Beet (Beta vulgaris) is a plant belonging to the family Amaranthaceae, formerly classified in the family Chenopodiaceae. The root of the beet is very popular around the world use cooked or raw vegetables is one of the most appreciated in the kitchen, their sweet and tastes like earth attracts the palate. Although used as food is also effective when used for medicinal purposes, is the cure of diseases or as a preventive measure. Red roots contain powerful compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. The pigment that gives beets their color is reddish purple betacyanin is also a powerful agent in the fight against cancer. Its effectiveness against colon cancer, in particular, has been shown in several studies.
This pigment is absorbed into the blood and may increase the transport capacity of oxygen in the blood by up to 400 percent. In a study of animals beet fiber increased the activity of two antioxidant enzymes in liver, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione S-transferase. The liver is the principal organ of detoxification of the body where toxic substances are decomposed and removed, a process that generates a large amount of free radicals. Glutathione peroxidase and glutathione S-transferase are the bodyguards for liver cells and biliary tract, protecting them from attacks by free radicals. Although this study has not only increased the activity of antioxidant protection in the liver, but also in total cholesterol levels decreased by 30%, triglycerides decreased by 40% (elevated triglycerides, the form in which fats are transported in the blood are a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease), and the level of HDL (good cholesterol) increased significantly.