Foods for the blood Vegetables

Red beets – Properties and health benefits / medicinal uses

As one of the most anti-anemic foods in the universe, red beets medicinal uses are discussed below.

Botanical name: Beta vulgaris L. var. conditiva
French name: Betterave
Spanish name: Remolacha
Red beet is the tuberous root of the red beet plant, Beta vulgaris L. var. conditiva, a herbaceous plant of the botanical family Chenopodiaceae.

Red beets have a blood-red color. For some people, after eating red beets, they pass out a blood-red urine. You don’t have to be frightened, it’s not blood, but rather a pigment found in red beets known as beta-cyanin.
According to a study conducted at the university of Sheffield (United Kingdom), red urine or feces after eating red beets occur in 10-15% of people, and it is more frequent in those with iron deficiency problem, or difficulty with intestinal absorption of iron. Therefore, if one notices blood-red urine or feces after eating red beets he should note that beets just diagnosed him of lack of iron or digestive problems. However, one is not advised to worry a lot as red beets helps in providing solution to the diagnosed problem. This can be attributed to its regulating effect on the digestive tract and anti-anemic effects.

Properties and Health benefits of red beets

Red beets are among the most sugar-rich vegetables, containing carbohydrates mainly in the form of saccharose and fructose, which represents about 10% of its total content.

Below are some medicinal properties of red beets:

The anti-anemic effects of red beet is well known. Red beets contains significant amounts of iron, about 1.8mg/100g, as well as vitamin C in about 30mg/100g. Presence of Vitamin C in red beets facilitates the absorption of iron present in the same plant. As already known, iron is involved in the formation of new blood cells, and its lack can cause an Iron-deficiency anemia. However, the iron content of red beets is not sufficient enough to explain red beet’s anti-anemic effect, so, there is said to be probably some unidentified components in it that stimulates production of blood cells in the bone marrow.
In cases of anemia, drinking 50-100ml of raw freshly prepared beet juice before meals twice a day provides the greatest anti-anemic effect. This is particularly indicated when patient is not responding well to iron treatment, hypoplastic anemia.

Cancer prevention

Red beets are a great source of anticarcinogens. In many cases, the consumption of about 250g of shredded beets or 500ml of red beet juice has shown to reduce or eliminate cancerous tumours. Even when the juice was boiled to make it more tolerable to the stomach, the same effects were observed. This shows that whatever form of anticarcinogen that is present in beets, is also heat resistant.

Cholesterol reducing
As a great hypolipidemic, red beets contains significant amounts of vegetable fiber. This vegetable fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol level by reducing the amount absorbed in the intestine. It does this by absorbing excess cholesterol in the intestine. Apart from absorbing excess cholesterol, it helps in facilitating intestinal action. Thus, the consumption of red beets is highly recommended for those willing to redu e cholesterol level.

As we have seen above, red beets contains vegetable fiber which improves intestinal function. This fiber gives it a mild laxative effect, which is effective in relieving an acute constipation.

Gout and excess uric acid
Red beets are good alkalizers, this is due to their rich content of mineral salts, which includes calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Their consumption is recommended in cases of gout, and excess uric acid.

Another benefit of beets is that it helps serve as an aperitif, by increasing production of gastric juice, and tones the stomach.

About the author


Abbati studied Biological sciences at Ahmadu Bello Univeristy, Zaria. He loves learning about the medicinal properties of foods, and the need to explore them!