Beet Root Profile
Also known as
In ancient times, beets had elongated roots like carrots and the
globular red beet we now eat was only hybridized about 300 years ago.
Beets have the highest sugar content of all the vegetables and are
becoming popularly used as a sweetening substitute. Beet juice and beet
powder are used to flavor carrot, celery, and other vegetable juices,
and also to color a variety of foods. Beets, or at least the leaves of
the beet, have been used since before recorded history. Charred beet
roots were found among Neolithic remains at an excavation site in the
Netherlands. The Sea beet, the ancestor of the modern cultivated beet,
was probably domesticated somewhere along the Mediterranean. Both the
roots and leaves have been used in folk medicine to treat a wide
variety of ailments since the time of the Romans, who used them for
fever and constipation. Hippocrates used the leaves as a binding for
wounds. In the Talmud, the rabbis recommended “eating beet root,
drinking mead, and bathing in the Euphrates” as part of a
prescription for a long and healthy life. During the middle ages,
Platina in his De Honesta (1460) noted that beet root was good for bad
breath, especially “garlic breath”. Many cultures have used beet
roots for their quality as an aphrodisiac, and there were even
paintings in brothels in Pompeii that had depictions of beets on them.
There is some validity to this claim as beets are a rich source of the
mineral boron, which plays a role in the production of the human sex
hormones. Although the leaves were consumed for many centuries, the
root itself was not widely consumed until French chefs recognized its
culinary potential in the early 19th century.
(the same as the nutritional supplement trimethylglycine, not the same
as betaine hydrochloride), and also alanine, alantoin, arginine,
beta-carotene, calcium, fiber (about 10% by weight), GABA, glycine,
histidine, magnesium, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), phosphorous,
potassium, selenium, thiamine (vitamin B1), tryptophan, tyrosine,
vitamin C, zinc, and, interestingly, although not in nutritionally
significant amounts, zirconium.
The dried root, powdered. May be administered directly, whipped into a smoothie or drink, or sprinkled on food
One or two teaspoons added to water or juice, 2-4 times daily. One teaspoon of powder provides the nutrition in one beet.
powder provides a wide range of nutrients, but its most significant
phytochemical is betaine. This plant chemical helps the liver and
kidneys recycle the amino acid methionine to maintain the body's stores
of s-adenosyl-methionine, more commonly known as SAM-e. Betaine also
helps the liver process fat. This prevents the accumulation of fatty
tissues in the liver (steatosis), especially in heavy drinkers, and it
also prevents excessive triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Other antioxidants in beet root prevent the oxidation of LDL into forms
that can become plaques.
Beet root powder may also be helpful as a food choice for people with
the rare disease cystathionine beta-synthase deficiency. Either beet
root powder or supplemental trimethylglycine will lower homocysteine
levels in this disease, but beet root powder provides a greater range
of nutrients. According to the American Heart Association, beet juice
can help lower blood pressure and it is also noted that due to the high
content of iron in beets, they are good for anemia.
Maximum safe dosages for young children, pregnant or nursing mothers,
or those with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established,
but there are no reports of any side effects from the use of the
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 03 May, 2010.