Beta vulgaris is what we commonly call as beetroot, or simply beet. It belongs to the plant family of Chenopodiaceae. An average cup of beetroot supplies us with thirty-one food calories. It contains 8.5 grams of carbohydrate and 1.5 grams of dietary fibre. Apart from these, 1.5 grams of protein is also supplied by a cup of beetroot.
The main minerals present in this vegetable are potassium and phosphorous. Cooked beetroot is an abundant source of folate and thereby finds place in the diet of people with increased blood pressure. The green leafy tops of the vegetable are highly nutritious since they are storehouses of iron and calcium. Research in this field points out that beetroot has the power to minimise the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Beetroots can in all ways be called as ‘nature’s candy”. Earlier, beetroot used to be considered similar to raddish. The vegetable owes its colour to a variety of betalain pigments present in it. It is based on the composition of this pigment that beetroots vary in their breeds. The presence of soluble fibre makes beetroot ideal for the treatment of coronary ailments. Phytochemicals carotenoids and flavonoids present in beetroot helps in the reduction of the harmful LDL, the bad cholesterol. LDL is prevented from being oxidised and getting deposited in the arteries. Needless to say, beetroot is fat free as well. Beetroot gets converted into sugars in a very gradual manner and thereby helps in maintaining the sugar level stable. Specific anti-carcinogens associated with the red colour of the vegetable are believed to be effective in fighting cancer. Due to this reason, beetroots are increasingly being used in alternative cancer treatment methods.
It is advisable to store beetroot either in refrigerators or in dark and cool shelves. If young and fresh, beetroots will not be spoiled for a few weeks even if kept outside the fridge.