A sweet vegetable that helps you beet diseases

A sweet vegetable that helps you beet diseases
There is a vegetable which is supposed to be high in carbohydrates and rich in sugar, yet is considered excellent for health. In fact, it has been used as a source of sugar during Napoleon’s reign. The greens of this vegetable are even healthier than the vegetable itself. What is it? Hint: it is not sugar cane.

This is the humble beetroot or beet as it is referred to colloquially. Originally, the greens of the beet used to be consumed, and it is only during the Roman era that the beet vegetable also started to be cooked and eaten.

According to Dr Joseph Mercola, although beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, most people can safely eat beetroot a few times a week (and their greens in unlimited quantities), enjoying their powerhouse nutrients that can help to improve health by lowering blood pressure in a matter of hours. In fact, one study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of four to five points.

Beet juice is valuable in boosting stamina. A study found that those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 per cent longer than those who did not. Beets contain betaine, which has the property of lowering homocysteine levels within the blood. It is a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress and is also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.

Whew! Want another reason to eat beets? Dr Mercola says that research has shown that beetroot extract helped to reduce multi-organ tumour formations when administered in drinking water, and is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers!

So what do they contain other than betaine? Beets are high in vitamin C, fibre, potassium, manganese and also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects. They contain about 109 µg/100 g or 27 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of the of the folate vitamin. They are great for detoxification and in fact, traditionally, beets have been valued for their support in helping to purify our blood and our liver.

The greens are even more nutrient dense. They are considered powerhouses of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron (even more than spinach) vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, and even protein and fibre. Eating beet greens regularly can help to ward off Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and improve immunity.

According to nutrition-and-you.com, beets are a highly nutritious and “cardiovascular health” friendly. Because of their unique pigment antioxidants in the root as well as in its top greens, they seem to offer protection against coronary artery disease and strokes; lower cholesterol levels within the body, and have anti-aging effects. They are very low in calories (45 kcal/100 g). 100 grams of beetroot has 325 mg of potassium or 7 per cent of one’s daily requirements.

Beet hummus:

Ingredients: 400 gram soaked and boiled chickpeas, 250 gram cooked beetroot, juice half one lemon or to taste, 1 garlic clove, 2 tsp cumin powder, salt to taste, 2 tbsp Tahini, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive

oil (optional), 2 tbsp chopped parsley.

Method: In a blender, add all the ingredients — except the parsley, oil and lemon juice — and blend. Add the oil halfway through, and then add the lemon juice and blend till the hummus is absolutely creamy. Remove, garnish with parsley and use as a dip or a sandwich spread.

(The writer is a vegan chef and author of The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!)

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