Beetroot belongs to Chenopodiaceae class from the Beta Vulgaris species. This red coloured food is classified as a ‘Super food’ in today’s nutritional jargon. Its origin can be traced back to around 4000 years ago when ancient Babylonians used it for its several health benefits.
Beetroot is extensively cultivated on the coasts of Europe, North America, and Asia and in the muddy maritime marshes of England. Beetroots are not just available in one single colour, as most people assume; it is also available in other colours like white, golden and even multi-colour. The leaves and roots attached to the beets are also edible and are highly nutritious.
The popularity of beets grew leaps and bounds when it was discovered that they are an amazing source of sugar. Historical evidence suggests that when the British restricted the use of sugar cane for sugar production, Napoleon ordered beet to be used for the production of sugar, which increased its popularity.
The deep red roots of beets can be cooked, boiled or baked as a vegetable. In India, it is mostly eaten raw in salads. Another common form of consuming this vegetable is by extracting its juice. Beetroot juice is naturally sweet in taste with a plethora of health benefits. Other vegetables like carrot, apples or even beet leaves are added to the beetroot juice to reduce its strong effect. You can also add herbs to enhance the flavour of the juice.
Beets are not something people would crave for, especially because of it earthy taste, but I’m sure you would be compelled to include beet juice in your diet after reading this article.
Nutritional value of beetroot juice:
Beetroots are high in folic acid and manganese. The green leaves of this root vegetable are also nutrient dense and contains Vitamin A, C and K. It contains minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, copper, sulphur, silica and chlorine. These nutrients have a favourable effect on the blood, improve red cell production, increase the level of haemoglobin and improve the nutrition of the cells with oxygen. Beet juice is one of the richest sources of nitrates. It contains trace amounts of amino acids including D amino acids and alpha amino acids. Various antioxidants like flavonoids and carotenoids are also found in this vegetable.
Beetroot Juice Benefits
Well the number in the tittle makes it clear that the benefits of beetroot juice are many! Here we categorize them into health, skin and hair for better reading!
Beetroot Juice Health Benefits:
The health benefits of beets are known since centuries when Romans used beetroots to treat fever and constipation. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, advocated the use of beetroot leaves for binding the wounds. In the middle ages, beetroot was used for treating a variety of conditions, especially digestion and blood problems.
1. Research has revealed betanin in beets may exhibit anti-cancer activity. The betacyanin that the juice contains prevents the formation of cancerous tumours and detoxifies the body from harmful toxins. It is known to reverse cancer like leukaemia, lung, skin, and breast, prostate and testicular cancer. It has known to have critical impact on people suffering from stomach cancer by inhibiting cancer cell mutation. The betanin in beet juice has been proven to fight both skin and liver tumours when treated with beet juice. Cigarette smokers should especially incorporate beet juice in their diet to expel cancer forming agents. Moreover, a German study concluded that beetroot juice was rated as the most popular alternative cancer treatment.
2. Beetroot contains a pigment, which is known as betalain. This is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and fungicidal. The high antioxidant content and phenolic compounds of this juice prevents cell and DNA damage which helps to remove damaging and ageing free radicals. It also prevents oxidative stress which is common among people of this generation.
3. Beetroot juice is also associated with improving the digestive health, especially fat digestion as well as body’s metabolism. Beet juice perfectly cleanses intestines, stimulates their performance and improves peristalsis. It also stimulates the nerves in the intestine. It even helps people suffering from hypochlorhydria, a condition which increases stomach acidity. The fiber content in beet keeps waste materials moving through the small and large intestine at a great pace.
4. Beetroot juice is extremely beneficial for pregnant women as the folic acid found in beet juice prevents various birth defects and even provides a healthy pink skin tone to the baby. It aids in tissue growth and proper development of baby’s spinal cord.
5. Beetroot is a good source of carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. These two compounds are extremely beneficial for the health of the eyes, especially retina. Drinking raw beet juice helps to absorb the carotenoids easily. These carotenoids get destroyed easily while cooking so please consume it raw.
6. Drinking beet juice regularly improves physical activity and reduces negative effects of exercise in the body. It enhances energy and stamina which motivates people to work out harder for the day. Beetroot juice has also shown to help the body respond better to exercise by balancing oxygen use and increasing stamina.
7. Drinking one glass of beet juice daily aids blood flow to the brain and halts age related ailments like dementia. Beet juice energizes the elderly to lead active lives by widening blood vessels and by reducing the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during physical activities.
8. Beetroot juice is rich in iron and antioxidants, both of which are essential for proper blood supply. The iron content in beetroot juice is useful to people who suffer from anemia or low hemoglobin problem. It facilitates iron absorption which in turn increases blood count and improves blood circulation and oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells. Nitrates in beetroot juice are compounds which improve the blood flow throughout the body, including brain, heart and muscles. Natural nitrates increases molecule in the blood vessels called nitric oxide, which opens up the blood vessel and allows more oxygen to flow in the body.
