What is beet?

What Does beet Mean

Beetroot is a concept that comes from the Italian language, although its etymological origin is more distant. The notion allows naming a plant whose root is edible and which, according to most experts, comes from the south of the European continent, probably from Italy.

Also known as sugar beets and beet (its scientific name is Beta vulgaris ), beet is part of the group of Chenopodiaceae and the family of Amaranthaceae . This herbaceous plant has a thick stem that may have a height of two meters, large oval leaves and small flowers greenish color.

The beet has its origin in the Beta maritima L. , a wild species that grows in various maritime areas of the north of the African continent and southern Europe, with total freedom. It is worth mentioning that it is not edible, although humans have used it for medicinal purposes , something that it does have in common with the beet that we all know.
Its use as food by our species dates back to ancient times, and at that time not only the root was eaten , but also its leaves, which have a flavor that resembles that of spinach (in France, still up to date today consume beet greens). Since the beginning of the 19th century, its use in the culinary field decreased, as people began to take advantage of it to extract alcohol and to obtain table sugar (also known as sucrose).
The root is usually eaten cooked as part of salads . It is usual that it is combined with onion, potato (potato) and hard-boiled egg, among other ingredients. You can also make beet juice or use it as a garnish .
Beetroot is a highly appreciated food as it has iron , potassium , vitamin B and vitamin C , among other nutrients. It can contribute to the treatment of anemia and be used as a laxative .
Beet juice, in fact, is recommended to control hypertension (since it helps reduce blood pressure ) and improve circulation (makes it difficult for clots to appear). However, the level of oxalates it contains means that its excessive consumption can favor the formation of stones in the kidneys.
The list of its benefits continues, and it can also be used in cancer treatment , thanks to being a food rich in flavonoids , substances that help plants protect themselves from the sun's rays and carry out seed dispersal. but they provide us with various properties, since they are antioxidants, strengthen hair, protect the stomach and liver, promote good blood circulation, are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

Due to the presence of betanin , on the other hand, beetroot is also used as a natural coloring . This substance can even stain the urine and fecal matter of those who eat beets.
The so-called sugar beet , a variety of this plant, makes it possible to obtain sugar . France , the United States , Germany and Russia are among the world's leading producers of this type of sugar.
Other varieties of beet that stand out are the white (also called elongated ) and the red . Both have a high sugar content, which is much easier to assimilate than that from cane, and they are also rich in starch. Its leaves can be used as a vegetable and, as mentioned above, its roots are also perfectly edible. A clear difference between the two, as far as the human use is concerned, is that the red is preferred for the kitchen, since it is considered tastier , while the white is usually used mainly for the production of sugar and feeding the cattle.

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