A root vegetable that is versatile in its utility in the kitchen but nutritious nevertheless – Beetroot. The dark red interior of the beetroot is a luring factor for many and can be used in a variety of dishes starting from soups to desserts.
Okay, so we all know that beets are flavorful. But what about the benefits? Oh, that’s sweet too!
Beet root is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants as well as fiber that is good for health. The key nutrients present in beets are Manganese, Vitamins C and B6, Potassium and folate.
Similar to root vegetables like radish and turnip, the leaves of beet root is edible too and can be used in salads or can be cooked with pulses (dal) to make a gravy.
There are many varieties of beetroot available – Boldor, Albina Vereduna, Chioggia, Bull’s Blood Scarletta and Subeto. But check what is available in your locality and buy your native beetroot varieties. Native varieties are always better than imported ones for the simple reason that they tend to more fresh.
Some of the benefits of beetroot are explained below:
Beetroot to fight Blood pressure
In Ayurveda, a juice made with beetroot is suggested to reduce blood pressure levels.
Method of making this juice is given below:
- Cut one small beetroot into slices.
- Put these in a bowl of water with a pinch of salt and allow the water to boil just for a couple of minutes.
- Let the half cooked beetroot slices cool down.
- Puree these slices in a blender along with some lettuce leaves – add some mint leaves to this if you would like the flavor.
Those with diabetes can consume beetroot in the form of boiled slices instead of as a juice.
To increase hemoglobin levels and to treat Anemia
Beets are extremely rich in iron content and is hence a great way to increase haemoglobin and iron levels in the blood. If you’d like to consume beetroot for treating anemia, the best way would be in the form of a raw salad. Sliced raw beets with crumbled cottage cheese and parsley leaves make a great salad. You can sprinkle ground pepper, salt and other herbs based on your taste to make it a simple delicacy.
To reduce obesity
Contrary to popular belief, beets although seem to be rich in sugar and carbohydrates, are actually good for those obese. In fact, they help to reduce obesity. This is because beets improve metabolism and thereby aid in loss of weight. But needless to say, you should complement this with exercise and a good diet.
While we are on the topic of how to eat beets, a word of advice. Beets tend to lose their nutrient when they get cooked for longer periods of time. For this reason, always cook beetroot for not more than 12 to 15 minutes at the most.
Beetroot is rich in folic acid which is crucial for healthy development of the foetus. Folic acid is particularly mportant during the first and second trimesters as it helps in healthy tissue development. Apart from this, since most pregnant women suffer from fatigue and nausea, and also need lot of iron content beets serve as an all round super food during pregnancy.
A good way to consume beets during pregnancy would be to boil it just for a minute or two, and grate the beet to make an extract.
This extract can be consumed with little lime squeezed on top for flavour. Since beets tend to be sweet, pick a time when they would not make you throw up so that you can keep some of it in your tummy!
Beets have a great detoxification effect and could go a long way in cleansing your body.A simple juice of beetroot, lemon and mint will act as a great cleanse for your liver by thinning the bile. Accordinlg to the American liver association, beetroot can also aid in healing liver related disorders. If you’re looking for an everyday drink that you can drink along with your breakfast, this simple recipe can be followed:
- Slice half a beetroot into small pieces.
- Slice one carrot into small slices.
- Wash 6-10 mint (pudina) leaves.
- Blend the above three together along with a teaspoon of cumin powder and little salt.
Improves immunity levels
Beetroot is high in Vitamin C. This antioxidant vitamin helps to boost your immunity. This particular vitamin is also present in many yellow vegetables and citrus fruits as well. Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables is hence recommended for overall health and good immunity levels.
Who should not eat beetroot
Similar to tomatoes, beetroot is high in oxalate which contributes to formation of kidney stones. Hence, if you are already suffering from the condition keeping beetroot consumption to a minimum would be better.
Diabetics should refrain from consuming high amounts of beetroot or its juice. However, when eaten in the raw form beets to do not cause spikes in sugar levels.
Beets may be cooked with or without the skin depending on your preference. Obviously though, with skin means more nutrition.