9. Betanin in beet juice stimulates the function of cells and protects the liver and bile ducts. Fiber in beet increases production of detoxifying enzymes in the liver. It benefits the liver by protecting against fatty depositions caused by alcohol abuse, protein deficiency and other reasons.
10. The juice effectively boosts the immune system and fights inflammation. It protects from recurrent infections and age related degeneration. In other words, it provides more endurance, less fatigue and increased stamina which provides more vitality and energy to lead an energetic life. The magnesium present in this juice eases muscle tension, stress and anxiety.
11. Taking beetroot juice can be a great benefit to people who are suffering from glandular fever or Epstein Barr infection.
12. Beets are high in fibers and low in calories and are often used in the weight loss diet due to the soluble fibers present in it. Inclusion of beetroot juice in your diet can help metabolism in obese and overweight people and can treat obesity in overweight people holistically.
Apart from all these health benefits, beet juice is also known to treat tooth aches, menstrual problems, headache and lumbago.
[ Read: High Protein Fruits ]
Beetroot Juice Benefits for Skin:
Beetroot is simply amazing for the skin. It was believed that Aphrodite used to eat beetroot to retain her beauty. Drinking beetroot juice regularly will supply the body with essential nutrients, which will help to produce and maintain healthy skin. The beauty benefits of beetroot juice are:
13. Drinking beetroot juice regularly is beneficial in the prevention and cure of skin inflammations like acne and boils. Its anti-inflammatory property prevents outburst of acne and pimples. Care must be taken as it does not completely cure it. So visit a doctor if problem persists.
14. It purifies the blood from within and cleanses toxins and excess water from the body, imparting a healthy glow to the face. Applying beet juice on the skin will keep the skin hydrated and supple. Regular consumption will give you a fair and glowing complexion. Moreover, it promotes removal of the skin’s dead cells and replenishes it with new ones that give the skin a radiant glow.
15. Since it has powerful antioxidants, it benefits the skin and protects it from premature ageing by neutralizing free radicals effects. It also works as an anti-ageing substance and prevents wrinkles and fine lines. Lycopene found in beetroot juice maintains the skin elasticity and protects the skin from harsh sun rays. Thus, it protects against sun burn and skin cancer.
16. Using beetroot juice as a mask can give your complexion a pinkish tinge. Mix 1 tablespoon of carrot juice with 1 tablespoon of beetroot juice. Apply it all over the face with a cotton ball. Leave it for 10 minutes and then wash off.
17. You can also add beet juice to your clay mask, like multani mitti to make your skin fair and flawless. It will remove blemishes and dark spots if used regularly for a month.
[ Read: Tayberry Health Benefits ]
Beetroot Juice Benefits for Hair:
18. Beetroot juice contains carbohydrates, protein, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and Vitamin B and C. All these nutrients enable blood circulation in the scalp which promotes healthy hair growth.
19. Beetroot juice helps to eliminate itchy scalp and scalp dryness by its anti-pruritic properties. Its enzymatic properties destroy excessive dead cells and dry conditions of the scalp. It moisturizes the scalp and alleviates dryness and itchiness that accompanies a dandruff and oily scalp. Beet juice mixed with vinegar will cleanse the scalp off its dandruff and even psoriasis.
20. Beetroot juice can be mixed with henna as a natural dye to get auburn hues. As it is chemical free, it will keep the hair healthy and beautiful. You can also rinse you hair with pure beetroot juice diluted with water to give a reddish tint to your hair.
21. Carotenoids in beet juice improve the quality, thickness and shine of the hair. It assists in blood circulation which nourishes the hair follicles, which in turn promotes hair growth and produces good quality hair. The natural silica in beetroot improves the general health and gloss of the hair. Mix beet juice with ginger and massage your scalp with this mix. This will prevent hair loss and baldness.
[ Read: Health Benefits of Beetroot ]
Beetroot juice Side Effects:
- Beetroot juice is laxative and diuretic, so excess consumption can cause intestinal or stomach upset.
- 1 or 2 glasses of pure beetroot juice consumption can lower your pressure drastically and can cause dizziness and weakness.
- Drinking undiluted beetroot juice can cause diarrhea, so please dilute it before drinking it.
- Beet juice can cause allergic side effects like fever, chills, rashes, burning and itching sensation. Immediately consult a doctor if you experience any of the above mentioned problems.
Important points to remember:
- Regular consumption of beetroot juice may cause both your stool and urine to turn red. Don’t fret as this colour change is normal.
- Beet juice is very powerful so you require just a little dosage to get the benefits. You can increase the amount from half a glass to 1 glass gradually.
- Grind the whole beets; including the green leaves as the green leaves contain the maximum nutrients.
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