Beetroot (Beta vulgaris) is a root vegetable also known as red beet, table beet, garden beet, or just beet.
The raw roots are delicious but are more frequently cooked or pickled. Their leaves known as beet greens can also be eaten.
Beets come in different colors like pink, orange, white but are most commonly known for their deep reddish/purple color.
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Garden beets are from the same family as sugar beets, but they are genetically and nutritionally different.
Sugar beets are white and commonly used for extracting sugar and sweetening manufactured foods.
Beetroot Nutritional Value
According to the USDA, 100 grams of beetroot has about 43 calories with about 0.2 grams of fat.
It has about 325 grams of potassium, 78 grams of sodium, 1.6 grams of protein and total carbohydrate is around 10 grams.
Aside from being a good source of nutrients, fiber, and many plant compounds however, they have the highest sugar content of all vegetables.
Most people can safely eat beet roots a few times a week and their greens in limitless amounts.
In so doing, you gain the powerhouse nutrients that may improve your health in the following ways;
- Beetroots Vitamin Benefits
They are a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.
- Packed with Essential Nutrients
Red beet is a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B 9), manganese, potassium, and iron.
- Beetroots and Beetroot Juice
The two have been associated with numerous health benefits. These include- improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.
Many of these benefits are due to their high content of inorganic nitrates.
- Beetroot and Diabetes:
Beets contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid.
This antioxidant helps to lower glucose levels, increase Insulin sensitivity.
It also prevents oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes.
- Digestion and Regularity:
Because of its high fiber content, beets help to prevent constipation. It also promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
Choline is a versatile nutrient in beets that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory.
- Beets Are High In Dietary Nitrate.
This benefits the cardiovascular system and may protect against cancer.
- Beet Juice for Erectile Dysfunction
Also called impotence or ED. Beet juice is high in nitrates. Our body turns nitrates into nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide, a gas naturally produced by the body, may help prevent ED.
Actually, nitric oxide is sold as a dietary supplement to treat the condition
- Boosts Weight Loss
Beets help you detox and lose weight. This is because they contain no fat and are a good source of dietary fiber- half soluble and half insoluble.
These two types help fight fat by maintaining proper bowel function and lowering cholesterol levels for weight loss.
Beetroot Recipe- How to Use
Easy to prepare, beets can be roasted or baked, steamed, boiled, pickled, or eaten raw.
- Raw Salad
One of my favorite ways to consume beetroot is raw, in a salad.
Firstly, grate raw beets and then, add to coleslaw or your favorite salad. You can also add sliced pickled beets to your favorite salad and top with goat cheese
- Beetroot Juice
Firstly, peel the beetroot and blend with a combination of fresh orange, mint and pineapple or apples, lemon, and ginger.
Then, blend until smooth and strain.
Alternatively, you can slice raw beets and serve them with lemon juice and a sprinkle of chili powder.
- Tasty Soup
Red beetroot makes for an impressive, deep, colorful dish however you make it.
- Side Dish
Heat gently with chopped shallot and a drop of vinegar and serve as a side dish. You can also, top roasted beets with goat cheese for a perfect pairing.
Various beetroot products available to purchase online in Nigeria include:
- Pickled beets
Where to Buy Beetroot In Nigeria
You can buy raw beetroot in vegetable and salad markets across Nigeria especially in Northern Areas. – Jos in particular. I have seen it at Oshodi market in Lagos, Nigeria.
You can also buy them at departmental stores like Shoprite nation-wide.
The common name is beet but it may also have other names in local languages like Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba but i do not have the names in those languages yet.
An easy way to get this fruit is to go with the image. That am sure will help a lot.