Tag Archives: healthy beets

Super good for you

There are many vegetables that could be eaten to provide you with great health benefits. Among those which should probably be a regular mainstay in your diet is the sugar beet. These root vegetables are packed with plenty of nourishing essentials. Where else can you find a good combination of magnesium, iron, copper, potassium, manganese, folate and other B vitamins? Including some of these beets throughout the week would definitely be to your advantage. Yes, they are higher in sugar content compared to most vegetables though eating it in moderation is all that is necessary.

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A colorful vegetable

The taproot has a shape slightly similar to a turnip though smaller in size. It has a dark brown skin and a deep red cross section. The stalks which contains edible leaves are likewise reddish in color. These used to be eaten more than the taproot and is still advisable to be consumed as well. Sugar beets also comes in orange and yellow variants.

Take note that they are hard and crunchy when raw. Cooking them however would result in a more succulent texture. Try boiling them in under fifteen minutes to retain most of the nutrients. Serving them raw is best though you can steam them lightly as well.

Then and now

Mostly found in Europe, Asia and North Africa this vegetable was used to treat digestion problems and blood related afflictions in the Middle Ages. It was the early Romans who first cultivated this crop as a source of nutrition. Other European countries soon followed suit. They became a source of sugar by the turn of the 19th century. Beets are currently commercially grown throughout the USA, Russia, Germany, France and Poland.

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Making a solid case

The amino acid betaine which is found in this amazing vegetable helps minimize the presence of fat in the liver. This decreases its size and in turn, making it more efficient to perform its function which is to clean your body of toxins.

Because sugar beets contain folate, it also reduces homocysteine levels in the blood. This may improve your fighting chances against developing heart disease and strokes.

Consuming beets will allow you to get a good dose of nitric oxide which help your blood vessels relax as well as lower blood your pressure. This results in better delivery of blood to your brain, boosting  memory and other functions. Nitric oxide can also increase your stamina by minimizing oxygen requirements when engaging in moderate to heavy physical activities. Athletes consume beets prior to practicing or competing for improved performance.

Perhaps one of the most important benefits of this underrated superfood is its anti-inflammatory side effects. This is attributable to the existence of betalains, which are rich in anti-oxidants that may help ward off diseases brought about by inflammation. A form of betalain called betacyanin is responsible for the reddish purple pigments in beets. Studies have shown that it could decrease the growth of certain types of cancer cells such as breast, prostrate and colon.

Sugar beets can also contribute to better digestive functions. The dietary fiber found in this vegetable (about 3 grams for every 100 gram serving) can aid in lessening the occurrence of constipation as well as hemorrhoids. Do not be alarmed if you suddenly see a distinctive red color the next time you visit the bathroom. It is probably just from the betalains from eating beets or an occurrence known as beeturia.

Whatever rocks your boat

Beets can be prepared in a variety of ways. Most people enjoy them raw by adding them to salads. These can be grated over some greens or can be sliced and made into the main ingredient of a vegetable dish. Making it into borscht is of course one of the most popular ways of serving it. This can be a very tasty meal, especially during the cold months. There are also those who like to have them pickled. Again, beets may lose the potency of some of its nutrients when cooked.

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If you would like a quick fix, juicing them is an easy way to derive its many health benefits. You may want to consider doing this as well though it would mean that you would have to forego the  advantages provided by its dietary fiber.

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