Why Beets?

Beetroot is not just an vegetable. It is the next Super Food.  Read below the interesting benefits that you can get from Beets.


  • Nutrition Facts about Beets   
  • Lowering Blood Pressure / hypertension
  • Boosting Stamina by reducing O2 use
  • Anemia and low blood hemoglobin
  • Pregnancy support
  • Lowering Cholesterol
  • Reducing Obesity & Overweight
  • Fighting against Cancer
  • Anti-aging
  • Digestive help
  • Glandular fever - Epstein Barr virus
  • Skin
  • Immune system
  • Inflammation
  • Hair
  • Brain function and age related neurological problems
  • Radiation Protection
  • Detoxifying the liver


  • “ Our research suggests that drinking beetroot juice, or consuming other nitrate-rich vegetables, might also be a simple way to maintain healthy cardiovascular system, and might also be an additional approach that once could take in the modern day battle against rising blood pressure

    - Dr. Amrita Ahluwalia, Professor, Queen Mary University, London, U.K



    1. Nutrition Facts about Beets. Being a root, it has minerals in higher quantities comparing to other vegetables. Check the following links for the detailed

    Click this for Canadian Nutrient File for Beets - Health Canada


    http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/beets.html

    Beets (Beta vulgaris), fresh, raw,

    Nutrition value per 100 g

    (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)


    Principle

    Nutrient value

    Percentage of RDA

    Energy

    45 cal

    2%

    Carbohydrates

    9.56 g

    7%

    Protein

    1.61 g

    1%

    Total Fat

    0.17 g

    0.5%

    Cholesterol

    0 mg

    0%

    Dietary Fiber

    2.80 g

    7%

    Vitamins

    Folates

    109 µg

    27%

    Niacin

    0.334 mg

    2%

    Pantothenic acid

    0.155 mg

    3%

    Pyridoxine

    0.067 mg

    5%

    Riboflavin

    0.057 mg

    4%

    Thiamin

    0.031 mg

    2.5%

    Vitamin A

    33 IU

    1%

    Vitamin C

    4.9 mg

    8%

    Vitamin E

    0.04 mg

    0.5%

    Vitamin K

    0.2 µg

    0%

    Electrolytes

    Sodium

    78 mg

    5%

    Potassium

    325 mg

    7%

    Minerals

    Calcium

    16 mg

    1.5%

    Copper

    0.075 mg

    8%

    Iron

    0.80 mg

    10%

    Magnesium

    23 mg

    6%

    Manganese

    0.329 mg

    14%

    Zinc

    0.35 mg

    3%

    Phytonutrients

    Carotene-ß

    20 µg

    --

    Betaine

    128.7 mg

    --

    Lutein-zeaxanthin

    0 µg

    --



    1. Lowering Blood Pressure

            Nitrite, the magic component in beets is an antioxidant. It plays an important and instrumental role of widening the blood vessels. There by it lowers the blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack. That's why beet is called cardiovascular friendly vegetable.


    A 2010 study carried out by Queen Mary’s University in London found that drinking just one 250ml glass of beetroot juice a day dramatically lowered blood pressure for several hours. It also found that the higher the blood pressure, the greater the drop observed. Queen Mary University Research News



    A new study carried out by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, found that a 500ml glass of the juice led to a significant drop in blood pressure after six hours. If beetroot juice was consumed widely, researchers say we could see a ten per cent reduction in death from cardiovascular disease.


    Nitrates lower blood pressure because bacteria in the mouth and gut convert it into the gas nitric oxide, which relaxes and widens the blood vessels, allowing blood to circulate more freely.


    Also Read,

    https://www.holisticprimarycare.net/topics/topics-a-g/cardiovascular-health/1477-a-new-angle-on-nitric-oxide-a-cvd-prevention (How to Beet Heart Disease?) - Texas Therapeutic Institute.


    References:

    http://www.neogenis.com/Articles-and-Research_ep_52.html You can find various publications related to nitric oxide and cardiovascular health.

