Beetroot has long and firmly entered human life. Many people know about its beneficial properties. However, few people know that it contains a very rare set of elements.
In the article we will consider biological characteristics, history of occurrence, chemical composition, as well as benefits, harms and contraindications for use.
We will learn how to grow correctly, what species exist, as well as how to give it to a child correctly and whether it is possible to give beets to animals. Let's analyze other important information.
General information about the root crop
We will tell you what a beet is, a vegetable or a fruit, what a root vegetable looks like.
- Definition... Beetroot is a root vegetable, not a fruit as some believe.
- What does it look like? The appearance of the vegetable depends on the type of root vegetable. Beetroot is a rosette of large petioled elongated elliptical leaves with a rounded root crop protruding from the soil. What color can the root crop be? There are types of red, burgundy or black and purple colors.
- Botanical description... Beet belongs to biennial plants of the Amaranth family, which forms leaves and root crops in the first year. And already in the second year of life, it releases a flowering branched stem, flowers (greenish or white) and seeds.
- Structure... In its first season, the plant is crowned with basal leaves with a shortened stem. The root vegetable is a modified root with a head (upper part), a neck (the thickest - the main one, eaten), a root (root processes in the lower part).
The second period for beets is marked by the appearance of flowering shoots (stems) from the apical and lateral buds of the root crop head. The leaves and inflorescences of the panicle grow on the stems, on the shortened branches of which there are 2-5 bisexual flowers. The nut-fruit is formed by cross-pollination. When ripe, they grow together into seedlings, which are also called glomeruli. Inside them, under the lid, are seeds.
Often people are interested in the name of the beet tops. Beet tops or leaves do not have a separate name. They should not be confused with a separate variety of "Swiss chard".
- How does it differ from a beetle... Beetroot in translation from Ukrainian or Belarusian means beet.
Biological features. Food beets are thermophilic. Germination is possible at + 5C, optimal - + 20C, + 15 ... + 18C - before the start of root crop formation, and after - + 20 ... + 25C.
If the weather is cool throughout the entire growth (0 ... + 10C), then there is a high probability of rapid formation of flowers.
The plant is light-requiring. Beets react well to moisture; with abundant irrigation, they give a good weight gain.
Beets prefer moderate irrigation... This will prevent it from becoming fibrous or loose. Sandy loam or loamy soil rich in humus is suitable for planting.
Beets do not like acidic soil very much. Even with a low acidity, the yield drops sharply. In this case, experts advise liming the soil.
History of origin
Modern food beets are derived from wild beets that grew in the Far East and India. She was known as early as 2000 BC. and was used as a vegetable and medicinal plant. The domestication itself took place only after almost 1000 years. Interestingly, at first, the tops were eaten, and the root was used as a medicine.
It is also mentioned that the ancient Greeks sacrificed her to Apollo. Since then, very little time has passed and 500 years BC. in Asia, for the first time, they began to eat beet root. Only at the beginning of our era. cultivated forms of common root beet began to appear. In our area (Kievan Rus), it appeared only by the 10th - 11th centuries.
- vitamins (B1, IN2, R, PP);
- sugars (glucose, and fructose, and up to 25% sucrose);
- acids (ascorbic, pantothenic, folic, oxalic, citric and malic);
- mineral salts (magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, iodine, manganese, cobalt, sodium, phosphorus);
- dyes (betaine (alkaloid-like substance), corotinoids, pectins, pigments);
- amino acids (valine, lysine, arginine, histidine, etc.).
The tops contain ascorbic acid, carotene, coloring agents, betanin and betaine.
Benefits and harm to humans
- Beets are the first helper for chronic constipation. It not only acts on the intestines, but destroys putrefactive bacteria.
- It is an excellent regulator of fat metabolism, liver function and blood pressure (hypertension).
- The vegetable perfectly helps not only the health of the body (analgesic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antispasmodic, anti-sclerotic, antiscorbutic, wound healing, general strengthening), but also the psyche, as it copes well with depression.
