Photograph of the root and the leaves of the red beet
What is common beet?
beet (Beta vulgaris) it is a plant of of the goosefoot family(
Chenopodiaceae) It comes from the south of Europe and, according to the most widespread
opinion, from Italy.
It derives from the wild species Beta maritima Linn that
grows freely in many marine areas of the south of Europe and north of Africa.
This species is not eatable and it has been only used as a medicinal plant.
beet was used in old times, when people did not only consume its root but the
leaves too. These have a flavor similar to the spinach. People in France still
eat them nowadays. It was in the XIX century when its use as food was abandoned
and it was fundamentally exploited for the production of sugar or the extraction
Varieties of common beet
beet varieties exist, among those the most outstanding ones are the red and the
white beet . Both are very rich in sugar which is much more assimilable that that
of the sugar cane.
They are also very rich in starch. Both possess eatable roots
and their leaves can be used as a a vegetable.
Being much more flavorful, the
red beet is the one that is generally dedicated to human feeding as , while the
white one is dedicated fundamentally to the production of sugar or the animal
Medicinal properties of beet root
a dietetic point of view, the red beet is the most interesting beet variety because
of its medicinal properties. It is know as a potent anticancerous food,
a virtue that derives from its wealth in flavonoids, mainly because of the red
pigment betaine .
It has been demonstrated that the ingestion of this plant inhibits
and prevents the appearance or the growth of cancerous tumors, just as the Hungarian
doctor Alexander Frerenegi verified in its experiments carried out with animals
and people. Those who ate a lot of beet developed many less tumors than those
that didn't do it. Also, cancerous people improved and resisted more time to the
illness if they ate raw beet or its powder. Therefore, it is very interesting
to eat this food raw in combination with other plants that help to purify the
organism and to prevent this terrible illness: tomatoes,
onions or cucumbers, for example. For its content
in folate is ideal to prevent heart illnesses .
This food constitutes
a very good body mineralizing . It is rich in iron what makes it very interesting
for its consumption in the women who need this element fundamentally during pregnancy
and menstruation, two periods when it is necessary to absorb a higher quantity
of this mineral . The ingestion of this mineral is essential for hemoglobin production,
or to prevent or treat anemia, leukemia or to supply iron after transfusions.
It is also a vegetable with rejuvenating properties whose consumption
can maintain us younger during more time. This property comes into effect
by the presence of folic acid, of which this plant is one with the highest proportion.
This acid contributes to the creation of new cells and also, together with iron,
to the production of red blood cells. It also intervenes in the creation of the
amino acid methionine whose existence is necessary for the good health of hair,
fingernails or skin. Its consumption makes our skin look younger and healthier.
It is also necessary to mention its participation in the production of the hormone
dopamine that prevents grumpiness and depressive symptoms. Another of the important
rejuvenating elements is silica, very important for the good health of bones,
arteries and skin. To take advantage of these properties it is convenient to
eat this food raw since folic acid gets spoilt when cooked.
is necessary to highlight its wealth in very useful fibers to empty our bowels
and to prevent constipation. In general, it is very digestive and it also
helps to assimilate the rest of foods since its wealth in rubidium increases gastric
Beet juice properties
Beets are also ideal to prepare juices, blended with other fruits like apples or vegetables like carrots. It is very appropriate for those who suffer
retention of liquids, so that obese or arthritic people should habitually
eat it. It is also very interesting for those who simple seek to reduce weight.
It does not only purify kidneys, but also blood because, being an alkalinizing
food, it helps to eliminate acidity from our body and can also help our liver
in its depurative function, a fact that makes it very interesting for liver
It stimulates our brain and eliminates toxins that can
accumulate in this organ , being very much useful to maintain a good mental
health and to prevent premature aging .
Caloric content of beets
For its wealth in carbohydrates it is a very energetic food, although very easily assimilable. It should be
consumed in combination with other vegetables, avoiding those with very caloric
content, specially those rich in starch. Whenever possible, it should be eaten
raw in salads .
Apart from people affected from kidney stones or gallstones, it is necessary to have in consideration that red beet is not very appropriate for those who possess a fragile stomach or those who have a tendency to develop acidity or flatulence.
For its wealth in sodiumthose who are advised to take a diet without salt should not abuse of its consumption , although its wealth in potassium neutralizes partly its content in sodium.