Beetroot is typically not on peoples’ list of favorite vegetables, but the beautifully red pigmented root packs a hearty amount of vitamins and benefits. If you’re not eating your beets, you may want to start stocking your fridge with this incredible super food. Here’s why:
Improves Oxygen Flow to Your Brain
Beetroot is rich in nitrates which, when consumed, are converted to nitric oxide in the body. This naturally occurring gas helps the body’s cells to communicate with one another. As a result, the walls of the blood vessels become expanded; thereby, improving oxygen flow to the brain. This boost of nitric oxide will help to improve memory, increase energy levels and reduce high blood pressure. Beet root can also be eaten as a precautionary measure to protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Beets Have No Fat
Red beetroot may curb your sweet tooth cravings and satisfy hunger; best of all, you can indulge in the vegetable without feeling guilty. Beets have zero trans or saturated fats, the primary contributors to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
They’ll Keep You Regular
This super food is very high in fiber. One small beet a day can help you to have regular bowel movements, ensuring your intestine is functioning well. If you’re not sure about the health of your digestive system, including the bowel, you can take the “beetroot test”. All you’ll need to do is have a beetroot for breakfast or lunch. The next day, when you have a bowel movement, examine the color of your stool. If it is red in color, you can be sure your digestive system is not blocked.
Cleanse and Detox Your Body
The red color of the beet is known as betalin pigment. This assists the body in cleansing and eliminating various accumulated toxins. These come from pollution, household and food chemicals, stress or even some medications. High levels of toxins are typically found in the liver and blood. The pigment of beetroot attaches to these harmful toxins and are excreted through urine, leaving your cells’ clean and healthy.
Vitamin and Mineral Powerhouse
This tuber contains a plethora of flavanoids which are highly beneficial for aiding in the health of your eyes. Beets also contain vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese all of which are essential to your muscle function, bones and vital organs.
Protect Against Cancer
Ongoing research is showing that phytonutrients and pigments in beetroot may help to protect against multi-organ tumor formations as well as, pancreatic, breast and prostate cancers. Preliminary studies are also examining the positive results of beetroot consumption for the treatment of lung and skin cancers.
Don’t Forget to Eat Your Beet Greens Too
When you buy your beetroot, be sure to save the leafy tops. These contain most of the benefits of the beet itself, but with extra nutrients associated with green vegetables. In fact, these green and purple tinted leaves have more iron than spinach and contain important nutrients like vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The greens of the beetroot can help fight osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and other health issues associated with people over the age of 65.
If you’ve never had beetroot greens before, they can be cooked like any other green. Juice them, sauté’ them with onions and garlic or steam and blend the leaves into a seasoned soup.
What You Should Know Before You Eat Your Beets
All of the nutrients and benefits of beets can break down from long cooking times. If you’re steaming, boiling, baking or grilling your beets, try cooking them for no more than 15 minutes.
Beetroot and the tops are high in oxalates; these can form small crystals which can lead to the development of kidney stones. If you are prone to these, or currently have kidney stones, it may be a good idea to talk with your doctor.
3 Ways to Eat Your Beets
Make a Dip
- Remove the skin of the beetroot and slice into small chunks. Steam these for 15 minutes and let them cool to room temperature. Once cool, add them to a food processor or blender with a few sprigs of fresh dill, a clove or two of garlic, a pinch of sea salt and crushed black pepper. Blend for 30 seconds to one minute depending on how smooth you wish the dip to be. Once blended, you can stir in a spoonful of fresh plain yogurt to the mix. Use this dip on a slice of brown bread, avocados, cucumbers or zucchini.
- With a juicer or blender, add in 1-2 cleaned beets, 2 carrots and 1 de-cored apple. This easy A-B-C Juice is a healthy way to start your morning. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime for some extra ‘zing’!
Roast Your Beets
- Carefully dice skinned beets into small cubes and drizzle olive oil over them. Add your favorite seasoning like rosemary, thyme or paprika and roast them on low heat in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Ready to Eat More Beets?
Hopefully if you’re not eating your beets yet, you will make the decision to start including them in your diet. Enjoy this incredible tuber and reap the benefits which will do wonders for your health.