|Beets may sound as a bit of an old-fashioned vegetable, that we had to eat when we were kids. But beets are back in business, as many are rediscovering their health benefits. They are super nutritious, and according to Traditional Chinese Medicine they nourish blood, tonify the heart, calm the nervous system, and lubricate the intestines. The main chemical constituent of beets is betaine, which protect cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress.
Betaine also participates in fat and protein metabolism,
and support the liver in it’s detoxing task.
Beets can be helpful in treating
– Liver purification
– Heart weakness
Including beets in your diet provides health benefits such as
– Protecting internal organs
– Improving vascular risk factors
– Protecting the heart
– Preventing colon cancer
– Preventing birth defects
– Enhancing performance
Beets are rich in macro and micro nutrients required by the body.
They are rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and
– Fiber & protein
– Vitamin C (especially beet greens)
– Vitamin K and vitamin B6 (small amounts)
Betaine has many benefits including
– Antioxidant activity
– Anti-inflammatory action
– Lowers blood levels of homocysteine
– Anti-tumor effect on human cancer cells (research is ongoing)
What to do with beets?
You can steam them, for about 15 minutes or less.
Steaming protects the nutritious properties of the beet, so try it instead of boiling them in water.
Blanche the greens of the beets in water and us them in salads.
Roast the beets (not longer than 1 hour to protect the betaine).
Steam them and then juice them!
For my favourite smoothie you need the following ingredients
– ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
– 1 cup mixed berries or blueberries
– 2 tablespoons granola
– ⅓ cup diced beet (50 grams)
– ¼ cup plain low-fat yogurt or rice milk
– 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
Be mindful with high amounts of beet greens if you have a kidney or gallbladder condition, and be aware that beets may interact with certain medication, so always consult with your doctor in that case.