Beetroot is beautiful. There is no other vegetable that is able to impart such a vibrant pink/purple colour to pretty much everything it comes in contact with. Beetroot can be eaten in many different ways – raw, roasted, boiled, pickled, and even juiced. In fact, raw beetroot juice is an incredibly concentrated source of minerals and vitamins.
Some of its most notable health benefits include those associated with its folate, potassium, and polyphenol content. Folate is essential for healthy cell development and prevention of anaemia, and potassium is important in regulating one’s heartbeat, blood pressure, and nerve function. Beetroots contain a variety of bioactive polyphenols, antioxidants, and nitrates, which have been shown to contribute to lowering blood pressure and improving vascular health. The betalain pigments found in beetroot display anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, making this starchy vegetable a hot topic in the world of nutrition and health research with a growing interest in its potential as a functional food. Studies have shown that beetroot may play a beneficial role in treating conditions characterised by chronic inflammation. In addition to this, recent studies have shown the potential benefits of beetroot ingestion in reducing the risk and improving clinical outcomes for conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and dementia.
Beetroot has the highest sugar contents of any vegetable and is used commercially, although not as extensively as sugar cane, to produce table sugar. Interestingly enough, freshly boiled beetroot is nutritionally equal, if not superior, to the raw vegetable due to the fact that it has greater quantities of most minerals available for the body to absorb. Although some water-soluble vitamins are lost, most vitamins are retained in almost equal amounts after cooking beetroot.
- Nutrition and vascular health
- The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease