Before getting into the many red beet health benefits, let’s learn about this superfood. The blood-red color of beets gives a positive note to potato dishes and salads. Could it be that red beets indeed comprise blood? Individuals who have passed blood-red urine or feces a short time after eating beets might think so. What a fright! But it is not blood but a color given to this plant called betacyanin.
According to a study at the University of Sheffield, red urine or feces occurs in 10 percent to 14 percent of the population after eating beets. It is more common in people with iron deficiency or complications with intestinal assimilation of iron. Therefore, if one is shocked by red elimination, they should be thankful that this plant has cautioned of a potential lack of iron or digestive conditions.
Still, one should not worry overly: Beets not only warn of the trouble, but aid in its solution, thanks to their anti-anemic and normalizing impacts on the digestive system.
Red Beet Health Benefits
Carbohydrates (sugars) such as fructose and saccharose lead in beets’ composition. These can reach 10 percent of their weight, making the red beet one of the most extraordinary sugar-rich vegetables, exceeded only by other types of beets. These are beets’ most notable characteristics:
Anti-anemic – The anti-anemic action of red beets is well known and has been described by Doctor Schneider, among others. Their iron content and vitamin C, which facilitates the absorption of that mineral, are pretty reasonable and alone do not clarify red beets’ anti-anemic effect. It is probably some unknown component that promotes hematopoiesis (production of blood cells in the bone marrow).
Drinking fifty to one hundred ml of raw, freshly made beet juice before meals twice a day provides the most excellent anti-anemic effect. This is especially revealed when the patient does not respond well to iron therapy, which is the anemia case caused by low blood creation in the bone marrow (hypoplastic anemia).
Alkalizer – Beet’s high levels of mineral salts, mainly magnesium, calcium, and potassium, make clear their alkalizing effect on the blood. They are highly proposed in case of gout, heightened uric acid levels in the blood, low vegetable, high-fat diet.
Hypolipidemic – The beetroot contains large vegetable fiber, assisting intestinal action and lessening blood cholesterol levels by lowering the amount absorbed in the intestine. A study by the University of Minnesota showed that 30 mg of beet fiber daily over three weeks reduced total cholesterol by approximately 10 percent of its initial value. This decline was more substantial than other vegetable fibers such as wheat bran. It is highly recommended, then, that red beet frequently be included in the diet of individuals wishing to reduce cholesterol levels.
Mild laxative – due to its fiber content.
Anticarcinogen – Doctor Schneider refers to various events in Hungary and Germany in which cancerous tumors decreased or were destroyed by dispensing a daily dose of 250 grams of shredded beets or 300 to 500 ml of juice. These results were generated even when the juice was boiled and concentrated, making it more bearable to the stomach, which implies that no matter what the anticarcinogenic substance is, it is heat resilient.
The studies that are in the process today concerning the phytochemicals in plant-based foods may confirm these experiences and identify the anticarcinogen in red beets.
The sugar beets are a botanical variety (‘Beta vulgaris’ L. ssp. ‘vulgaris’ var. ‘altissima’) that is very rich in sugars (saccharose) but are not appropriate for direct consumption. The juice of the sugar beet contains up to 20 percent saccharose. Because of this, it is cultivated for industrial production of white sugar (saccharose).
Red Beets Scientific Facts
- Scientific name: Beta vulgaris L. var. conditiva.
- French: Betterave.
- Spanish: Remolacha, Remolacha de mesa, Remolacha colorada.
- German: Rote Bete.
- Description: A herbaceous plant of the botanical family Chenopodiaceae and the tuberous root of the red beet.
- Environment: Beets are cultivated throughout Europe and North America. They adapt well to cold climates.
How to use and Prepare Red Beets
- Fresh juice – The taste of beet juice is not very pleasant, so it can be sweetened with honey or mixed with other juices to make the taste more appealing. You can avoid indigestion by drinking no more than 50-100 ml.
- Great raw – Beets prepared this way may be dressed in lemon and oil.
- Boiled – Cooking beets make them more digestible. They ought to be boiled for at least one hour. They are simpler to peel if plunged in cold water whilst the beets are still hot.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 122, 123. Print.