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The beetroot

  1. One person loves them, the other hates them. The beet is not everyone's friend, but it does have a lot of health under its red skin. Why is the juice so popular? And what about the nitrates again?

  1. Red beets are related to sugar and fodder beets. They are, especially in the West of the country, also called beetroot or beetroot. You can enjoy it all year round: in the summer of small summer beets with foliage and in the winter of their big brother the winter beet. They can be bought fresh at the market and from the greengrocer. In the supermarket you will find pre-cooked beetroot in the refrigerator compartment.

Red pee and shit

  1. Beetroot owes their beautiful color to two substances, betanine and vulgaxanthine. Betanin from the root vegetable is also used to make other products such as jams, ice cream and sauces red. It is then called beet red or it is stated as E162 on the packaging. About one in ten people sees in the toilet the next day that he or she has eaten beets. The English call it beeturia. Under certain circumstances, the stomach and intestines do not process the dye betanin, so it leaves your body naturally. The result is bright red to pink puddle and poo. If you had forgotten that yesterday there were beetroot on your menu, that might be a shock. It looks as if there is blood in the stool or urine, but this phenomenon is completely harmless and will disappear by itself.


  1. Beetroot is just like spinach and lettuce is a nitrate-rich vegetable. Various but small studies have shown that nitrate has a positive effect on endurance. It causes the blood vessels to dilate, the blood pressure falls and you use less oxygen during exercise. Many endurance athletes swear by beet juice, because it contains a high concentration of nitrate. You don't have to drink beet juice every day. Drinking half a liter of this red substance during the three days before a competition during the day would already improve performance. Beet juice is available ready-to-eat, but you can also make it yourself by mashing raw or cooked beets. Not everyone can appreciate the taste of beet juice, mix in some apple or orange if necessary.


  1. Despite the healthy properties of nitrates, they also have a disadvantage. Nitrates are partially converted into nitrite by storage, heating and eating, which can be converted into potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines. Previously, it was therefore advised to eat beets a maximum of twice a week. This advice has since been withdrawn. Indeed, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded that it is very unlikely that exposure to nitrate through vegetables will lead to health risks. Beet juice is not included in the EFSA safety evaluation. If you were to drink beet juice every day, it would add to your intake of other sources of nitrate and you might still be getting too much of it. Because the Nutrition Center prefers to err on the side of caution, they recommend that you exercise caution with beet juice and not drink it daily.


  1. Fresh, raw beets are best cooked in their skin. This way they retain their flavor and color. The cooking time depends on the size, summer beets are done after 20-25 minutes, but winter beets only after about 2 hours. When cooked long enough, the skin peels off easily. You only need to heat up (pre) cooked beetroot, but they are also delicious raw in a salad. Try: Stew with beetroot Borsjch (beet soup) Healthy shake with beet Beetroot with grapefruit Summer beetroot with anise

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