     

    3.Boosting Stamina by reducing O2 use

    The high nitrite content reduces the oxygen uptake and thereby increases the tempo and stamina. The sportspersons, joggers, long walkers should take beet juice for better and easy performance. Beetroot helps in creating healthy red blood cells and in maximizing amout of O2 being carried on the red blood cells. It facilitates less fatigue and higher endurance providing more vitality and energy to live a full and energetic life. Read the detailed study information here.  Exercise Endurance - Beet Juice - Science Daily News - Prof. Andy Jones . Also refer

    Oxygen uptake kinetics as a determinant of sports performance.; Burnley M, Jones AM,; Eur J Sports Sci 7: 63-79, 2007.
    Effects of prior heavy exercise on phase II pulmonary oxygen uptake kinetics during heavy exercise.; Burnley M, Jones AM, Carter H, Doust JH.; J Appl Physiol 142: 102-110, 2005.
    Prior exercise speeds pulmonary O2 uptake kinetics by increases in both local muscle O2 availability and O2 utilization.; DeLorey DS, Kowalchuk JM, Heenan AP, duManoir GR, Paterson DH.; J APPl Physiol 103: 771-778, 2007.

        4. Anemia and low blood hemoglobin

    The good iron content in beetroot is most useful for the people with low hemoglobin and anemia issues. It aids in the absorption of iron, which increases the blood count thereby the blood circulation and there by the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells.


    1. Pregnancy support

    Beet is a rich source of folate (27% of RDA) which helps healthy baby development (Eg. Spinal Cord)  especially during the  first trimester. Pregnant moms or women who are trying for their pregnancy should include beet products in their meals menu. Scientist at University of Wisconsin-Madison Get the Facts on Folic Acid in Red Beets


    1. Lowering Cholesterol

    Beet has zero percent cholesterol. Beets can dissolve inorganic calcium deposits that clog up your pipeline. Beets can lower total cholesterol and triglycerides by 30 and 40 percent, respectively while increasing good HDLs! - Pharmacist Suzy Cohen. Read more at Beet Someone You Love


    1. Reducing Obesity & Overweight

       Beet metabolize all the nutrients even in a fat adding, heat adding, spicy, oily, and meaty foods and thereby reduces gaining weight due to taking such unhealthy foods. A clinical trial has concluded that beetroot could be important ingredient when treating obesity in overweight people holistically. Refer  In vitro effects of beetroot juice and chips on oxidative metabolism and apoptosis in neutrophils from obese individuals.; Zielinska-Przyjemska M, Olejnik A, Dobrowolska-Zachwieja A, Grajek W,; Phtother Res. 2009 Jan;23(1):49-55.



    1. Fighting against Cancer

    Studies have shown that beet inhibits the tumor growth and thereby fights against certain type of cancer. Refer

    1. 1. Why do cancer patients use alternative medicine?; Morant R, Jungi WF, Koehli C, Senn HJ.; Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1991 Jul 9;121(27-28):1029-34.
    2. Chemoprevention of DMBA-induced  UV-B promoted, NOR-1-induced TPA promoted skin carcinogenesis, and DEN-induced phenobarbital promoted liver tumors in mice by extract of beetroot.; Kapadia GJ, Azuine MA, Sridhar R, Okuda Y, Tsuruta A, Ichiishi E, Mukainake T, Takasaki M< Konoshima T, Nishino H, Tokuda H.; Pharmacol Res. 2003 Feb;47(2):141-8.
    3. Drinking water with red beetroot food color antagonizes esophageal carcinogenesis in N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine-treated rats.; Lechner JF, Wang LS, Rocha CM, Larue B, Henry C, McIntyre CM, Riedl KM, Schwartz SJ, Stoner GD.; J Med Food.2010 Jun;13(3):733-9

       

        9.   Anti-aging

    Beet is rich source of extremely active anti oxidants and phenolic compounds which helps beetroot to be more positive and effective in most areas. It helps prevent cell and DNA damage and help remove damaging and aging free radicals. Refer

