Beets are one of the healthiest vegetables to boost your overall health.
Beetroots or beets, as they are called, are members of the Chenopodiaceae family and are a variety of the Beta vulgaris species. Beets are regularly used as a natural coloring agent and people add them to soups, salads, and pickles.
Even though beets can be eaten every day and are available throughout the year, they are considered a seasonal vegetable.
Their flavor varies from the way you prepare and eat the beets. If you eat the beet raw, it has an earthy taste, tart when fermented, and sweet when roasted. This vegetable is full of nutrients and beneficial for your blood pressure, heart health, brain health, and athletic performance.
Beets contain Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, manganese, folate, and potassium. Additionally, they are low in calories and rich in water and fiber.
These are some of the health benefits of beets:
- Because beets are rich in fiber, they help with digesting and lowers the risk of colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Beetroot extract has been proven to reduce the growth of prostate and breast cancer cells.
- Beets contain naturally occurring nitrates which convert to nitric oxide. Because of this, beets lower blood pressure. Nitric oxide dilates and relaxes blood vessels and improves the flow of blood.
- Beets have anti-inflammatory properties because of the betalain pigment they contain. Additionally, they lower discomfort and pain from osteoarthritis.
- Beets detoxify the liver and reverse fatty liver due to the betaines it contains.
- Athletic performance can be boosted by drinking beet juice because of its high nitric oxide conversion.
- Beet juice can increase the capacity of muscles and help patients with heart failure.
However, it is important to note that this vegetable is rich in oxalates which can cause uric accumulation in the body. This can lead to gout, bladder stones, and kidney stones. Additionally, beets are abundant in sugars so it should be avoided by diabetics.
When you purchase beets, make sure you choose the small to medium-sized ones that are firm to touch. The wrinkled, soft, or shriveled beets should be avoided.
If the beets have leaves, trim them for two inches from the root and store them in a container for 3-4 days. These leaves are high in nutrients such as B6, iron, fiber, copper, phosphorus, potassium, protein, magnesium, zinc, and manganese.
You can store the beets in the fridge for up to three weeks.
These are some tasty ways to increase the intake of beets:
- Beetroot leaves can be cooked just like spinach.
- Beetroot juice can be the most nutritious option, especially freshly made one. Store-bought juice usually has added sugars and contain only small amounts of beets.
- Beetroot dip can be made by blending the beets with Greek Yogurt. Not only is this dip healthy, but also very delicious.
- Beetroot salad can be done by adding beetroot to any greens or vegetables such as coleslaw.