Red beet is known for its vibrant deep red color. The red beetroot is very versatile and easy to incorporate into your meals. There are many ways to prepare red beetroot. By now, you probably had your share of beetroot dishes or drinks.
But do you know the health benefits of beetroots? Stick around to find out about some significant benefits you may not have heard of before.
What is beetroot?
The red beetroot stems from a taproot (the dominant root where other roots sprout). The scientific name for beetroot is Beta vulgaris. You can eat beetroot in a salad or pickled; some countries even have pickled beetroot on their hamburgers (but more about its versatility later).
Beetroots contain a pigment called betanin (dark purplish red). You can determine the pH of the beetroot by observing its color. The more alkaline the beet, the more purple they are in color, and the more acidic the root; the redder the color.
Beetroot (juice) and its leaves are known for their medicinal properties in some countries. Beetroot contains:
- vitamin C
Beetroot also has a high inorganic nitrate content along with several other vitamins and minerals.
In the past, people used beetroot as a mouth freshener to get rid of garlic breath.
Beetroot has a long history that dates back to Ancient Middle East.
Beetroot leaves are edible, most people use them to make teas.
During the Middle Ages, beetroot was a form of treatment for blood and digestive conditions.
Beetroot may contain the highest sugar levels of all vegetables.
In some cultures, people use beetroot to treat some skin conditions such as acne and pimples.
Health benefits of beetroot
Red beets, their juices, and leaves offer many health benefits:
- may lower blood pressure
- may lower your risk of heart diseases
- may increase exercise/physical performance
- feed good gut bacteria (FODMAPs-fructans)
- may improve digestion
- offer antioxidant defense
- may prevent DNA damage
- causes reduction of inflammation (oxidation)
- nitric oxide (regulate blood pressure, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation)
- may aid diabetes
You can try red beets roasted, boiled, steamed, pulled, grated (salad), pickled, as a condiment, beetroot juice, or a smoothie. Apply beetroot juice on dark spots to lighten them.
Beetroot pineapple carrot smoothie
- 1 apple
- 2-3 carrots
- 3 beetroots
- ½ a cup pineapple chunks
- 1 ½ cups water (or coconut water for extra flavor)
Blend and enjoy.
What are the benefits of beetroot for the skin?
Beetroot also has some impressive benefits for the skin:
- may combat skin pigmentation (due to vitamin C content)
- may fight acne and pimples
- may give skin a healthy glow
- may nourish and hydrate skin
- may fight wrinkles (anti-aging properties)
- Mash an already-cooked beetroot into a pulp and apply it to your face.
- Leave on your face for ten minutes and rinse off.
- Wash and moisturize your face.
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 1 small beetroot (pulled and chopped)
- 1 tablespoon coconut cream
- Blend the ingredients in a blender.
- Apply to your face.
- Leave it on for ten minutes.
- Rinse off with lukewarm water.
- Wash and moisturize your face.
Home-made beetroot natural hair color
Did you know that you can dye your hair naturally but temporarily with red beetroot? That comes as no surprise as the beetroot is notorious as a stainer. Due to its vibrant color, some women around the world use beetroot to temporarily dye their hair or add a hint of red to their dark tresses.
Natural beetroot dye
This dye is only temporary as it is not a permanent dye. If you are looking for a more natural dye, and want to protect your hair from the harsh side effects of permanent dyes, perhaps you can try this natural homemade recipe.
- 3-4 medium beetroot (preferably baked/cooked)
- ½ cup coconut cream
- Ten drops of lavender essential oil (optional)
- Ten drops of rosemary essential oil (optional)
- Blend the beetroot and coconut cream in a blender.
- Add lavender and rosemary essential oils (optional) to the mixture.
- Apply the mixture to freshly washed hair.
Pure Essential Oils
Some people with kidney stones cannot tolerate red beets. Its high levels of oxalates may interfere with the absorption of micronutrients. Excessive consumption of beetroot can cause IBS flare-ups and upset stomachs in sensitive individuals.
However, when consumed in small portions beetroot can provide significant health benefits.
Red beets are known for their vibrant red color and are easy to prepare: cooked, broiled, baked, grilled, pickled, grated, or oven fried. In ancient times, red beets and their leaves were used for medicinal purposes.
Red beets offer some health and beauty benefits, such as lower blood pressure, may improve good gut bacteria, and may give skin a healthy glow. Consuming too many red beets has some side effects, such as possible IBS fare-ups and kidney stones.
You should never get all of your nutrition from one source. A healthy lifestyle includes a diet rich in various fruits and vegetables; variety, not exclusivity is key.
Fruits and vegetables offer us many benefits, and when you know how beneficial they are, it is the hope that you value and appreciate them even more.
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Find more information about the immune system here.