at the time of your choice it is better to buy it raw than processed, since in this way we have all its nutritional benefits available.
In this sense, beets can be eaten raw or cooked . When you want to eat it cooked, it is important when you boil it, not remove the skin, so that it preserves its nutrients.
- Beetroot has the property of fighting free radicals and reducing inflammation in the body.
- The consumption of beets or beets is important in the stage of pregnancy of the woman, since it prevents the appearance of congenital diseases.
- This vegetable favors the transit of food in the digestive tract and helps in the prevention of some types of cancer .
- Beetroot can be eaten raw or cooked and can be included in many recipes for energy meals and juices.