The botanical name Beta vulgaris is more widely popular as either beetroot or even simply as beet. It belongs to the amaranth family and it includes a large variety cultivated for leaves—chard and spinach beet, for table sugar –sugar beet and for fodder–mangelwurzel. The beet has bee cultivated since second millennium B.C. somewhere along the Mediterranean from where it spread to Babylon to China. It was during the world war that, sugar crises lead to the discovery of sucrose from sugar beet. Until then sugar came only from sugarcane.
Beetroot is rich in betaine, nitrate potassium, foacin, fibre and Boron. The edible leaves contain protein, calcium, beta carotene, vitamins A, C and some vitamin B.
Many of the researchers claim that beetroot is a vegetable that offers a lot without much pomp. It has been useful for improving and sustaining good health–
- improves cardiovascular health,
- protects liver from fatty deposits,
- Though sweet, helps diabetic patients to improve the condition of the liver and pancreas.
- increases stomach acidity without creating flatulence and therefore improves digestion,
- It induces vasodilation and it therefore helps proper blood flow.
- keeps the cool in cases of hypertension
- controls high blood pressure ,
- It is considered an aphrodisiac since the Roman Era and was extensively used.
- It inhibits tumour, as it prevents the irregular growth of cells.
- tones the skin,
- purifies blood,
- Improves anaemic conditions, by increasing haemoglobin.
- Improves the body resistance especially after prolonged illness.
Beetroot is mainly used for salads but also used for pickles, soup, and the world famous borscht. The rich red colour is also used as food colour in tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams, jellies, ice-cream, sweets and breakfast cereals. So colour up your life with Beetroot!