Welcome to this week’s beet spotlight. This week is all about beets.
Beets belong to the same family as Swiss Chard and Spinach. Both the root and the tops can be eaten. The tops actually contain more iron than spinach. And the roots… well, they contain more dye material to stain your whole kitchen! So keep some paper towels within reach, and whatever you do, don’t set them directly on your kitchen countertops after they’ve been cooked.
What are the nutritional benefits from beets? Here we go..
- Beets contain iron, boron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, vitamins A, B & C, beta-carotene, and folic acid.
- Beets help clean your liver and work as a purifier for the blood. The betalain pigments help with the detoxification processes.
- Beets contain betaine, the same substance that is used in some treatments of depression. It also contains tryptophan, which helps to relax the mind and create a sense of well-being, just like chocolate. Betaine also helps fight inflammation.
- Beet fiber helps to reduce cholesterol by increasing the level of HDL (“good” cholesterol).
- Beets contain Vitamin C that helps to prevent asthma symptoms. The natural beta-carotene in beetroot also helps to prevent lungs cancer.
- Beets prevent cataracts due to the presence of beta-carotene.
- Beets can prevent strokes with the amount of potassium they contain and improve heart health. They also reduce blood pressure.
- They’re are low in calories and high in sugar (although the sugar is released into your system gradually, unlike chocolate). Did you know that beets are the second largest source of sugar, after sugar cane? They have the highest sugar content of all vegetables. Fun history fact – Napoleon was responsible for declaring beets be used as a primary source of sugar after the British restricted access to sugar cane.
- Beets increase energy. They contain a high amount of carbs that provide fuel for energy. Beets provide energy without the negative side effects of many other carb-heavy foods. Oxygen uptake actually increases up to 16% by people who drink beet juice due to the high nitrate content. And unlike plants that turn green, this helps you and me to have an increase in stamina when exercising and participating in sports.
As some of my family members join me in my first ever Thanksgiving race today, I may drink some beet juice for the energy. Have to burn some calories before all the tasty food. 🙂
Hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s beet spotlight! Don’t forget to stop by Saturday for our beet recipe!