Beetroot (Beta vulgaris) is a root vegetable also known as red beet, table beet, garden beet, or just beet. Beetroots are delicious raw but more frequently cooked or pickled. Their leaves — known as beet greens — can also be eaten. There are numerous types of beetroot, many of which are distinguished by their color — yellow, white, pink, or dark purple. It is also called chukandar in hindi.
There are many health benefits of eating beetroots.
- Lower Blood Pressure
Beetroots lowers high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Beetroot contain nitrates which increases physical performance. It increases stamina, boost oxygen use, and lead to better exercise perform performance overall.
Help Fight Inflammation
Beets contain pigments called betalains, which may potentially possess a number of anti-inflammatory properties which reduces inflammation.
Improve Digestive Health
Beetroot helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract as it contains high fiber content. It also improves digestion, prevents constipation, chronic diseases, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis.
Help Support Brain Health
Beetroots promotes the dilation of blood vessels and thus increasing blood flow to the brain.
Have Some Anti-Cancer Properties
Beetroots has antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory nature which reduces the risk of cancer.
Help You Lose Weight
Beets have several nutritional properties that should make them good for weight loss.
First, beets are low in calories and high in water.
The fiber in beets may also help promote weight loss by reducing appetite and promoting feelings of fullness, thereby reducing overall calorie intake.
Beetroots improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older adults.
- Good for Sexual Health
Beetroot is also called “Nature’s Viagra”. Being a good source of nitrate, it releases nitrate oxide into body, which helps increase blood flow to genitals. It also contains boron which promotes production of sex hormones.
Beet greens are rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin which protect eyes from disorders like macular degeneration and cataract. Phytochemicals in them are good for eyes health.
Beetroot makes for a good home remedy for treating arthritis. Presence of alkanes and potassium in beets dissolve the deposits accumulated around knees. As calcium is the building block of bones, absorption of calcium in the body is equally important. Beets are a good source of mineral silica which helps absorption of calcium in the body, thereby prevent the problem of low bone density.
- Mood Lifter
Beets contain betalain and tryptophan which are anti-depressants. Drinking beets juice daily creates a sense of well-being and prevents mood swings too.
for Pregnant Women
Beetroot is loaded with folic acid which is essential for the pregnant ladies and unborn babies because it contributes to the formation of the child’s spinal cord.
Beetroot is rich in iron content. Iron helps in the formation of hemagglutinin which is part of blood and helps transport oxygen and nutrients in various parts of the body.
Taking beetroot juice daily reduces cramps during menstrual cycle.
The best time to consume beetroot is consuming it early in the morning. If you eat beets as part of a heavy meal, wait at least three hours before exercising. If you eat beets or another snack before exercise, wait about 30 minutes before you work out. Sharp, tangy mustard plays a delightful foil to beets. Go simple with a Beet, Cucumber, and Sweet Onion Salad with Dijon-Honey Dressing. Or pair beets with cured fish, like in a dish of Warm Baby Beets and Herring with Mustard Dill Sauce.
Ways to use Beetroot
- Beets can be juiced, roasted, steamed or pickled. Also, they can be bought pre cooked and canned for convenience.
- Beetroot salad: Grated beets make a flavorful and colorful addition to coleslaw.
- Beetroot dip: Beets blended with Greek yogurt make a delicious and healthy dip.
juice: Fresh beetroot juice is best, as store-bought juice can
be high in added sugars and may only contain a small amount of beets.
Beetroot leaves: Beet leaves can be cooked and enjoyed like spinach, so don’t throw them out.
How to buy and store beetroot
- Choose beets that are heavy for their size with fresh, unwilted green leafy tops still attached.
- The greens should be fresh-looking with no signs of spoilage.
- The beetroot should be firm, smooth, and a vibrant red-purple, not soft, wrinkled or dull in colour.
- Fresh beets with the greens attached can be stored for three to four days in the fridge, but beets with the greens removed can be stored in the fridge for two to four weeks.
- Raw beets do not freeze well since they tend to become soft on thawing.
- To store beets for a few days, refrigerate them in a tightly sealed bag.
Uses of Beetroot
- Hair care: Beetroot is actually one of the best home remedies to fight the flakes and an itchy scalp. You can boil some beets in water and use the concentrated liquid to massage on the scalp. Alternatively, you can mix some beetroot juice, vinegar and ginger juice and apply to the scalp. Keep this for 20 minutes and rinse.
- Face Pack – Beetroot been widely used as a face pack by many cultures. It lends a pinkish hue to your skin. Although the results are more visible on fair people, regular use of this beetroot mask for face can help give you flawless skin by reducing pores and dark spots. Take a bowl and add 2 teaspoons of orange peel powder and 1 teaspoon of beetroot juice. Mix the ingredients together until a thick paste is formed. Apply it all over your face and wash it off using cold water. Repeat these steps on alternate days to see better results.
Continuous exposure to the sun can lead to tanning which can make our skin look dull and pale. Beetroot can help you get rid of tanning as well. Take 1 teaspoon of beetroot juice, 1 tablespoon of sour cream and mix them together. Massage the face-pack and let it dry for about 20-25 minutes. Once it is done, rinse it off using normal water. Apply this beetroot face-pack twice a week for better results.
Beetroot helps in lightening the stubborn dark circles too. Take 1 teaspoon of beetroot juice and mix in a few drops of almond oil to it. Massage it on the area under your eyes. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water.
