Beetroot Benefits | CK Birla Hospital
Beetroot (also called beets) is a versatile and vibrant type of root vegetable. It is known for its aroma and earthy flavour. Beetroot is a common part of the staple diet in many communities and is grown in many countries worldwide. It is often referred to as a functional food due to its various health benefits and many people call it a superfood too because of its rich nutritional profile.
Beetroot offers several health benefits as it is a chief source of many active compounds. It has been used for centuries because of various nutritional benefits. Some people eat it raw, others add it to vegetable curries, soups and salads. Beetroot is also used as an ingredient in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese systems of medicine.
This vegetable supports the digestive system, heart and brain and is a great addition to a balanced diet, possibly slowing the growth of cancer cells, helping alleviate inflammation and boosting athletic performance. Beetroot is easy to include in your diet and is delicious.
What is the Nutritional Value of Beetroot?
Beetroot contains fibre, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. This colourful vegetable is also packed with minerals and vitamins. The nutritional value of beetroot (per 100 grams) is mentioned in the table below:
What are the Properties of Beetroot?
Beetroot shows many helpful properties because of many phytochemicals such as betanidine, betanin, betacyanin, phenolics and flavonoids. Some potential properties of beetroot include:
- Antioxidant properties
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Blood glucose-lowering activity
- Blood pressure-lowering activity
- Anticancer activity
- Weight management
- Lipid-lowering activity
Beetroot might act as an anti-inflammatory food and a potent antioxidant as it has natural nitric oxide. It may help prevent and manage several health conditions which are caused due to the low availability of nitric oxide, like brain and heart disorders.
What are the Potential Uses of Beetroot?
Beetroot has potential uses for various parts of the human body and helps in certain conditions, such as:
A disease that affects blood vessels (endothelial dysfunction) is the reason for many heart problems and diseases, like atherosclerosis and hypertension. Beetroot may reduce heart disease risks by regulating endothelial function. It might also help lower blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure in the blood. Make sure you get a proper diagnosis and treatment by consulting your healthcare provider before using beetroot for these properties or any heart-related conditions.
The primary reason for the deterioration of cognitive functions (reasoning, remembering and thinking) is the reduced blood circulation to the brain. This can result in damage to the brain, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Beetroot may avoid damage to cognitive functions by improving blood circulation to the brain. Do not use beetroot to relieve or mitigate brain-related conditions. Consulting a psychiatrist or a doctor will help you make well-informed choices.
The body’s natural response to trauma, infection and other organisms that can harm the individual is known as inflammation. Inflammation is nothing but pain, swelling and redness at the affected site. Many potential anti-inflammatory compounds are in beetroot that may interfere with the inflammation pathways. It might help subside inflammation and reduce this inflammatory response. Consult with a doctor before using beetroot if you are suffering from inflammation or swelling anywhere in your body.
Components capable of causing oxidative stress are RONS (reactive oxygen and nitrogen species). These are generated in response to strenuous physical exercise, heat damage and infection. Oxidative stress is caused by excessive exposure of cells to RONS. Oxidative stress can damage important biomolecules like lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and DNA. The antioxidant benefits of beetroot may help protect the cells from damage and oxidative stress.
Owing to its many properties, beetroot might help avoid cancer development. Beetroot may show antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties that might be helpful in cancer. Beetroot may also show anticancer effects against colon cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer cells in laboratory studies. However, without proper consultation with a doctor, beetroot should not be used for any health condition like cancer.
There is a high amount of nitrates in beetroot juice. Intake of nitrates improves sports performance, so it may be beneficial for athletes. It might help increase the power and force output, delay the onset of muscle fatigue, reduce muscle stress and reduce the oxygen consumption of skeletal muscles.
Also Read: Diet During Summers
How to Use Beetroot?
There are various ways to incorporate beetroot into your diet:
- It can be added to juices, salads and soups cooked or raw
- To reap the benefits of beetroot, you can also drink its juice
Before consuming beetroot for regular use, you should always consult your Ayurvedic physician. They will prescribe the correct dosage and form for your health condition. Without consulting a qualified doctor, do not replace or discontinue an ongoing modern treatment or medicine with a herbal/ayurvedic preparation.
What are the Side Effects of Beetroot?
Beetroot has Some Reported Side Effects Associated with it:
- People who consume beetroot might notice pinkish or red urine and panic, however, there is no need to worry as it is due to the compounds that impart beetroot its typical colour. This is not blood.
- After eating beetroot, many people have complained of skin allergies. If you experience any of these allergic reactions or side effects after using beetroot, discontinue use and consult your doctor immediately.
What are the Precautions to Take with Beetroot?
The Precautions to Take When Using Beetroot are:
Precautions for Pregnant Women
During pregnancy, eating beetroot is considered acceptable, however like all foods it should be consumed in moderation.
Precautions for Breastfeeding Women
If you are a nursing female, eating beetroot does not lead to nitrate poisoning in the infant. The nitrate content of beetroot does not leach out significantly in breast milk, so the baby is safe.
Precautions for Children
Beetroots may cause nitrate poisoning in infants if given directly as it has high nitrate content. It should be avoided in infants under 3 months of age.
Eating beetroot may reduce the absorption of many oral drugs as it can decrease digestion transit time. If you are taking oral medication, it is advisable to avoid eating beetroot.
Talk to your doctor or physician about any precautions you may need to take before using beetroot for any health effects. Consulting with your doctor will help you avoid adverse health effects and make better choices.
Beetroot has numerous health benefits when eaten, however, its unregulated consumption might cause issues in some people, so it is advisable to seek medical help from an experienced dietitian. Timely care and help can ensure you have a tailored diet prescribed for you to reap beetroot’s benefits and avoid any adverse health effects.
At the CK Birla Hospital, we ensure patients get holistic medical support which includes treatment in a compassionate environment. This patient-centric approach not only helps patients heal better but also ensures they are aware of the preventive measures as well. In case you need to consult a dietitian, reach out to us, or book a direct appointment with Ms Prachi Jain at the CK Birla Hospital.
Is it OK to Eat Beetroot Every Day?
Daily consumption of beetroot in small quantities is unlikely to do any harm, however, a large intake can lead to digestive problems, black or red urine or low blood pressure for a person who is sensitive to its nutrients.
Also Read: Lifestyle changes and Blood Pressure Control
Are Beets Good for Males?
For men, cardiovascular complications and heart disease are one of the biggest health risks. Beetroot not only helps with cardiovascular health but has other beneficial effects all around the body.
Who should not Drink Beetroot Juice?
Drinking beetroot juice should be avoided by people who have low metabolism as it can cause beeturia and affect the process of urination.
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