- The plant assists the body in hematopoiesis.
- Folic acid in beets is very necessary for pregnant women and those who are just planning a baby. It helps to form a healthy nervous system in a small embryo.
- The high content of iodine helps to make up for its deficiency in the human body.
- Betanine contained in beets prevents the development of malignant tumors.
- The low calorie content of the vegetable will delight any dieter.
- Beets do not allow calcium absorption, and the sugar they contain can raise blood sugar.
- Oxalic acid can make your kidney stones worse.
- The pronounced laxative effect will harm those suffering from diarrhea.
Contraindications to use
Exclude the use of vegetables when:
- Kidney stones.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Certain diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Renal failure.
During pregnancy, beets are simply necessary.... It has everything for mom and baby. Unless, of course, there are the problems listed above.
Allergy is caused by intolerance to sulfates, which at one time fertilized the culture. Another cause of allergies is the body's intolerance to glucose or fructose, which break down from sucrose. This can be caused by a malfunction of the internal organs of a person.
Children also often suffer from vegetable allergies, "due to" a lack of digestive enzymes or a large amount of fiber in the product, which irritates the children's intestines, and also causes colic and bloating. In infants, allergens come from the mother's milk. Read about whether beets are allowed for breastfeeding here.
Application in medicine
Diseases that beets can help cure:
- Iodine deficiency of the thyroid gland.
You will find detailed information on the treatment with beets in this article.
Types of beets with photos
There are 4 types of beets: 3 in terms of ripening (early, middle, late) and 1 in structure (here we mean leaf). Let's show how each variety looks in the photo.
This type of table beet includes:
Rounded crimson root vegetable, medium in size with thin skin and sweet flesh.
A small ball-shaped fruit of red color without rings, pleasant to the taste.
A medium-sized round root vegetable with red, palatable flesh.
It is neat in shape and tastes good without burgundy-cherry-colored rings.
A rounded dark red root vegetable with radial rings.
A cylindrical dark red vegetable.
Rounded, slightly flattened at the poles, the color is burgundy with a purple tint and light rings.
A rounded dark red root vegetable with juicy pulp.
For sugar beets:
A conical root vegetable of white color and medium weight with a high sugar content.
Mid-season beet varieties include:
Rounded red fruit.
Red, oblong with thin skin.
Ball-shaped fruits with a pleasant dark shade.
Incomparable А 463
Large, flat-round root vegetable of dark cherry color.
Small round shape with dark cherry-colored flesh without rings.
The conical root vegetable is white in color and high in sugar.
Conical white root.
Conical white root.
Cylindrical root crop of red-violet color.
Flat-round shape, maroon color with juicy pulp.
A small cylindrical root vegetable of red color.
A small cylindrical burgundy fruit.
Type of leaf beet. Only leaves that look like lettuce or spinach are eaten. Swiss chard surpasses them in taste and quality.
Fodder beets cannot be attributed to any species in terms of ripening period, although some of them are close to mid-season.
Oval-cylindrical fruit of white or pinkish-white color.
It has a red oval-elongated root vegetable, white flesh.
White oval root vegetable.
Cylindrical-conical fruit of medium size, white.
Yellow-orange fruit of cylindrical-conical shape.
The fruit is yellow and conical in shape.
A root crop of a semi-sugar type, white, oval in shape.
Semi-sugar type with a cylindrical yellow-orange fruit.
Cylindrical-conical pink fruit.
Orange root vegetable of cylindrical-oval shape.
An oval-cylindrical orange-green root vegetable with a high sugar content.
Step-by-step instructions for growing
- Selection of varieties.
Varieties are selected depending on the soil and needs.
- Site preparation for planting.
Loosen well in a warm, sunny place. Fertilize soil poor in minerals in the fall.
- Best predecessors: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkin, zucchini, herbs, legumes, grains, onions, garlic.
- The worst are potatoes, cabbage, radish, carrots, celery, Swiss chard, fodder, sugar, beetroot.
- Seed treatment.
