11 health benefits of beetroot you should know

Often overlooked, beetroot is a superfood everyone should add to their daily diet. Here are 11 health benefits of beetroot you should be aware of!

Beetroot, with its vibrant hue and earthy flavour, is a vegetable that captivates both the eyes and the taste buds. Its deep crimson colour adds a burst of vibrancy to any dish, while its distinctive earthy taste offers a unique culinary experience. Whether roasted, pickled, or grated raw, beetroot’s versatility in the kitchen knows no bounds. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, beetroot boasts a plethora of health benefits, making it a powerhouse vegetable that deserves a place on your plate. From its ability to improve cardiovascular health to its high nutrient content, beetroot is a wholesome food that can be both delicious and nutritious.

11 health benefits of beetroot

If you’re looking for something that’s low in calories but high in nutrients, look no further than the humble beetroot, says Dr Archana Batra, a nutritionist and certified diabetes educator. Here are 11 reasons why you should make beetroot a part of your diet:

1. Rich in antioxidants

Beetroot is a potent source of antioxidants, including betalains and betacyanin, which help combat oxidative stress and neutralise free radicals in the body. These compounds play a crucial role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting cellular health. “Additionally, beetroot is also packed with protein, copper, magnesium, carbs, fibre, iron, and vitamin C nutrients,” says Dr Batra.

2. Low in calories

For those watching their calorie intake and who want to lose weight, beetroot is a fantastic addition to a healthy diet. It is very low in calories, which makes it an excellent choice for any weight loss diet.

Fresh beetroot juice
Beetroot is a weight loss-friendly superfood. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Lowers blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke. A meta-analysis of 16 trials published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2013 has shown that the nitrates found in beetroot can help dilate blood vessels, leading to lower blood pressure levels. Over time, it can contribute to better cardiovascular health and reduce hypertension risk.

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4. Provide anti-inflammatory properties

Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous health conditions, including heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. “The anti-inflammatory properties of beetroot help reduce inflammation in the body, potentially lowering the risk of developing these conditions,” according to Dr Batra.

5. Protects gut health

The fibre content in beetroot supports digestive health by promoting regularity and preventing constipation. Additionally, the presence of dietary nitrates may promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, supporting a healthy microbiome and overall gut function.

6. Contains anti-cancer properties

According to the Journal of Cancer Prevention, beetroot is a great source of polyphenols, flavonoids, dietary nitrates, and other useful nutrients, which may prevent the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer, and manage undesired effects associated with chemotherapy.

beetroot juice
Beetroot is a good antioxidant and can reduce the risk of cancer! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Supports brain health

The nitrates in beetroot have been shown to improve blood flow to the brain, which may enhance cognitive function and delay age-related cognitive decline. Additionally, the antioxidants in beetroot help protect brain cells from oxidative stress as well.

8. Improves energy levels

Beetroot is a natural source of energy-boosting nutrients, including carbohydrates, iron, and vitamin C. These nutrients help replenish energy stores and combat fatigue, making beetroot an excellent choice for those seeking a natural energy boost.

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Also read: Beetroot for beauty: 7 skin and hair benefits of this vibrant veggie

9. Prevents anaemia

Anemia, characterised by a deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood, can lead to fatigue, weakness, and other health issues. Beetroot is rich in iron and folate, essential nutrients for red blood cell production, making it a valuable addition to the diet for preventing and managing anaemia.

10. Manages diabetes

Despite its natural sweetness, beetroot has a low glycemic index, meaning it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Additionally, the fibre and nitrate content in beetroot may help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels, making it a diabetic-friendly food choice when consumed in moderation.

Diabetes check
Beetroot can help manage blood sugar levels. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

11. Good for liver

The detoxifying properties of beetroot make it beneficial for liver health. Beetroot helps stimulate liver function and promotes the elimination of toxins from the body, supporting overall liver health and function.

4 ways to consume beetroot every day

If you want to add beetroot to your diet, here are some quick and easy ways to enjoy this root vegetable:

1. Eat raw: Grate beetroot and add it to salads or sandwiches for a crunchy and colourful boost of nutrition.
2. Beetroot juice: To prepare beetroot juice, blend beetroot with other fruits and vegetables for a refreshing and nutrient-packed beverage.
3. Beetroot paratha: Incorporate grated beetroot into the dough for parathas, and enjoy it on your breakfast or lunch menu.
4. Beetroot pickle: Preserve beetroot slices in vinegar, spices, and herbs for a tangy and crunchy condiment that pairs well with sandwiches, burgers, or as a side dish.

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