- For dry skin
Beetroot is an excellent source of antioxidants that can possibly increase the blood circulation in the body. To prepare this face-pack, take 1 teaspoon of raw milk, 2-3 drops of almond oil or coconut oil and 2 teaspoons of beetroot juice. Mix the ingredients properly. Gently massage it on your face and allow it to stay for 10 minutes. Later, wash it off with plain water and watch out for results.
Antipruritic properties of beets help reduce dandruff and itchiness. Apply beetroot juice mixed with vinegar on the scalp to cleanse it.
Being a detoxifier, it can curb acne. Drinking beetroot juice diluted with carrot, orange, apple or cucumber can help you get rid of acne problem.
- Tones Skin
Blend 1 beet, ½ cup of chopped cabbage and ¼ cup of water. Now pour the mixture in an ice tray. Whenever you want, rub those ice cubes on your face to get toned skin.
Beets have loads of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They remove the dead cells and wrinkles, and also slow down the ageing process.
- Glowing Skin
Beets carry all the necessary vitamins and minerals to make your skin glowing. Apply mixture of grinded beetroot and cream on your face. Let it dry and rinse off.
Apply mixture of beetroot juice and turmeric on your face; and rinse off after 15 minutes. This will improve your complexion.
- Natural Blush
Beetroot is a wonderful natural blush. Rubbing the dices of boiled beetroot on your skin gives them a pinkish tinge.
Beets act as a natural dye. All you have to do is apply beetroot juice on your hair and leave it for 1-2 hours. Finally, rinse off with water.
Beets moisturize the scalp and remove dryness. Enzymatic properties of beets treats dry conditions.
Applying beetroot juice on your lips for 10 minutes or overnight reduces lip pigmentation. Freeze this juice in an ice-tray and rub it on your lips whenever you want.
Season in which beetroot is available
Beetroot is available through May to September.
How to make Beetroot Curry-
1 1/2 cups finely chopped beetroot / chukandar
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
3/4 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp amchur powder / dry mango powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
A pinch of asafoetida
2 1/2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Wash the beetroot thoroughly. Peel the skin of the beetroot. Cut off the top of the beetroot and the pointed tip and discard them.
Finely chop the peeled beetroot into small cubes.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds.
Once cumin seeds change color slightly, add the finely chopped garlic and saute for a couple of seconds. Then add chopped beetroot cubes and stir.
Now add all the spice powders – turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, amchur powder and garam masala powder along with salt.
Stir well. Add 1/4 cup water.
Close the pressure cooker with the lid and the weight on. Pressure cook the beetroot curry for 5 whistles on medium flame and remove from heat.
Once the pressure has released by itself, remove the lid of the pressure cooker.
If there is still some water left in the curry, let it cook on a high flame, without the lid on, till there is no moisture left and the curry has dried up. This will allow all the spices to coat the beetroot. Remove from heat.
Dry beetroot curry is now ready to be served with rotis or rice.
1. Adjust chilli powder as per taste.
2. You can substitute for amchur powder by adding a dash of lemon juice when the curry is done.
How to make Beetroot Poriyal-
500 grams Beetroot diced (about 2 big beets)
2 teaspoon peanut oil (sesame,sunflower or vegetable oil works fine)
½ teaspoon urad dal
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 green chillies chopped (thai or serrano)
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 sprig curry leaves
1 big red onion chopped
¾ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoon shredded coconut
Steam the beetroot to your preference.( al-dente or fully
Heat oil in a saute pan and add in the urad dal, mustard seeds and the cumin seeds. Let it splutter.
Add in the green chillies, ginger and curry leaves all at once. Fry for a bare minute.
Add in the onions and the salt. Saute until soft and tender.
Add in the steamed beetroot and saute until combined. Add in the shredded coconut and toss to combine.
Remove from heat and serve with hot rice.
Safety profile for using beetroot
Beetroots are usually well tolerated — except for
individuals prone to kidney stones.
Consumption of beetroot may also cause your urine to become pink or red, which is harmless but often confused for blood.Drinking beetroot juice may cause red urine or stool. Other risks of consuming beetroots are
Beet greens contain high levels of oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stone formation.
Oxalates also have anti nutrient properties. This means that they may interfere with the absorption of micronutrients.
Levels of oxalates are much higher in the leaves than the root itself, but the root is nevertheless considered high in oxalates.
Beetroots contain FODMAPs in the form of fructans, which are short-chain carbs that feed your gut bacteria.
FODMAPs can cause unpleasant digestive upset in sensitive individuals, such as those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Beetroot Fun Facts
- Beetroot was first cultivated by the Romans.
- Beet is a vegetable and a natural “superfood” that offers powerful health and nutritional benefits.
- Beta is the ancient Latin name for beets, possibly of Celtic origin, becoming bete in Old English around 1400.
- It is low in calories and almost fat free
Betanin, which gives beetroot its colour, is a potent antioxidant.
- Beets are most extensively grown in temperate to cool regions or during the cooler seasons. The growing season varies from 8 to 10 weeks for garden beets in favourable climates to 30 weeks for some mangel-wurzels.
- The leaf, leaf stalks, and roots of beet plants are edible.
- The leaves of beetroot are high in vitamin A and minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.
- Although beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, most people can safely eat beet roots a few times a week.
- The blood-red color of beets comes from a powerful group of antioxidants called betalains.
- From the Middle Ages, beetroot was used as a treatment for a variety of conditions, especially illnesses relating to digestion and the blood.