The Beetroot: Wonders Upon Wonders

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Beetroot

Often, becoming conscious of one’s diet hits when every strange sign of sickness strikes. Sad that we have to be awaken by malaria, headaches, swelling of body parts, anemia or in the extreme proportions when signs of paralysis are already visible on us. Many get to hospital only be shocked by remarks that our feeding habits or the nutritional values of our meals is far below the required. On the on-set, some patients begin by doubting the doctor’s diagnosis. Ironically, thousands of people think that consumption of animal fat and proteins constitutes good feeding! Little do we ever imagine that our home grown or locally available foods like maize grains, veggies, and fruits are of more nutritional value than red meat, fried eggs, and fruits in general!

Again, some tend to rely on modern medicine, not knowing that good food can be more effective medicine than iron boosters, Panadols, painkillers and any other supplements. Well, these drugs can also cure, but why wait for such a time! Why do we normally forget the old adage that, “prevention better than cure?”

One such example among the disease preventive and curative foods is the Beetroot. The beetroot can be eaten raw as salads or taken in juice form. Beetroot can give us a very rich juice once you choose to squeeze it alone. The other option, however, is mixing beetroot juice with pineapple or pawpaw, or mango or carrot juice. This mixture gives you a richer blend of nutrients.

It has been tested and proved, beetroot juice shouldn’t be an option on one’s daily menu. The richness in this red juice is undoubtable. Its scent might differ from person to person, and some can easily be put off by it. However, considering its unaccountably various health benefits, the scent shouldn’t be a major pull back.

Beets are a rich source of iron, folate (which is a source of vitamin B that helps prevent neural tube defects such as spinal bifida and anencephaly). It also contains nitrates, and magnesium. Beets juice can help prevent constipation and boosts plasma nitrate levels. Fresh beetroot juice or salads can help you to maintain a healthy weight due to its low calories. This is due to the fact that the beetroot is virtually fatless.

Beetroot, whether consumed as salad or juice, it’s a good source of other minerals. Minerals are essential for body functioning, boosting immunity and supporting healthy bones and teeth development. Beetroot juice and salads provide your body with vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps boost your immune system and protect cells from damaging free radicals. It also supports collagen production, wound healing, and iron absorption.

Beetroot contains betaine, a substance that helps prevent or reduce fatty deposits in the liver. Betaine may also help protect your liver from toxins and may improve muscle power for people susceptible to heart failure. Findings of a  study conducted in 2015  showed that people with heart failure experienced a 13 percent increase in muscle power two hours after drinking beetroot juice.

In addition beets are likely to slow the progression of dementia, may prevent cancer, and they are a good source of potassium. With very low potassium levels, fatigue, weakness, and muscle cramps will often occur.

Beetroots are very affordable, unlike most others fruits and tubers. On most Rwandan markets, a kilo of beets goes for about RwF 800 francs, while a heap say of 3 to 4 beets could cost you about RwF 400 only. This is slightly less than $1 per kilogram. Beetroots are grown in most parts of East Africa. This makes them affordable and accessible for every interested consumer.

We research indicates that after beetroot consumption, most people will experience a change of colour in their urine or stool. The colour tends to become red or pinkish. This condition is called beeturia.  There is nothing to worry about. That’s the red colour of beets only, not sickness. However, for people with low blood pressure, too much consumption of beet salads or drinking of beetroot juice, there is a possibility of your pressure dropping too low. You just need to monitor your blood pressure levels carefully.

If you don’t enjoy plain beetroot juice, it is recommended that you spice the taste by mixing it with apple slices, oranges, mint, lemon, or a citrus. In order to copy with the taste, colour or scent, it is advisable to begin with little by little and go on increasing the consumption rate and quantity. Enjoy the beets and keep a doctor at bay.

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