Soak them in room temperature water for several hours. Then discard the pop-ups. After draining the water, wrap it in gauze and immerse it in a solution of Epin, Zircon or others for a period of 0.5 to 4 hours. After the solution, let the seeds lie in a warm place for 12-24 hours so that they swell and hatch. Now you can start planting.
- Planting beets in open ground.
Seeds must be placed in warm soil at a depth of 2 cm at an interval of 4-10 cm from each other and covered with earth.
The distance between the rows for small fruits is 10-15 cm, for large ones - 20-30 cm. The seeding rate is approximately 8-12 kg of seeds per 1 ha.
- Beet care.
It is required to irrigate the culture in moderation. Mulching (sawdust, straw, humus) can be used to reduce the amount of watering, loosening and weeds.
Thin in 2 stages: 1 after 2 true leaves appear on the plant; and 2 when the root reaches 1.5-2 cm in diameter. In this case, the distance between the roots is left up to 5 cm for the first time, and the second time at the required distance for the selected variety.
On poor soil, the culture requires a little feeding (infusion of mullein or chicken droppings), it is also recommended to use complex fertilizer (potassium, boron, copper, molybdenum) several times. With proper care, the yield of table beet in Russia is approximately 40-50 tons per hectare, fodder and sugar beets - 900-1100 centners per hectare.
You will find all the details on growing beets in this article.
Diseases and pests
- Fomoz - a fungal disease in which spots appear on the lower leaves and dry rot inside the root crop. Such symptoms mean a lack of boron, boric acid feeding is required.
- Cercospora - lack of potassium, which is reflected in damage to the leaves and impaired growth and development of the root crop. Feeding with potassium chloride or ash is required.
- Peronosporosis (downy mildew) - Coats the underside of a leaf with a gray-purple bloom and causes it to rot or dry out. It is necessary to spray with fungicides and preferably before the onset of the disease, as a prophylaxis, in the phase of 2-3 leaves.
- Corneed - an infection that affects seedlings (the leg becomes thinner, blackens, the plant dies), with a lack of aeration on heavy damp soils.
- Fusarium - occurs with insufficient watering, while the cuttings darken, and the root crop itself cracks and becomes covered with a white bloom.
- Brown rot - does not allow after itself to grow root crops on the site for 4-5 years. The causes of the disease are high humidity and excess nitrogen. It manifests itself in a brown or white bloom on the root crop.
How to give to children?
For the first time, beetroot puree (half a teaspoon) is given no earlier than 8-12 months from the birth of the child. After taking a new product, you need to look at the reaction of the body. In the absence of any violations, safely increase the dose. I offer beetroot juice not earlier than 12 months. It also needs to be handled with caution and introduced into the diet with small doses (2 drops). We talked about this in more detail in another article.
In ancient Rome, beets were considered a symbol of quarrels, discord and gossip. If a person wanted to communicate his dislike for another, then he threw a vegetable into his house. In many cultures, it was believed that if a man and a woman bite off the same beet, they will love each other.
Historical fact: in 1975, during the Apollo-Soyuz test project, Soviet cosmonauts treated American colleagues to beetroot borscht. The Delphic Oracle claimed that beets have mystical powers. “Taking a favor in the beet fields” - this phrase meant visiting brothels in the beginning. XX century.
Beet juice can be used to measure acidity: when added to an acidic solution, the liquid will turn pink, and in an alkaline solution it will turn yellow.
Can it be used to feed animals?
Table beets are highly discouraged for animals. In exceptional cases, it can be given in small quantities: a piglet, cows, sheep in raw or freshly boiled (only not boiled and not brewed for a long time) form. For hamsters and rabbits, boiled or raw the size of a marigold.
Eating beets has a beneficial effect on human and animal health. People prone to chronic diseases can use the vegetable in small quantities and carefully. Animals are recommended to give special (fodder or sugar) beets, especially since they are not only healthy, but also tasty for them. We wrote in more detail about beets in the diet of animals here.
You can find useful information about beets in this video: