Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Food Therapy - Beet (Beta vulgaris) and Cardiovascular diseases

Beet is best known as the beetroot or garden beet and belong to the amaranth family. It is a perennial plant with leafy stems growing to 1–2 m tall.
Platelet aggregation is the process of platelets adhere to each other at sites of vascular injury.

Nutrients and chemical Constituents
1. Energy
2. Carbohydrates
3. fiber
4. Protein
5. Vitamin A
6. Beta-carotene
7. Trytophan
8. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
9. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
10. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
11. Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
12. Vitamin B6
13. Folate (Vitamin B9)
14. Vitamin C
15. Calcium
16. Iron
17. Magnesium
18. Copper
19. Phosphorus
20. Potassium
21. Zinc
22. Magnesium
23. Betacyanin
24. Betaine
25. Etc.
Beside the major chemical constituents betalains and phenolics, it also contains lesser amount of isobetanin, probetanin, neobetanin, indicaxanthin, vulgaxanthins, etc.

The benefits
Vegetables rich in inorganic nitrate has found to be beneficial vascular effects, including reducing blood pressure, inhibiting platelet aggregation, preserving or improving endothelial dysfunction, etc. In the study of health volunteers, approximately 3 hours after ingestion of a dietary nitrate load (beetroot juice 500 mL), it enhanced the rise in plasma nitrite, decrease in blood pressure, and inhibited on platelet aggregation. Beet juice is no doubt exerted its vasoprotective effects through activity of nitrite converted from the ingested nitrate and  the beneficial effects of a vegetable-rich diet may be considered as a low cost treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Side effects
Oxalates in the beet can cause kidney and gallbladder problem. People with above diseases should contact their doctor before consuming.
2. Increase the rick of lowering calcium absorption for people with weak digestive system.
3. Etc.

(1) Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite By Webb AJ, Patel N, Loukogeorgakis S, Okorie M, Aboud Z, Misra S, Rashid R, Miall P, Deanfield J, Benjamin N, MacAllister R, Hobbs AJ, Ahluwalia A.(PubMed)
(2) Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway by Lidder S, Webb AJ.(PubMed)