The Red Beet is a tuberous root of a herbaceous plant of the family Chenopodiaceae. Botanically, it is called Beta vulgaris. It is known as Betterave in France. In Spain , it is called Remolacha. In Germany, it is called Rote Bete.
Beet adapt well in cold climates and are cultivated widely in Europe and North America.
The blood-red colour of beet gives great note to dishes. In the rural areas, many believe that beet contains blood. This is because many people pass blood-red feces and urine few hours after eating beet. But that is not blood! It is a pigment peculiar to beet known as Betacyanin.
Red urine or feces after eating beet occur in 10 to 14% of the population. However, it is common in individuals with iron deficiency or iron mal-absorption.
So if one is surprised by red urine and feces, the one should also be grateful that this plant has warned him /her of a possible lack of iron. Or digestive problems. But one has little to worry about as beet not only warn of the problem, but aid in its solution because of its anti-anemic and regulating effect on the digestive system.
The beet is one of the most sugar rich vegetables. As a result of its high content of carbohydrates like saccharose and fructose which make up to 10% of its weight.
The beet is Anti-Anemic . Their iron content is 1.80mg/100g while vitamin content is 30mg/100g which facilitates the absorption of iron alone do not explain anti anemic effect of beet .
Rather, there are some undefined components that stimulates the production of blood cells in the bone marrow. A process known as Hematopoiesis.
Drinking a full glass of raw beet juice before meal twice a day gives the greatest anti anemic effect . Especially when the patient does not respond well to iron treatment which is the case in anemia caused by low blood production in the bone marrow (Hypoplastic Anemia).
Beet is a good Alkalizer because of high level of potassium , magnesium and calcium. It is recommended in cases of gout, increase in uric Acid levels in the blood. And also in high fat low vegetable diet.
Beet is Hypolipidemic as it has high vegetable fiber. This aids in bowel movements and decreases blood cholesterol level by reducing the amount absorbed in the intestine.
Research has shown that 30mg of beet fiber daily for 21 days lowered cholesterol by 10% of its initial value.
Beet is also a mild laxative due to its high fiber content.
Beet is anticancinogenic . Cancerous tumours were reduced or eliminated by administering a daily dose of 300 to 500mls of beet juice. Even when beet is cooked , it still retains this property. Whatever is in beet that stops cancer is heat-resistant.