A root vegetable, beets have been cultivated and eaten for thousands of years. Most notably known for its ruby red color and a peculiar earthy taste, this vegetable which is a favorite amongst athletes is a nutritional powerhouse. Abundant in antioxidants, C, B1, B2, B6 vitamins, folic and pantothenic acid, and the minerals – potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, zinc, beetroot can be regarded as a secret weapon not only to enhance fitness but protect your heart, brain and stave off cancer. What’s more, with only 43 calories in 100 grams, beetroot is the ideal vegetable for weight watchers.
Unbeetable: Eat This Ruby-Red Veggie To Keep Cancer At Bay
Yes, you heard that right—beetroots are a great shield against cancer. Betacyanin, the phytonutrient that gives beet its rich crimson hue, is a powerful antioxidant which has been shown to deprive the growth of cancer cells. Beetroot extracts have been studied extensively in the prevention and treatment of several types of human cancer in the laboratory. 
Betanin, the major betacyanin constituent, is thought to play an important role in the cytotoxicity exhibited by the red beetroot extract. Research has highlighted its vital role in preventing prostate, breast, pancreatic and lung cancer. [2,3,4,5]
Apart from its chemprotective properties, beetroots are also a great way to detox the system. Make a healthy detox juice by blending beets with a few fresh carrots, some apples and some green. Top this with some lemon juice to make a healthy breakfast smoothie.
How To Eat It
- Nutritionists recommend eating raw beets closest to their natural form as opposed to boiling and eating them. Beets lose a lot of their nutritional value if cooked more than 15 minutes.
- You can also make a healthy vegetable juice as mentioned above.
- Add them to your salads by thinly slicing or shredding them for a raw topping.
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1. Clifford T, Howatson G, West DJ, Stevenson EJ. The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients. 2015 Apr 14;7(4):2801-22. doi: 10.3390/nu7042801. Review. PubMed PMID: 25875121; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4425174.
2. El Gamal AA, AlSaid MS, Raish M, Al-Sohaibani M, Al-Massarani SM, Ahmad A, Hefnawy M, Al-Yahya M, Basoudan OA, Rafatullah S. Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract ameliorates gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity associated oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in rodent model. Mediators Inflamm. 2014;2014:983952. doi: 10.1155/2014/983952. Epub 2014 Oct 22. PubMed PMID:25400335; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4221885.
3. Kapadia GJ, Azuine MA, Rao GS, Arai T, Iida A, Tokuda H. Cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract compared to doxorubicin (Adriamycin)in the human prostate (PC-3) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell lines. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2011 Mar;11(3):280-4. PubMed PMID: 21434853.
4. Kapadia GJ, Rao GS, Ramachandran C, Iida A, Suzuki N, Tokuda H. Synergistic cytotoxicity of red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract with doxorubicin in human pancreatic, breast and prostate cancer cell lines. J Complement Integr Med. 2013 Jun 26;10. pii: /j/jcim.2013.10.issue-1/jcim-2013-0007/jcim-2013-0007.xml. doi:10.1515/jcim-2013-0007. PubMed PMID: 23828331.
5. Kapadia GJ, Tokuda H, Konoshima T, Nishino H. Chemoprevention of lung and skin cancer by Beta vulgaris (beet) root extract. Cancer Lett. 1996 Feb 27;100(1-2):211-4. PubMed PMID: 8620443.