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The winter root vegetables beetroot (also beetroot) is notorious for its red-violet juice, which colors the skin and clothing - but this dye also works against inflammation. The red tuber provides vitamins and minerals, prevents heart diseases and promotes blood circulation.
Profile of the beetroot
- Scientific name: Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
- Common names: Beet, Beetroot, Rande (Switzerland), Rauna, Rana, Rahne, Rohne, Randig, Rahner (Austria, Bavaria)
- family: Foxtail family
- distribution: The wild form of the beet comes from the Mediterranean, probably from North Africa. The culture form is widespread in various variants in Eurasia and America.
- Parts of plants used: Root (turnip), leaves
- application areas:
- Vitamin and mineral supply
- Prevention of colds
- Heart disease
- Signs of aging
- Joint problems
- high blood pressure
- Reduction of excess weight
- Performance and appetite increase
Beetroot - an overview
The small beet is a real jack of all trades, because beetroot
- contains an abundance of valuable bioactive substances, many vitamins and minerals as well as acids and plant substances;
- promotes blood circulation and increases performance during sport, physical work and mental concentration;
- stimulates fat metabolism and thus promotes weight loss;
- is anti-inflammatory and prevents many diseases, including cancer, osteoarthritis and heart disease;
- supports a functioning digestion;
- brightens the mood;
- stabilizes blood sugar and thus also helps diabetics.
It is also good to know:
- Beetroot is a winter vegetable and fresh on the market in Germany from September to March.
- Beet (beetroot) and beetroot (beetroot) are not other species, but also color variants of the same type as the beetroot.
- The Germanized beet (beet) comes from the Latin term beta, which means turnip / root.
Caution: If beetroot is stored for a long time and / or if it is stored incorrectly, the nitrate contained can convert into nitrite, a substance that interferes with the oxygen exchange in the blood, which can lead to death in babies.
Beetroot contains vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C and folic acid. It also supplies the minerals iodine, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and a lot of iron (which can also be used by the vitamin C in the body). Added to this is betaine, which lowers homocysteine in the body that promotes heart disease. The beet also offers anthocyanins, which prevent cancer, and nitrate, which lowers blood pressure.
The polyphenol betanin colors the tuber red-purple, strengthens the body's immune system, inhibits inflammation and promotes blood clotting. When eaten beetroot raw, the body receives a large portion of vitamins B1, B2 and B6, vitamin C and folic acid. The combination of vitamin C, folic acid and iron promotes health here, because all three together support blood formation.
The tuber contains approximately one milligram of iron per 100 grams, which is a lot in comparison to other vegetables and therefore suitable to prevent iron deficiency.
100 grams of beetroot offer:
- 0.2 grams of fat,
- 78 milligrams of sodium,
- 325 milligrams of potassium,
- 2.8 grams of fiber,
- 4.9 milligrams of vitamin C,
- almost 80 micrograms of folic acid,
- 0.8 milligrams of iron,
- 16 milligrams of calcium,
- 23 milligrams of magnesium,
- 0.3 milligrams of zinc
- and 16 milligrams of manganese.
Beetroot - Health Effects
The beet is a real vitamin and mineral bomb and can therefore have a positive impact on health in many ways. In addition, winter vegetables contain little calories and little fat - so it's no wonder that beetroot is one of the healthiest vegetables.
Lose weight, blood circulation and fitness
Consuming the beet regularly promotes the formation of mitochondria in the cells. These increase performance and slow down signs of aging. The more mitochondria there are in the body, the better this fat burns. That is why the consumption of beetroot helps to lose weight. In addition, the increased blood circulation by enjoying the tuber supports weight loss.
Diabetes and high blood pressure
In diabetics and overweight people, the body's nitrogen production is reduced, and the consumption of beet can get it going again. This improves insulin sensitivity and allows diabetics to better control their blood sugar levels. The root vegetable also helps if the vessels are narrowed due to high blood pressure, as it widens them.
Beets contain a lot of nitrate. If this spreads with the saliva in the mouth, it becomes nitrite and then nitric oxide. The latter has an antibacterial effect. Caries is a disease caused by bacteria that arises when "oral bacteria" eat carbohydrates from human food and thereby produce lactic acid, which attacks the plaque. It is precisely these pathogens that fight the nitrogen monoxide formed.
Digestion and inflammation
Beetroot helps with digestion because the juice stimulates the functions of the intestine, liver and bladder. The red dye betanin is responsible for this, which is abundant in the beet. Betanine is one of the phytochemicals (flavonoids) that, as antioxidants, intercept free radicals (harmful enrichment of oxygen) and fight inflammation. A glass of tuber juice is a good tip to perform a colon cleanse.
The root vegetables also promote digestion due to the high proportion of fiber. These stimulate the production of stomach acid, minerals promote the functions of the kidneys. In this way, consumption prevents fluid from accumulating in the tissue and edema.
Beet is diuretic, we excrete more uric acid after consumption. This prevents an increased level of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricaemia) and gout disease. Eating beetroot also helps against inflammation of the skin such as acne, an abscess or boil and increases wound healing both internally and externally. After surgery, the beet is one of the complementary methods to accelerate wound healing.
