Beetroot (chukandar) is a root vegetable, scientifically known as Beta Vulgaris. It is packed with essential nutrients and is a great source of fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron and Vitamin C. Traditionally beetroots are valued for their ability to detoxify and purify the blood and the liver. The betalin pigment in beetroot breaks down toxins and supports in detoxification.1 cup (136 grams) of boiled beetroots contains less than 60 calories and is a good option for weigh-watchers while satiating their sweet-tooth as well.
Beetroots are delicious when eaten raw but are also pickled or cooked. Their leaves can also be cooked like spinach. Here are some amazing health benefits of beetroot:
1 . LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
Drinking beetroot juice helps lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. A glass of this juice helps lower systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points. The benefit comes naturally from the nitrates in beets which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric acid in turn helps to relax and dilate the blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering it.
2 . BOOSTS STAMINA
If you need a boost to make it thru to your next workout, then beetroot juice is just what you need. Studies prove that those who had this juice prior to their workout were able to exercise for up to 16% longer.
3. HELPS IN WEIGHT LOSS
Beetroot is high in fiber and low in calories. It is popularly used in weight loss diet due to the soluble fibers present in it that helps to fight against fat. Beetroot also helps to cleanse the toxic and excess water from the body.
.4 . FIGHTS INFLAMMATION
Beetroot is a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protect cells, proteins and enzymes from environmental stress. It is also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors and keeps several chronic diseases at bay.
5 . RELIEVES ASTHMA SYMPTOMS
Beetroot is a powerful vegetable to treat asthma which is a respiratory disorder caused by temporary constriction in the airway passage of the lungs. The magnesium and Vitamin C content in beetroot help to relax the muscles near the bronchial tubes thus treating any discomfort caused by an asthma attack.
6 . PREVENTS CANCER
Beetroot possesses unique chronic disease fighting and anti-cancer chemicals which helps to reduce the risk of developing cancer. Beetroot’s rich purple color comes from beta-cyanins which is a powerful cancer fighting compound. Beets also contain betalains which promote overall well being.
WAYS TO INCLUDE IN DIET
-Start with juicing 3 beetroots and gradually increase to 4 or 5 beetroot daily.
-A juice of 1 green apple and 2 medium sized beetroots along with a one inch ginger piece would greatly improve athletic performance.
-Take 2 small beetroots, 2 to 3 kale leaves, ¼ inch ginger, 1 cucumber, 1 apple and prepare a juice. A dash of lime at the end would add to the taste.
-2 large beetroots boiled, peeled and cut into slices with a sprinkling of salt, pepper and lime would make an ideal pre-workout salad meal.
-Another way to include beet in your diet would be to grate a beetroot and mix it with your normal roti aata and make parathas out of it.
-Beetroot and carrot soup helps in decreasing the frequency of an asthma attack.