Beets are one of those foods many of us weren’t fond of in childhood and have forgotten as adults. When you see what they can do for you, however, you might be seeing them in your diet more often.
Okay, I’m not going to beat around the bush. The information I’m going to share will ensure you don’t miss a beat. In fact, it may help beat what ails you. For taste, nutrition, and even price you can’t beat beets.
According to Dr. Mercola, beets are one of the most ancient vegetables on Earth. Who knows, maybe they were snacked on by prehistoric herbivore dinosaurs. I thought about my own experience with beets or, should I say, inexperience. The first time I remember trying them was as a young man traveling in New Zealand. I wasn’t even sure that we had beets in America.
Beets have the highest carbohydrate and sugar content of any vegetable; that can’t be good, can it? Actually, they’re on just about everyone’s list of healthy foods for a number of very compelling reasons, and they can be served up in so many different ways. You can slice them, dice them, grate them, boil them, juice them, and pickle them. In Russia, they even borscht them.
Beets are low calorie, low fat, no cholesterol, high fiber, antioxidant rich, and enzyme packed, with a plentiful supply of phytonutrients: iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, vitamins A, C, K, and several of the B complex just to name a few. They are high in natural sugar; however, nature fixed it so it’s released into the system much more slowly than almost any other source. That’s great news for energy seekers, and even diabetics.
What Beets can Do for You
One report found that athletes were able to maintain physical activity for almost 20% longer after consuming a pre-workout mug of beet juice. In another University study, they found that the high betaine content of beets is as effective in increasing strength and muscle mass as many expensive supplements. Betaine also helps the cells hydrate and retain fluid, as well as protecting them from environmental stressors. It helps to modulate clotting and plaque in the vessels by lowering homocysteine levels, thus fighting strokes, heart disease and vascular disease. Betaine is a super-hero in the fight against inflammation.
Many cleanses and detoxification plans, especially for the liver and blood, suggest a tonic that it includes beet juice. Several recent studies confirm beets help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to vital organs by increasing the levels of nitric oxide, opening up the vessels to allow greater oxygen flow.
As healthy as beets are, their greens are even more nutrient packed. They contain much more vitamin C and are more plentiful in iron than even spinach. Beet greens have been recommended in the battle against osteoporosis, anemia, macular degeneration, and even colon problems. And just think, many of you have been cutting this precious nutriment off and throwing it out along with the lint from your clothes dryer.
Anything Wrong with Beets?
Are there any concerns with beets? It’s a sad fact that the majority of beets in the grocery section of your neighborhood supermarket are genetically modified, so it’s worth shopping at a store that carries organically grown produce. They do contain oxalates, which can be a problem for people prone to kidney stones. And it can cause Beeturia in some people, which means that the natural pigments can give you reddish tinted urine; don’t worry, it’s completely harmless. All in all, it’s hard to beat beets.