When many people hear the word beet, they turn up their noses and think “yuck!” And that’s a real shame because this all to often ignored root veggie is brimming with health benefits.
In fact, health-conscious folks would be wise to expand their palette and figure out ways to enjoy beets on a regular basis because the oft-maligned beet is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
Beets are rich in betaine. Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine (TMG), is a minor “mood enhancer.” It helps increase serotonin levels and can even be used to help relieve many cases of depression. Betaine also stimulates liver cell function and helps keep the bile ducts healthy and flowing so that the body can properly eliminate toxins.
Fight heart disease & protect against cancer with beets
Beets also offer solid protection against heart disease because another benefit of betaine is its ability to reduce homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is the toxic amino acid that increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Drinking just over two cups of beetroot juice daily could help keep your blood pressure in check, according to a breakthrough 2008 study. Within just three hours of drinking 500 milliliters (about 17 ounces) of beetroot juice, volunteers showed a significant decrease in blood pressure. What’s more, that drop in blood pressure was sustained for up to 24 hours after the juice was consumed!
Beets also help protect against cancer, particularly colon cancer, in fact some doctors have used “Beet Therapy” to rid patients of tumors and to help with blood diseases and leukemia.
Among the other healthy uses of beets are:
- Helping cleanse the colon
- Strengthening the gall bladder
- Increasing stamina
- Treat and curing boils, abscesses and even acne.
Even the leaves of raw beets have health benefits. The leaves have been known to counter “garlic” breath and in Roman times Hippocrates advocated the use of beet leaves as binding for healing wounds.
Beets are packed full of good-for-you nutrients
Beets, which are low calorie and have no saturated fat, contain folic acid which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is especially important for pregnant woman or anyone undergoing physical healing. Beets also contain sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorous.
Beets are usually bright red (and sometimes white or yellow) and make a colorful and healthy garnish. They also can be made into a number of cold salads. Betacyanin is the pigment that gives red beets their color and is believed to be responsible for helping fight cancer.
Borscht is a vegetable soup made of beets and is a very popular and traditionally loved dish in Poland, Russia, Germany and other Eastern European countries. There are cold and hot Borscht soups and each country varies the ingredients somewhat, but beets are the one main and common ingredient of this revered hearty soup.
Beetroot juice has a strong flavor, thus it is best blended with other juices (such as carrot, apple, and lemon) for better taste. Since juiced beets can be combined with other healthy ingredients for both taste and health benefits, many people prefer to consume beets in juiced form.
Here is a healthy and simple juiced beets recipe:
|Beet Juice with Carrots and Celery|
|This simple juice packs a potent punch of good for you nutrients.
• Wash the vegetables using water and a vegetable brush.
• Remove the carrot and beetroot tops. Peel the beetroot if the skin is tough. Otherwise, just cut off the top.
• Slice up the vegetables to fit your juicer.
• Juice and serve.
For a sweeter drink, add an apple, or use 2 apples instead of the carrots.
“Beetroot Juice – Benefits of Beetroot Juice,” Cathy Wong, About.com Guide, August 20, 2009
“You’ve (Hopefully) Got Some Gall” Special report, Dr. David Williams, drdavidwilliams.com
“15 Health Benefits of Beets: Fight Cancer and More,” Slate Stone, Yahoo! Contributor Network, Jan 15, 2008
“How to drink Beetroot Juice,” rawfoods-livingfoods.com
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