Anemia - anemia
B vitamins that are present in beetroot promote the formation of red blood cells and thus counteract anemia. The high proportion of iron also prevents anemia due to a lack of iron.
Liver and cholesterol
Betaine helps to reduce fat accumulation in the liver or to prevent it from developing in the first place. The tuber also counteracts abnormal growth of the liver.
Beetroot cheers up
Betaine lightens the mood because it increases the level of the "happiness hormone" serotonin. This effect is easy, with severe depression you should not use beetroot, but use antidepressants.
Iodine and thyroid
Iodine is necessary for the thyroid to function. The root vegetables contain this mineral to a greater extent. Those who have problems covering their iodine needs (for example because they cannot tolerate salt containing iodine) can remedy the problem with regular consumption of the beet. The beta lines also prevent the thyroid from swelling.
Beetroot for athletes
Beetroot promotes the formation of mitochondria and thus increases the performance of athletes. These also benefit from the improved fat metabolism that regular tuber eating entails. The beet increases blood circulation, and this means for athletes: their muscles and tissue are better supplied, they can regenerate faster and are less prone to injury.
Injuries in the connective tissue heal faster. The beetroot nitrate reduced to nitrogen widens the vessels and increases athletic performance by up to 25 percent more energy. The dilation of the blood vessels also leads to an increased concentration.
Beetroot juice, drunk a few hours before exercise, has positive effects for various sports, from running and cycling to swimming, jumping, riding, weight training, martial arts and ball sports.
Viagra and similar drugs promote blood circulation, promote the formation of nitrogen in the body, especially in the genitals. Beetroot has the same effect.
Risks and contraindications
As healthy as the bioactive substances of the red root are - not all of them are good for everyone. Those who suffer from kidney stones or have a tendency to develop them should only consume raw beetroot to a very small extent. This is especially true for people suffering from Crohn's disease. Because the oxalic acid contained in the beet increases the risk of developing urinary and kidney stones.
If the contained nitrate converts to nitrite prematurely, for example due to long and incorrect storage, this can hinder the transport of oxygen in the blood and lead to the feared blue addiction in young children, from which babies can die.
One tip (for adults): If you drizzle lemon juice on the beetroot, vitamin C prevents the nitrate from turning into nitrite.
On the other hand, you do not have to worry about your "blood red" colored urine and your red-black stool after enjoying beetroot. These are color effects that pose no danger.
Beet has a sweet, earthy taste and can be used in many ways in the kitchen. Recipes range from beetroot stew with sour cream to beet cake, smoothies, sorbets and juice to soup and salad. Sliced well and as a side dish with meat dishes, it goes well.
There are hundreds of salad varieties with the root vegetables. The best known and a very healthy one is a beetroot and apple salad.
- apple and peeled beetroot are cut into small cubes,
- well mixed together
- seasoned with salt, pepper, vinegar and oil
- and seasoned with sour cream.
For a beetroot and lentil salad, the lentils are first seasoned with cumin and curry, then steamed in oil, quenched with vegetable broth and chilled after 10 minutes. The finely diced beetroot is mixed with finely chopped spring onions and finely chopped parsley. A dressing of honey, mustard, vinegar and pepper and three tablespoons of oil is placed on top. At the very end, mix the lentils with the salad.
Beetroot in salads go well with, among other things
- Feta cheese,
- and oranges.
The tart and flavorful beet also tolerates strong flavors as a partner and goes well with escorting rollmops or smoked trout.
The basic recipe for a beetroot soup is simple:
- You peel the turnip,
- cut into strips,
- boil for about 15 minutes,
- let them soak a little in the heat
- and season with salt and pepper.
The soup tastes smoother when you add a spoonful of sour cream or cream. Yogurt, cream cheese, buttermilk or crème fraîche are also possible. The same basic recipe with a few pieces of ginger and orange fillets is more unusual and very healthy.
In a soup with beet, fit among other things
- Potato cubes,
- Celery and apples,
- and cucumber.
Possible spices are
- dried onions,
- Curry mixes,
- Grated coconut,
- Caraway seed,
- Black cumin,
- and black pepper.
If you have a juicer, you can squeeze juice from the raw beet. In comparison to soup, this has the advantage that more of the important bioactive substances are retained. The disadvantage is that the typical herb-sweet taste does not taste everyone. You can counteract this by mixing beetroot with apple, orange and ginger in a ratio of 1: 3.
To boil beetroot,
- boil the sliced beets with two parts water, one part wine vinegar and onions,
- add ginger powder, Paris pepper, salt, bay leaves and cloves as spices,
- fill the panes into clean screw jars
- and pour broth on it until the vegetables are covered.
- Then close the jars airtight.
By the way: When putting on kitchen gloves, avoid the beetroot coloring your hands.
Eat raw beet
If you eat beet raw, you should not eat more than 200 grams of it because of the oxalic acid. Also, make sure that other foods you eat in a timely manner contain little or no acid. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
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