Beetroot the red, ruby colour veggie is a storehouse of nutrients. There are amazing health benefits of beetroot. It is a good source of iron thus prevents anaemia, regulates sugar level in blood, supports our immune system, treats the swelling and pains associated with pregnancy. It also prevents indigestion, nourishes the foetus and prevents birth defects.
In this article, we will look into the Beetroot benefits along with beetroot juice side effects of pregnancy.
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What Is Beetroot?
The reddish taproot vegetable is scientifically termed as beta vulgaris. It is grown as the root of the beet plant. The four major types of beetroot are: red beet, green beet, golden beet and table beet. The nutritional value of beetroot is high. They are mostly grown as an edible root vegetable.
Initially, it was grown by Romans to give their wines the deep maroon colour. It is also used in medicine and cooking. Commercially beetroot was used to extract sucrose because it was the only vegetable with high sucrose content.
Nutritional Value Of Beetroot
Beetroot is a storehouse or superfood. It is also called ‘Chukandar’ in India. During pregnancy, your nutritional requirement increases. To meet this requirement include chakundar juice in your diet is a good choice. Some of the essential nutrients that it contains are:
Beetroot In Pregnancy
A common misconception, is beetroot good for pregnancy? It is safe and beneficial. It is nutritious and is a good source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals during this vital phase of your life. Though it is high in carbohydrates it is safe cause the GL or glycemic load is quite low. GL is how much the food will raise your blood glucose level after eating. It is rich in fibre and iron. It is advisable to check with your doctor before including beetroot in your diet as it may increase your oxalate levels.
Various Ways To Include Beetroot In Pregnancy
Beetroot is a versatile tube root veggie. It can be incorporated in your diet in numerous ways for maximum beetroot benefits as pregnancy is a time when your body’s nutritional requirement is increased.
Beetroot contains betaine which may cause vomiting and nausea. So it can be avoided in the first trimester when nausea and morning sickness is experienced by many of us.
Some ways to include beetroot during pregnancy in your diet are:
‣ Chop it to make a salad with vegetables like cucumber, onion or fruits like apple, pomegranate.
‣ Boil it and season it as in-between meals.
‣ Easy dips or chutneys can be made.
‣ If you have sweet tooth you can make smoothies, shakes or tasty halwas.
‣ Beetroot can be added to paratha dough for making parathas.
‣ Beetroot with or without vegetables can be boiled for soup.
‣ Beetroot juice in pregnancy is very healthy. For extra taste, you can add tomatoes or mix it with carrot juice.
Benefits Of Beetroot And Beetroot Juice In Pregnancy
Eating beetroot raw or cooking with other vegetables is beneficial for you and the growing foetus. So is the beetroot juice during pregnancy with certain precautions.
Recent studies have shown that eating beetroot during pregnancy is nutritious. It is because with eating the fibres in the beet are also consumed which helps in roughage. Plus, the chewing gives you the satiety value which is absent in juices.
For preparing beetroot juice in pregnancy it is advisable to soak the beet in cold water for 20-30 minutes. Peel the skin with a stainless steel knife. Cut into small pieces and prepare the juice. To avoid beetroot juice side effects you should never consume it immediately. Let it sit in the fridge or warm place for about 2-3 hours. Beetroot juice should be diluted with water in the ratio 1:1. Your maximum requirement for beetroot juice is 120- 130 ml of diluted beetroot juice.
Some of the beetroot benefits are:
Good Source Of Iron
Nutritionist suggests including beetroot during pregnancy in your diet. As it is a rich source of iron. Thus, increasing the content of haemoglobin in expectant mother. Iron deficiency or anaemia may have an adverse effect on your health and unborn baby. Anaemia is a common problem during pregnancy.
Good Source Of Calcium And Silica
Beetroot in pregnancy safeguards you against osteoporosis. A condition in which the bones become brittle and weak. As it is a good source of calcium it prevents and restores calcium and silica in your bones and teeth.
Good Source Of Vitamin C
Beetroot juice in pregnancy is a good source of Vitamin C, aids in the absorption of iron in your body making your pregnancy and delivery healthy.
Good Source Of Folic Acid
Beetroot minimises the risk of birth defects. Folic acid is required for tissue growth. It plays a major role in producing red blood cells in your body and spinal cord development of the foetus during the initial stage of your pregnancy. Beetroot during pregnancy is a major source for obtaining folic acid and ensuring proper development of the spinal cord.
Beetroot is a storehouse of antioxidants. Betanin, the pigment giving beetroot its colour is rich in antioxidants. This combines with other antioxidants, polyphenol, an essential nutrient. Beetroot benefits include protecting and boosting the immunity from infectious bacteria and harmful toxins during your pregnancy.
Maintains Blood Sugar Level
Though a good source of sucrose beets are low-glycemic food. That is your body takes a long time in converting and absorbing sugar found in beetroot. So beetroot or chakundar juice prevents an instant rise in your blood sugar level.
Swelling and pain in joints, hands or legs are quite a common phenomena in pregnancy. Betaine present in beetroot is an anti-inflammatory agent preventing inflammation.
Beetroot contains a good amount of potassium. This balances the electrolytes and regulates the metabolic activity of your body. Beetroot or chakundar in pregnancy helps in maintaining blood pressure.
A superfood with the tremendous ability to purify your blood system. This is all the more essential as beetroot during pregnancy protects you and the growing foetus from any infections or disease. As it is rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B and soluble fibres, it provides ample strength and stamina required during your pregnancy.
Aids In Digestion
Beetroot is rich in fibre. So it reduces constipation associated during pregnancy.
Healthy Development Of A Foetus
As beetroot contains many essential vitamins and minerals it is required for the development of the foetus. Especially vitamin A and E ensure development at a good rate.
Betacyanin, a pigment present in beetroot detoxifies the liver. It helps in removing toxins including fatty acids from the body. Thus, beetroot in pregnancy helps in maintaining healthy liver and digestion.
Side Effects Of Beetroot And Beetroot Juice In Pregnancy
Beetroot during pregnancy is nutritious and seldom harms you. But there have been some situations where it had adverse effects. Especially during pregnancy, it is advisable to consult your doctor before including it in your diet. Some beet juice side effects which have been observed are:
‣ Small amounts of nitrates are found in beetroot. Beetroot juice during pregnancy may cause fatigue and weakness in your body.
‣ Oxalate present in beetroot can cause kidney stones.
‣ Beetroot contains betaine, which may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or other gastrointestinal problems.
‣ Excess consumption of beetroot juice can temporarily paralyze your vocal cords.
‣ Excess consumption of beetroot causes reddish stool and urine, a condition called Beeturia.
Recommend Beetroot In Pregnancy
Your pregnancy demands nutritious diet and the many beetroot benefits are essential. It is equally important to understand the best way of consuming it for maximum benefit. But you should also keep in mind that no two bodies are alike. So your preference might not match with your friend or sister. So it is best to consult your doctor before its intake. Plus, it is important to follow the necessary precautions and limit its usage to a quarter or two per day cause moderation is the key.