Top ten facts about beetroots

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Our immune systems are vitally important. Its primary function is to destroy germs or limit their harm in your body. If it’s compromised it is unable to protect against these germs, which can result in infections ranging from mild to life-threatening.

An expert explained how a certain root vegetable contains the nutrients needed to keep the immune system in good working order.

Registered nutritionist Jenna Hope, speaking on behalf of Love Beetroot, said: “Immunity has always been key to life, if it wasn’t for our immune system one harmless virus would have the potential to cause serious harm.

“There’s a wide range of nutrients that help to ensure the immune system functions optimally.

“These include copper, zinc, folate, vitamins C and D.

“Eating beetroot is a great way to get these nutrients into a diet. It’s high in folate (90-150mg per 100g) which helps the T cells (vital components of immunity) to perform optimally.

“Additionally, beetroot contains vitamin C which is imperative for supporting the production of the B and T immune cells.

“Research also shows vitamin C deficiency is associated with impaired immune function and increased susceptibility to infections.”

She added: “Beetroot is really versatile and can be added to a range of dishes.

“Try roasting it for root vegetable salads, incorporating it into soups and juices too.”

Her advice comes as a trial found drinking beetroot juice daily raised haemoglobin levels among participants, thus reducing the risk of anaemia.

As part of the study, published in the IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science, 30 girls aged between 15 and 17 were given 100ml of freshly squeezed beetroot juice every day for 20 days.

It explains: “Adolescence is a time of intense physical growth. It is also a stage of stress and strain.

“Beetroot juice is particularly beneficial as an anaemia remedy for children and teenagers. Many studies proved that beetroot also contribute to improve the haemoglobin level in the blood.

“Hence a study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of beetroot juice on
haemoglobin among adolescent girls.

“A total of 60 adolescent girls were selected for the study, in that 30 girls were in experimental and 30 girls were in the control group who fulfilled the inclusive criteria were selected by using simple random sampling technique.

“The freshly prepared beetroot juice was administered to the samples for 20 days in mid morning.

“Pre and post assessment was done using the checklist for assessing the signs and symptoms of anaemia and cyanmethemoglobin method for checking haemoglobin level.”

Both iron deficiency anaemia and pernicious anaemia can compromise the immune system and make you more susceptible to illnesses.

The study concludes: “Samples in the experimental group showed a highly significant improvement in haemoglobin level following the administration of beetroot juice, in comparison with the control group.

“By this the anaemia can be prevented among the adolescent girls and in future the complications due anaemia can be prevented.”

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