Sugar Beet – The First Sweet for Europe

The scientific name of sugar beet is Beta vulgaris, which is also known as chard, biennial herbaceous plant.  It is cultivated from western and southern coast of Europe, all the way from Sweden transplanted to Spain. It is another major source of sugar after sugar cane.  Wild sugar beet was said to be originated in the Mediterranean coast. Wild beet was introduced into China from Arabia countries around AD 1500.  Species with high sugar content was introduced into China in 1906.  Besides for its sugar content, there are species beet which for its leaf and root as vegetable, and there are also for animal feed.

Vegetable beet is generally cooked or pickled in the United States, and Russians and Eastern Europeans use the beet for their traditional beet soup.  Sugar beet is one of the most important commercial crop in Europe. It was bred in Germany in eighteenth Century. Napoleon had encouraged his citizens the planting of sugar beet due to the British’s embargo.  Sugar beet is now widely planted in whole Europe. It accounts for about 2/5 of the world’s sugar production, the main producing countries are Ukraine, Russia, the United States, France, Poland, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Romania and the United Kingdom.

Due to its sugar content, it has up to 19 thousand calories in every 100 grams.  Besides that, there are also smaller amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber.  It also content micro nutrients like vitamin A, thiamine riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin K, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper.

Beets are easy to digest, help to improve appetite, relieve headaches, beets, and even help prevent colds and anemia.  A peeled beet root can easily mix with others in a delicious and simple salad, with some seasoning.  Beet root juice contains abundant nitrite substances, which has the functions of lowering blood pressure and preventing senile dementia.  

Beet root also contains iodine composition which help to prevent goiter, prevent and even cure atherosclerosis.  Both the root and leaves of sugar beet root contain a betaine composition, where other vegetables do not have.  It also has the lecithin and choline, biochemical and pharmacological function, is an effective regulator can improve the liver function and protein absorption. Beet root also contains a saponin substances that can bind with cholesterol and make it hard to be absorbed into the body and will be discharged out.  There are a considerable amount of magnesium in the beet root, which can help to prevent blood arteries from calcification and improve elasticity of blood vessel, which plays an important role in the treatment of hypertension. Beet roots also contain a large amount of cellulose and pectin components, which is an important factor for curing stomach ulcer.  Also, because of its content of iron, copper, manganese and other elements, it can also treat anemia related diseases.

Researchers at the London School of medicine studied 15 hypertensive patients and found that if these patients drank about 250 milliliters of beetroot juice a day, they could reduce blood pressure by 10 mmhg. It was found that the most significant time was about 3~6 hours.

The summary of beet root health care effect are as below:

  1. Fight against tumor
  2. Lowering blood lipid
  3. Hypotensive effect
  4. Growth stimulation
  5. protect stomach and liver