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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Beetroot

The red beetroot was considered by the Ancient Greeks to be medicinal, whilst its juice was used as a hair dye. 

The ancient Romans considered beetroot to be an aphrodisiac and The Lupanare, the official brothel of Pompeii, had its walls decorated with pictures of the vegetable.

From the Middle Ages, beetroot was used as a treatment for a variety of conditions, especially illnesses relating to digestion and the blood.


The 17th century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper said that beetroot juice is good for headaches and afflictions of the brain

The beetroot we eat now is Beta vulgaris, which evolved as a cultivated version of the sea beet, Beta maritima.



In studies conducted by the Exeter University, scientists found cyclists who drank a half-litre of beetroot juice several hours before setting off were able to ride up to 20% longer than those who drank a placebo blackcurrant juice

Betanin, obtained from the roots, is used industrially as red food colorants, e.g. to improve the color and flavor of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, sweets and breakfast cereals.


In other forms betain is used to help treat depression. It’s also an amino acid, trytophan, that helps improve mood, memory and reduces stress. And finally it’s the feel good chemical in chocolate

The green, leafy portion of the beet is also edible. It is most commonly served boiled or steamed, in which case it has a taste and texture similar to spinach.


If you boil beetroots in water and then massage the water into your scalp each night, it works as an effective cure for dandruff.

The world’s biggest beetroot was grown in 2005 by Dutchman Piet de Goede weighing 156lb 10oz.

Source Wikipedia, Daily Express

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