Beetroot (Beta vulgaris): Health benefits and Side effects

Edited By Dr. Asha Jyoti Bharati

Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) belongs to family Chenopodiaceae is also known as red beet. This plant is a native to the Mediterranean region, nowadays cultivated in many parts. Beetroot has expectorant, diuretic, sedative effects. It is also used for the treatment of mental problems and liver diseases.

Important fact– Beetroot was used as an aphrodisiac to overcome sexual weakness in ancient times. Beetroot juice has the potential to expel kidney and bladder stone.

Nutritional value of Beetroot

Antioxidants like betalains that is, betacyanins (red-violet pigments) and betaxanthins (yellow pigments) are the main compounds found in beetroot. Flavonoids, polyphenols, vitamins, and folic acid other components are as follows (1).

Compound                                                                Amounts/100 g.
Energy                                                                 43 kcal
Protein 1.61 g
Total lipid (  Fat)s 0.17 g
Carbohydrates 9.56 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Sugar 6.76 g
Minerals
Calcium 16 mg
Iron 0.80 mg
Magnesium 23 mg
Phosphorous 40 mg
Potassium 325 mg
Sodium 78 mg
Vitamins
Folates 109 µg
Niacin 0.33 mg
Riboflavin 0.04 mg
Thiamin 0.031 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.06 mg
Vitamin A 33 IU
Vitamin E 0.04 mg
Vitamin C 4.9 mg

Health benefits of Beetroot

1. Treats anxiety disorder

Anxiety and depressions are two major health-related issues mainly result from stress-related disorders. Antioxidants like betalains and betaine, Vitamin C and flavonoids of beetroots act as anxiolytic and antidepressant (2).

2. Lowers blood pressure

Rich source of dietary nitrate in beetroot helps in the reduction of blood pressure. It converts nitric oxide and prevents hypertension. Therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular events (3).

3. Anti-thrombotic and Anti-inflammatory properties

Beetroot juice contains a variety of potentially bioactive phytochemicals, including betalains and flavonoids. Which prevents clotting and leukocyte adhesion. Thus having anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory effects (4).

4. Improve athletic performance

High nitrate supplementation of beetroot juice helps in improving the performance during high-intensity intermittent exercise by increasing nitric oxide (NO) level. Therefore beetroot juice can improve cardiorespiratory endurance and oxygen uptake in athletes by increasing efficiency in athletes (5).

5. Protects liver

The antioxidants like betalains, flavonoids, and phenolics present in beetroot protect against hepatotoxicity. These compounds help in scavenging free radicals to inhibit lipid peroxidation and increasing antioxidant defenses and protect the liver (6).

6. Prevents dementia

Nitrate in beetroot juice increases cerebral blood flow to the brain and improve connections within the motor community (7). Therefore, beetroot juices improve early stages of dementia and cognitive performances in the aging brain (8).

7. Anti-cancerous

Betanin, the major betacyanin constituent of beetroot, plays an important role in suppressing the development of multi-organ tumors (9). Beetroot juice inhibits the proliferation of prostate, lung, skin, and breast cancer (10).

9. Treat anemia

Anemia is mainly associated with iron deficiency and has serious implications. Beetroot contains compounds like flavonoid phenols. These compounds increases in serum iron level, mild increase in hemoglobin and ferritin. Therefore it can be stated that beetroot posses hematopoietic effects and treatment of anemia (11).

10. Good for pregnancy

Beetroot is one of the richest sources of folate, which is important for a healthy heart and for women trying to conceive, as it helps prevent spinal cord defects in the baby (12).

11. Healthy heart

Betaine in beetroot, reduces high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol (TC). Therefore, inhibits chronic inflammation and reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease (13).

12. Prevents birth defects

Folic acid is one of the ten essential vitamins in the human diet and plays a significant role in preventing neural tube defect. Beetroot contains a high amount of folate and vitamin which may help in preventing birth defect (14).

13. Antidiabetic

Beetroot juice was a particularly rich source of betalain, neo betanin and dietary nitrate which reduced blood glucose and postprandial insulin response thus may be beneficial to diabetics (15).

14. Prevents respiratory infections

Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in the immune response. Beetroot juice contains dietary nitrate which increases in bioavailability of NO, which could be expected to boost innate immune defense in upper and/or lower airways (16).

Side effects of Beetroot

1. Kidney stone

Beetroot contains anti-nutritive oxalates. The oxalates are mainly responsible for the kidney stone as they increase the accumulation of calcium oxalate stone. Therefore, it will be still recommended not to take excess for the people who have the tendency to develop kidney stone (17).

2. Beeturia

Excessive intake of beetroot may result in beeturia in some people. It is a condition where your urine may appear pink. If the patient finds this condition, should avoid beetroot containing foods and beverage and person may be underlying anemia or GI malabsorptive underlying condition (18).

3. Allergy

Allergy to beetroot is very rare but for precaution, the person should not eat beetroot because inhalation of vapor from boiling beetroot precipitated rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma (19).

Healthy Recipes of Beetroot

Beetroot and leaves are edible, delicious, rich in nutrition and easy to add in our diet by including pickles, salads, soups and also used as a natural coloring agent.

1. Beetroot juice

Beetroot juice is a rich source of potent antioxidants and nutrients. it can be used for blood pressure, cardiovascular disease prevention, healthy liver function, for cancer prevention.

Preparation

  1. Beetroot (2 to 3)
  2. Mint (4 to 5 sticks)
  3. Ginger (half teaspoon)
  4. Lemon (as per taste)
  5. Cucumber (1 to 2 cucumber)

Wash all the above ingredients. Peel the beetroot and cut into pieces. Blend them with mint, ginger, lemon and cucumber, and a little water.

2. Beetroot soup

Beetroot soup can be made with onion, carrots, tomato, and garlic by adding oil and cook all vegetable. Blend into a smooth puree adding a little cold water. Transfer puree back into the pan, add the strained cooking liquor and boil it.

References

    1. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/11080
    2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4753754/
    3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3545899/
    4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707742/
    5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5295087/
    6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23061292
    7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28329785
    8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5020246/
    9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21434853
    10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0304383595040870
    11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6190212/
    12. https://academicjournals.org/journal/ISABB-JFAS/article-full-text-pdf/DC9907956091
    13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27278926
    14. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1003063008648
    15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4153083/
    16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29370244
    17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4525130/
    18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537012/
    19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3354182/

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