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10 Fun Facts About Beetroot

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10 Fun Facts About Beetroot
Traditional British Recipes - Roast Beetroot - Roast Beetroot Recipe

Beetroot

Photo © Elaine Lemm
We all know that beetroot is a very healthy and tasty vegetable which can be boiled, roast or used in juices. It is one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen as it can be used right across the menu; soups, starters, mains, puds cakes and even drinks can use beetroot to add great flavour, texture and of course colour.

But then the humble beetroot is even more than this as you can see in these 10 fun facts about beetroot.
  1. Bet you didn't know it, but beetroot is a Hangover cure. Beta cyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is an antioxidant so the humble beetroot could be the key to beating your hangover. Beta cyanin speeds up detoxification in your liver, which enables your body to turn the alcohol into a less harmful substance that can be excreted quicker than normal.
  2. You may want to know this or not nut beetroot is also known as nature's Viagra. - One of earliest known benefits of beetroot is its use as an aphrodisiac during the Roman times (maybe that's why The Lupanare, the official brothel of Pompeii, which still stands, has its walls adorned with pictures of beetroots). Sceptical? It is not all folklore as beetroot contains high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.
  3. Beetroot also contains betaine, a substance that relaxes the mind and is used in other forms to treat depression and contains trytophan which is also found in chocolate and contributes to a sense of well being.
  4. Sugar rush - Beetroot has one of the highest sugar contents of any vegetable. Up to 10 per cent of beetroot is sugar, but it is released slowly into the body rather than the sudden rush that results from eating chocolate.
  5. Litmus test - You can use beetroot juice to measure acidity. When added to an acidic solution it turns pink, but when it is added to an alkali it turns yellow.
  6. Turning heads - Since the 16th century, beet juice has been used as a natural red dye. The Victorians used beetroot to dye their hair.
  7. Bottoms up - Beetroot can be made into a wine that tastes similar to port
  8. Vanish - Beetroot is a water-soluble dye, and hot water seems to 'fix' the colour stain more, so use lukewarm or cold water to avoid staining. To cure the inevitable 'pink fingers', rub with lemon juice and salt before washing with soap and water. On fabrics, try rubbing a slice of raw pear on the stain before washing, or rinse in cold water before washing in a biological powder.
  9. Out of this world - In 1975, during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, cosmonauts from the USSR's Soyuz 19 welcomed the Apollo 18 astronauts by preparing a banquet of borscht (beetroot soup) in zero gravity.
  10. Record breakers - The world's heaviest beetroot weighed 23.4kg (51.48lb) and was grown by Ian Neale from Somerset in 2001.
Facts courtesy of Love Beetroot

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