Why Eat Beets? 6 Top Reasons
Although beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, most people can safely eat beet roots a few times a week (and their greens in unlimited quantities), enjoying not only their sweet, earthy flavor but also their powerhouse nutrients that may improve your health in the following ways:
Drinking beet juice may help to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points. The benefit likely comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
2. Boost Your Stamina
If you need a boost to make it through your next workout, beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 percent longer. The benefit is thought to also be related to nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise.
3. Fight Inflammation
Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It's also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.
4. Anti-Cancer Properties
The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer.
5. Rich in Valuable Nutrients and Fiber
Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
6. Detoxification Support
The betalin pigments in beets support your body's Phase 2 detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body. Traditionally, beets are valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify your blood and your liver.
If you simply throw away the green leafy tops to your beets, you're doing yourself a disservice, as these are among the healthiest part of the plant. Besides containing important nutrients like protein, phosphorus, zinc, fiber, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, beet greens also supply significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Beet greens actually have even more iron than spinach (another leafy green in the same botanical family) as well as a higher nutritional value overall than the beetroot itself. You may be surprised to learn, for instance, that research shows beet greens may:
· Help ward off osteoporosis by boosting bone strength
· Fight Alzheimer's disease
· Strengthen your immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies and white blood cells
Excerpt from www.mercola.com
By Dr. Mercola
By: Lisa Cheplak
Handful of kale
Handful of spinach
1 medium apple, cut into wedges
2 medium carrot, peeled
1 large beet, peeled and cut into wedges
1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger (optional)
- Process all ingredients through a juicer according to the manufacturer’s directions. (No juicer? See Tip.)
- Fill 2 glasses with ice, if desired, and pour the juice into the glasses. Serve immediately.
Tip: No juicer? No problem. Try this DIY version of blended and strained juice instead: Coarsely chop all ingredients. First, place the soft and/or juice ingredients in the blender and process until liquefied. Then, add the remaining ingredients; blend until liquefied. Cut two 24-inch-long pieces of cheesecloth. Completely unfold each piece and then stack the pieces on top of each other. Fold the double stack in half so you have a 4-layer stack of cloth. Line a large bowl with the cheesecloth and pour the contents of the blender into the center. Gather the edges of the cloth together in one hand and use the other hand to twist and squeeze the bundle to extract all the juice from the pulp. Wear a pair of rubber gloves if you don’t want the juice to stain your hands. From: Eating Well magazine
Vegan Red Velvet Pancakes with Coconut Cream and Berries
Recipe by: FragrantVanillaCake.com
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup pureed cooked beets*
1 1/4 cups coconut milk ( I used almond milk)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp maple syrup
*About one large beet, I cooked mine by wrapping it in foil and roasting it in a 450 degree oven until tender (about an hour and 15 minutes). I then let it cool and peeled it, cut it into chunks and pureed it.
1 cup full fat coconut milk chilled until very cold (only the thick part from the top of the can)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
coconut oil for cooking pancakes
2 cups fresh berries for serving
maple syrup for serving
1. In a food processor, combine all pancake ingredients and process until just blended, pour into a bowl and set aside.
2. To make coconut cream, chill a medium bowl and beaters in the freezer until very cold. Place coconut milk in the chilled bowl and beat until stiff peaks, about 1-2 minutes. Add syrup and vanilla and beat until combined. Set aside in the fridge to keep cold.
3. To cook pancakes, preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add a little coconut oil to coat the bottom. Once hot, add the batter in 1/4 cup amounts (I did 3 at a time, but it depends on your pan), and let cook for about 2-3 minutes on the first side until set and starting to brown, then flip with a spatula and cook another 2-3 minutes on the other side. When cooked, place on a plate and keep warm in the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining pancakes.
To serve, top with the coconut cream, fresh berries and maple syrup if desired!
Lemon-Ginger Glazed Beets and Carrots with Toasted Walnuts
Recipe from Vegetarian Times Magazine
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp light brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 tsp crystallized ginger, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 lb. beets, trimmed, peeled and cut into ½-inch slices
½ lb. carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into ½ inch slices
6 small shallots, peeled and halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¾ cup chopped toasted walnuts (I used almonds)
1. Combine lemon juice, brown sugar, both gingers, and oil with 3 tablespoons water. Stir well to blend, dissolve sugar and moisten crystallized ginger.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put beets, carrots and shallots in oven proof dish; pour on lemon ginger mixture, stirring to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and bake until vegetables are tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. When ready to serve, sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts.
Make It Healthy and Make It Fun!