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Beets are a rather colorful type of root vegetables and they have been used for various culinary purposes for many centuries. They are also highly praised because they also provide the human body with numerous different types of health benefits. Beets are rich in certain types of pigments called betalains. There are two types of betalains: betaxanthins give the beets a yellowish kind of color, while the betacyanins provide the red and violet colors. All these different types of pigments come from the original molecule which is known as betalamic acid. As different amino acids get added to the betalamic acid they define which pigments get to be produced. Pigments from the beets are water soluble and they have an unusual content of nitrogen, which is not often the case with pigments. Betalains are very efficient in promoting the overall health of a person. Other food sources of betalain include Nopal cactus, prickly pear cactus, amaranth, chard and rhubarb.

Nutritive Values : Per 100 gm

• Vitamin A : 20 I.U.• Thiamine : .02 mg• Riboflavin : .05 mg• Niacin : .4 mg• Vitamin C : 10 mg.• Calcium : 27 mg.• Iron : 1.0 mg.• Phosphorus : 43 mg.• Fat : .1 gm.• Carbohydrates : 9.6 gm.• Protein : 1.6 gm.• Calories : 42

Health Benefits

The most important property of beets is that they are very powerful antioxidants. They are jam packed with beta carotene which is known for being one of the most potent antioxidants known to man. Beets are also an important source of certain other types of antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein. Antioxidants are very efficient in slowing down the process of aging, fighting off the free radicals and reducing the amount and severity of damage they cause to the human body on the cellular level. Beets are also very beneficial in providing the human body with certain detoxifying and anti inflammatory properties.

Certain Other Guidelines

Beet juice is one of the most potent cleansing drinks known to man so it may sometimes trigger certain mild side effects in some cases. Some people tend to feel dizzy after drinking beet juice, but this is only normal since it is related to the process of the elimination of the toxins from the body. Proper hydration with abundant amounts of water should also be incorporated in order to enhance the process of detoxification. Red beets may also add some red color to the urine and stool but those should not cause any worries.

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