Beetroot

Description
Beetroot, or Beet as it is better known all over the world, is a reddish, naturally sweet vegetable. Generally, it is a vegetable which falls in the 2 extreme categories, either one loves it or they hate it. It is sometimes also called red beet because of its dark red color. It is essentially a root vegetable, and is highly nutritious. It is used in a variety of dishes, ranging from curries, to salads, to soups. It is a highly versatile vegetable. Even the leaves of this vegetable are edible, and can be grinded to extract juice from it, containing a whole assortment of nutrients in it.

Buying Tips
When you visit the market to buy this vegetable, make sure you choose the ones which are strong and have a firm backbone. They should not be wilted or water soaked. The stronger the vegetable is, the healthier it is. Try to go for those which have small fresh green leaves attached to it. Avoid those with dark spots or stains on them, which are signs of decay, meaning it will not remain fresh for a longer period of time. Also, avoid those beet roots which have hair on them, as these are old and not so tasty. Choose the medium sized ones, neither too large nor too small.


Culinary Usage
Beetroot can be prepared in a variety of ways. It can be chopped into small pieces, or cut into cubes or rectangular chunks and made into a curry. Other common ways of making this vegetable include:

  1. The beet root may be steam boiled and served.
  2. It may be grated, using a grater, and used as toppings or had with cream sauce and bread. They may also be used in making grilled sandwiches or in masala dosa, a cuisine very common and unique to South India.
  3. In many parts of the world, especially in Europe, beet root is added to vegetable soups, giving it a refreshingly new flavor. It is often served, along with spices or sour cream.
  4. It is also a curry vegetable. In many parts of India, it is added to many other types of vegetables like potato, carrots, radish etc, to create a preparation.
  5. Sometimes, they are also used to make pickles, along with other items like carrots, with vinegar and other spices. They are also used to prepare raitas, or sometimes chutneys or dips.

Storage
After you have bought the beetroot from the market, store it carefully in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator for future use. Wrap it in a plastic sheet gently, or place it in a sealed container. It is best to be had within a week of buying it, else it will lose its freshness.

Medicinal Values
Beet root, like many other vegetables, has a large number of health benefits. They go a long way to keep your body healthy, and help you recover from many ailments. Some of the health benefits are listed:

  1. Beet root has plenty of natural sugar in it, and thus is widely used as a natural sweetener. It can be grinded or juice may be extracted from it, and added to other recipes to make it sweet, and also control diabetes at the same time.
  2. Beet root has a high quantity of minerals including potassium, calcium and phosphorous, which makes it vital for our body to sustain.
  3. Beet root has a high percentage of fiber in it, which makes it essential for the proper functioning of our digestive and excretory systems.
  4. Even the leftover water that you get after you boil the beet root, is antibiotic, and can be used to cure boils or pimples or other skin disorders.
  5. Research has clearly indicated that beet root goes a long way to lower blood pressure. This is most probably due to the high content of nitrates in this vegetable.
  6. Beet root contains an alkaloid called betaine, which has been clearly shown to induce slimming. Thus it is often prescribed in the diet of obese patients.
  7. Its alkaline nature also makes it a good cure to acidosis.
  8. Beet root also has good detoxifying properties, and thus helps in cleaning your blood, kidneys, as well as the liver. Thus, it is often prescribed for alcohol addicts. Another very common disease which can be cured by this cleansing property of beet root is gout.
  9. Some research shows that beet root, along with a mixture of a little vinegar, is an extremely good anti-dandruff, and helps in cleansing your skull. It is sometimes also combined with juice extracted from ginger.
  10. You can check out all these information from the site http://www.healthy.co.nz/ailment/2021-beet-root-liver-and-kidney-cleanser-iron-deficiency-anemia.html. There are other various medicinal uses of beet root, which includes:
  11. Digestion of fats,
  12. Infections occurring in the gall bladder or kidneys
  13. Curing Anaemia
  14. Simulating and cleansing the liver.

Where to Buy Beetroot in USA
Beetroot is produced all over the world. In USA, the leading producer of beet root in 1997 was Wisconsin, responsible for a growth of almost 40500 tons of this vegetable, over an area of 2700 acres. The total beet root production of USA is around 122180 tons over 7460 acres.

Other regions producing beet root in high quantities in USA include New York, Oregon and Texas.

Nutritional and Dietary Information
Beet root has an amazingly high content of nutrients. It is very rich in minerals like sodium, potassium and iron. It also has trace quantities of sodium, manganese, chlorine, iodine and some other important vitamins too. All of these are required by our human body in small quantities.

The red color that you see in beetroot is due to a coloring material known as anthocyanin. Surprisingly, this material is also responsible for increasing the number of red blood cells in your body, and also helps in regeneration of cell membrane, blood cells and also the mitochondria. Thus, it helps in improving overall cell respiration!

Beet contains a small content of iron in it too, thus making it very essential for us, because of the all-important property of iron in our body, that of blood building.

Thus, as you find, this is an extremely beneficial vegetable, arguably one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables. So, it is high time you include it in your regular diet, for a longer and healthier life.

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