Beetroot is known to be very healthy and, thanks to its healthy ingredients, has a positive effect on blood circulation, is anti-inflammatory and protects against heart disease. So it is beneficial to consume beetroot regularly. This begs the question, is it healthier to eat beets raw or cooked?
Beetroot’s rich healthy ingredients include vitamin A, various B vitamins, vitamin C, folic acid, iodine, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and lots of iron. The healthy beet also contains betaine, nitrate and anthocyanins.
Beetroot protects against heart disease
Betanin is known to protect against heart disease, promote blood clotting, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. Anthocyanins enable the prevention of cancer, and nitrate helps lower blood pressure.
According to a report by the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), the interaction of iron and vitamin C in beetroot also enables improved general absorption of iron.
Benefits of eating beetroot raw
In particular, the high combination of vitamin C, folic acid and iron found in beetroot when eaten raw is extremely beneficial to health. This is due to the fact that all three support blood formation.
Cooking damages components of beetroot
However, in a study on the effects of cooking beetroot, it is reported that cooking the beet, which is rich in healthy bioactive compounds, suffers both physical and chemical damage. Ultimately, this is associated with significant changes in the connections in the cell membranes.
In the research, the experts conducted various experiments to find out what influence different cooking methods have on the bioactive compounds in beetroot.
Effects of different cooking methods
For this, the beetroot was first washed thoroughly and then cooked by one of the following methods: steaming, pressure cooking, baking in the oven and boiling in water. The team reports that the beets were only peeled by hand after they had been cooked.
The researchers then carried out an analysis of the ingredients in cooked versus raw beetroot. They determined the antioxidant activity and the content of phenolic compounds, pigments, flavonoids and betaline in the beets.
Content of phenols and anthocyanins remained
It was found that antioxidant activity, total levels of phenols (which as mentioned above also reduce inflammation, among many other benefits) and anthocyanins (which may prevent cancer) were not altered by any of the cooking methods studied.
All cooking methods reduced flavonoids
However, the team adds that pressure cooking resulted in decreased levels of carotenoids (important for immunity) in beets, and all cooking methods studied reduced levels of flavonoids (which are particularly known for their antioxidant properties) and betalain (which may prevent heart disease). significantly reduced.
Bake beetroot before drying
On the other hand, according to another research paper, by baking at 200°C it is possible to increase various components of dried beetroot. The team found that baking as a pre-treatment prior to drying had a significant impact on the overall quality characteristics of beets.
The anthocyanins, the total phenols, the total sugars and also the pigment intensity increased with the increasing duration of baking, whereby baking over a period of 45 minutes ultimately contributed to the fact that the dried beetroot contained 109.57 mg anthocyanins and 8 .66 mg total phenols and 5.13 percent total sugars.
Be careful with beetroot for kidney stones and Crohn’s disease
In general, when eating beetroot, it should be noted that people with kidney stones or an increased risk of them should only eat the beet in small amounts, which also applies to people who suffer from Crohn’s disease. This is because the oxalic acid in beetroot increases the risk of urinary and kidney stones.
Dangers of incorrect storage of beetroot
It is also possible that the nitrate contained in beetroot, for example if stored incorrectly, can be converted to nitrite prematurely, which not only restricts the transport of oxygen in the blood, but can even trigger cyanosis in small children.
Beetroot is healthier raw
Taken together, the results make it clear that beets are generally better consumed raw if you want to reap the full benefits of the healthy ingredients. In the case of dried beetroot, on the other hand, it is advisable to first heat them to 200°C for around 45 minutes before drying. (as)