Beet Root

The beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant,usually known in North America as the beet, also table beet, garden beet, red beet, or golden beet. It is one of several of the cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and their leaves (called beet greens). These varieties have been classified as B. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Conditiva Group.

Other than as a food, beets have use as a food colouring and as a medicinal plant. Many beet products are made from other Beta vulgaris varieties, particularly sugar beet.

Beets are highly nutritious and “cardiovascular health” friendly root vegetables. Certain unique pigment antioxidants in this root and its top greens have been found to offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke, lower cholesterol levels within the body, and have anti-aging effects.

Botanically, this tuberous root vegetable belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, in the beta genus. Its scientific name is Beta vulgaris. Swiss chard is another member of the beta genus grown for its edible leaves.

Beets are small herbaceous plants with broad dark-green leaves. Its underground taproot matures in 50-60 days of sowing and weighs about 100 to 150 grams. If not harvested at the right time, it continues growing to more than a pound and may develop surface cracks, woody and fibrous in texture, lose flavor, and become less appetizing.

Many different cultivars like red, orange-yellow and white verities of beet exist. The unique crimson-red color of red beet is due to betalain pigments, such as betanin and betacyanin. Yellow varieties are rich in ß-xanthin pigment. The root and its top tender greens have been in use for human consumption. Chioggia beet or candy cane variety has alternative red and white concentric whorls..

The beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant,usually known in North America as the beet, also table beet, garden beet, red beet, or golden beet. It is one of several of the cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and their leaves (called beet greens). These varieties have been classified as B. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Conditiva Group.

Other than as a food, beets have use as a food colouring and as a medicinal plant. Many beet products are made from other Beta vulgaris varieties, particularly sugar beet.

Beets are highly nutritious and “cardiovascular health” friendly root vegetables. Certain unique pigment antioxidants in this root and its top greens have been found to offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke, lower cholesterol levels within the body, and have anti-aging effects.

Botanically, this tuberous root vegetable belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, in the beta genus. Its scientific name is Beta vulgaris. Swiss chard is another member of the beta genus grown for its edible leaves.

Beets are small herbaceous plants with broad dark-green leaves. Its underground taproot matures in 50-60 days of sowing and weighs about 100 to 150 grams. If not harvested at the right time, it continues growing to more than a pound and may develop surface cracks, woody and fibrous in texture, lose flavor, and become less appetizing.

Many different cultivars like red, orange-yellow and white verities of beet exist. The unique crimson-red color of red beet is due to betalain pigments, such as betanin and betacyanin. Yellow varieties are rich in ß-xanthin pigment. The root and its top tender greens have been in use for human consumption. Chioggia beet or candy cane variety has alternative red and white concentric whorls.

History

From the Middle Ages, beetroot was used as a treatment for a variety of conditions, especially illnesses relating to digestion and the blood. Bartolomeo Platina recommended taking beetroot with garlic to nullify the effects of “garlic-breath”.

During the middle of the 19th century, wine often was coloured with beetroot juice.

Uses

Usually the deep purple roots of beetroot are eaten boiled, roasted or raw, and either alone or combined with any salad vegetable. A large proportion of the commercial production is processed into boiled and sterilized beets or into pickles. In Eastern Europe, beet soup, such as borscht, is a popular dish. In Indian cuisine, chopped, cooked, spiced beet is a common side dish. Yellow-coloured beetroots are grown on a very small scale for home consumption.

The green, leafy portion of the beet is also edible. The young leaves can be added raw to salads, whilst the adult leaves are most commonly served boiled or steamed, in which case they have a taste and texture similar to spinach. Those greens selected should be from bulbs that are unmarked, instead of those with overly limp leaves or wrinkled skins, both of which are signs of dehydration. The domestication of beets can be traced to the emergence of an allele which enables biennial harvesting of leaves and taproot.

Beetroot can be boiled or steamed, peeled and then eaten warm with or without butter as a delicacy; cooked, pickled, and then eaten cold as a condiment; or peeled, shredded raw, and then eaten as a salad. Pickled beets are a traditional food in many countries.

A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dish is pickled beet egg. Hard-boiled eggs are refrigerated in the liquid left over from pickling beets and allowed to marinate until the eggs turn a deep pink-red colour.

In Poland and Ukraine, beet is combined with horseradish to form popular ćwikła, which is traditionally used with cold cuts and sandwiches, but often also added to a meal consisting of meat and potatoes. Similarly in Serbia where the popular cvekla is used as winter salad, seasoned with salt and vinegar, with meat dishes. As an addition to horseradish it is also used to produce the “red” variety of chrain, a popular condiment in Ashkenazi Jewish, Hungarian, Polish, Lithuanian, Russian and Ukrainian cuisine.

Popular in Australian hamburgers, a slice of pickled beetroot is combined with other condiments on a beef patty to make an Aussie burger.

In Northern Germany beetroot is mashed with Labskaus or added as its side order.

When beet juice is used, it is most stable in foods with a low water content, such as frozen novelties and fruit fillings.Betanins, obtained from the roots, are used industrially as red food colourants, e.g. to intensify the colour of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, sweets, and breakfast cereals.

A moderate amount of chopped beetroot is sometimes added to the Japanese pickle fukujinzuke for color.

Beetroot can also be used to make wine.

Food shortages in Europe following World War I caused great hardships, including cases of mangelwurzel disease, as relief workers called it. It was symptomatic of eating only beets.

 

 

 

7 Amazing Benefits

  1. Garden beet is very low in calories (provide only 45 kcal/100 g), and contain zero cholesterol and a small amount of fat. Its nutrition benefits come particularly from fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant derived anti-oxidants.
  2. The root is a rich source of the phytochemical compound, glycine betaine. Betaine has the property of lowering homocysteine levels within the blood. Homocysteine, one of the highly toxic metabolite, promotes platelet clot as well as atherosclerotic plaque formation, which, otherwise, can be harmful to blood vessels. High levels of homocysteine in the blood result in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and peripheral vascular diseases.
  3. Raw beets are an excellent source of folates. It contains about 109 µg/100 g of this vitamin (Provides 27% of RDA). However, prolong cooking may significantly deplete its level in food. Folates are necessary for DNA synthesis within the cells. When given during peri-conception period folates can prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
  4. Fresh tubers contain small amounts of vitamin-C; however, its top greens are rather excellent sources of this vitamin. 100 g of beet greens provide 30 mg or 50% of RDA. Vitamin C is one of the powerful natural antioxidants, which helps the human body scavenge harmful free radicals one of the reasons for cancer development.
  5. Additionally, its top greens are an excellent source of carotenoids, flavonoid anti-oxidants, and vitamin A; contain these compounds several times more than that of in the roots. Vitamin-A is required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural vegetables rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  6. The root is also a rich source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6) and minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
  7. Further, the root composes of moderate levels of potassium. 100 g fresh root hold 325 mg or 7% of daily requirements. Potassium lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism in the cells by countering detrimental effects of sodium.