Beetroot: the healthy fitness booster in winter

For more color in the dreary winter: the beetroot, also known as beetroot, gives many dishes a special kick in the cold season. However, the winter vegetables are not only convincing in terms of taste. Beetroot also plays an important role in health.

Read here what makes the spherical or elongated tubers with the brown-red skin so healthy.

Beetroot strengthens the immune system

Beetroot provides the body with important vitamins and minerals even in winter. In addition to calcium,  phosphoruspotassium , magnesium and  iron  , beetroot also contains various B vitamins (B1, B2, B6), as well as  folic acid  and  vitamin C.

Healthy effects of beetroot on the body:

  • Positive effect on the cardiovascular system:  beetroot can reduce the risk of  high blood pressure  and dilate blood vessels. This minimizes the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Important: A healthy lifestyle, sufficient sport and a varied diet should also not be neglected. The nitrate present in the vegetables is said to be responsible for this.
  • Protection against cancer:  Beetroot is full of important antioxidants, which not only protect against high blood pressure, but can also reduce the risk of cancer. The phytochemicals ( flavonoids ) in winter vegetables can also prevent cancer.
  • Immune booster:  The flavonoids also have an anti-inflammatory effect and thus support the immune system.
  • Iron supplier:  beetroot is particularly suitable for vegetarians and vegans with iron deficiency. Beetroot juice or a raw beet salad can help prevent or counteract the deficiency.

The power beet is not only a real health booster, it also impresses with its low calories. With only 41 calories, or 171 kilojoules, per 100 grams and a water content of around 90 percent, beetroot is a delicious alternative to hearty winter dishes.

Nitrate in Beetroot: Dangerous Curse or Healthy Blessing?

Nitrate is a natural soil component and is therefore found in various root vegetables such as beetroot, radishes, lettuce or kohlrabi. Plants need it to produce protein, which is why it is also often used as fertilizer.

The nitrate concentration in the plants is higher, especially in autumn and winter, since sunlight and high temperatures accelerate the breakdown of nitrate. Summer vegetables therefore have lower nitrate concentrations than winter vegetables.

In principle, nitrate is not harmful to humans. However, nitrate from food can already be converted into harmful nitrite in the food or by bacteria during the digestive process in the body. Nitrite is said to convert the blood pigment hemoglobin into methemoglobin, which expands the vessels and thus has a positive effect on blood pressure and can lower it. Adults can easily reform methemoglobin into hemoglobin.

However, infants and small children can be at risk because their bodies cannot carry out the conversion on their own. The oxygen is not transported sufficiently in the blood because the hemoglobin is missing. This can lead to an undersupply. This effect is also known as blue addiction, but cases only rarely occur in Germany.

In addition, the carcinogenic nitrosamine can also be formed from nitrite during the digestive process. This effect has so far been proven in animal experiments in particular. It is still unclear whether humans are also affected, since vitamin C and phytochemicals inhibit the development of nitrosamine. To be on the safe side, however, you should not consume excessive amounts of nitrate-rich foods.

Although beetroot contains more nitrate than other vegetables, it can provide the body with sufficient nutrients and have a positive effect on health, especially during the cold winter months.

 

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