    1. Phase II enzyme-inducing and antioxidant activities of beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extracts from phenotypes of different pigmentation.; Wettasinghe M, Bolling B, Plhak L, Xiao H, Parkin K.; J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Nov 6;50(23):6704-9.
    2. Antioxidant activity of plant extracts containinig phenolic compounds.; Kahkonen MP, Hopia Al, Vuorela HJ, Rauha JP< Pihlaja K, Kujala TS, Heinonen M.; J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Oct;47(10):3954-62.
    3. Protective effect of red beetroot against carbon tetrachloride- and N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced oxidative stress in rats.; Kujawska M, Ignatowicz E, Murias M, Ewertowska M, Mikotajczyk K, Jodynis-Liebert J.; J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Mar 25;57(6):2570-5.
    4. Total oxidant scavenging capacities of common European fruit and vegetable juices.; Lichtenthaler R, Marx F.; J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Jan 12;53(1):103-10.,

         

       10.    Digestive help

    Beetroot improves our digestive health as well as our body’s metabolism. It helps digestion of food notably fat. It also stimulates the nerves in the intestine. It’s nutrient increases the stomach acidity and thereby helps the individuals with hypochlorhydria, a condition causing abnormally low levels of  stomach acid. Read how-do-red-beets-affect-your-digestive-system


        11.  Glandular fever - Epstein Barr virus

    Using beetroot on Epstein-Barr virus (glandular fever) early antigen (EBV-EA) inducing, using Raji cells, revealed a high order of activity - and so, eating beets could be of benefit to people suffering from this type of fever or virus infection.


       12.  Skin

    Having powerful antioxidants, beetroot can protect our skin from premature aging due to the free-radical neutralizing effect the antioxidants have.


      13.  Immune system

    Beetroot boosts our immune system. Raw beet juice should be part of the diet, particularly when a person has deficient immune system or is prone to recurrent infections.  The older generation can drink beetroot juice regularly to ‘build-up their strength’ after illness or operation.


       14.  Inflammation

    Inflammatory processes are one of the main causes of premature aging and age related diseases. Beetroot is helpful in fighting against any inflammatory diseases.


       15.  Hair

    It is clinically proven that beetroot assists with proper blood circulation and thereby help to nourish the hair follicle and it may be true that better quality hair can be produced. The natural silica in beetroot may also support the general healthy and gloss of the hair. Though it is not clinically verified, people believe that the carotenoids in beetroot increase the hair thickness and fight against the dandruff.

       16.  Brain function and age related neurological problems

    Beetroot is good for Brain and can combat dementia - Study. Ingesting beetroot juice increases blood flow to the brain, which in older adults is very important, and may help in halting the progress of dementia. It also helps cognitive (mental) functioning. Studies have found that the frontal lobes of the brain in older people who drank beet juice improved in as early as four days. These lobes are critical part of the brain as  they are the part involved in dementia and reduced mental functioning.

       17.  Radiation Protection

    The concentrates of dietary fibres (CDF) in beetroot (containing lignin) are a very effective agent when used for radiation protection and radiation poisoning. - Russian scientists  who searched for radiation protecting compounds after the catastrophe at Chernobyl.

      18.  Detoxifying the liver

    A clinical study showed that the introduction of beet juice helped the liver detoxify and clear it from oxidative stress, while also protecting the liver cell’s DNA. Beetroot protects the liver against fatty depositions caused by alcohol abuse and protein deficiency;  protects the bile ducts, thereby improving the liver, kidney and bladder functioning and overall health.  The glycine betaine and methionine of beetroot supports cleansing the liver and stimulates the functioning of liver cells. So beetroot could be used as detoxifying agent or as a part of detox mixture. Refer Fruits and vegetables protect against the genotoxicity of heterocyclic aromatic amines activated by human xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes expressed in immortal mammalian cells.; Platt KL, Edenharder R, Aderhold S, Muckel E, Glatt H.; Mutat Res. 2010 Dec21;703(2):90-8.

     Side effects

    Check the product labels of any beet products to see if any ingredient is allergic to you. If you have problems with your kidneys or gall bladder it is advisable to first contact your medical practitioner before taking beet products on a daily basis, as beet is rich in oxalate. After consumption of beet products, you may have red urine (Beeturia) and red stools, but this is a normal manifestation when taking beet products. If you don't like it physically, You may also restrict taking non watered beet products(solid or viscous liquid) for not more than a cup a day or the juice for not more than 750 ml.