Beetroot, also known as garden beet or red beet, scientific name Beta vulgaris, is a plant that belongs to the Chenopodiaceae family and is characterized by an edible root with interesting healthy and nutritional properties. Beetroot indeed, especially if you eat it raw, is very rich in folate, has mineral salts such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, vitamins of groups B and C and water, very useful to counteract water retention. Thanks to these characteristics the beetroot is remineralizing, energizing and against anemia, is helpful to strengthen the body after long illnesses, periods of stress or intense tiredness. Moreover, thanks to the fiber, beetroot brings also a sense of satiety, improves the intestinal functioning and helps control the levels of cholesterol. This root is also characterized by the presence of anthocyans, the antioxidants that give to the beetroot the intense violet color and play a protective role on the cardiovascular system and microcirculation. Beetroot is also able to lower blood pressure, according to a study performed in 2012 and published on Nutrition Journal by an Australian team, has an anti-cancer action(Kapadia et al, Anti cancer agents in medicinal chemistry, 2011) and finally has purifying properties on the liver. In order to preserve the nutrients the best is to eat the beetroot raw, grated from example in salads and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, or centrifuged, in this case you can add a fruit or a vegetable such as kiwi fruit, an orange, a lemon or carrots in order to bring vitamin C indispensable to absorb the iron. You can eat also cooked beetroots but in this case you should consider that the heat reduces a part of the beneficial effects. Avoid beetroot if you suffer from kidney stones because the root contains oxalates. In addition to this beetroot is rich in sugars, for this reason it isn’t a good choice, especially if cooked, if you should take under control the levels of blood sugar in your body.
Vitamins, mineral salts and antioxidants, able to lower the blood pressure according to scientific studies, against anemia, anti-cancer, brings fiber that guarantee a sense of satiety and a control of cholesterol, against constipation and water retention.