You Can’t Beat Beets

Beets are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that have medicinal properties.  You either love beets or hate them but in my opinion veggies need a second, third or even fourth chance before you add them to your, “I’ll-never-eat-that-veggie-list.”

Beets make the best Easter egg dye, but that’s not even on the list of five impressive benefits listed below. 

5 Impressive Benefits of Beets

#1 Improves Digestive Health

Dietary fiber is an important part of a healthy digestive system.  Beets are a rich source of fiber.  This fiber is indigestible so as it moves through the intestine it feeds the friendly gut bacteria and aids in elimination by in increasing the frequency of bowel movements. A diet high in fiber protects against conditions like diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and GERD.

#2 Helps Support Brain Health

Mental and cognitive function naturally begin to decline as we age.  A reduction of blood flow and oygen to the brain may be the reason for this decline. Beets contain nitrates, which may help increase blood flow to the brain, improve cognitive function and may possibly reduce the risk of dementia. Beets are high in dietary nitrates, which help increase blood flow in areas of the brain.

#3 Fights Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many diseases like obesity, cancer, and heart disease.  Processed foods containing large amounts of sugar and very little nutrients promote this chronic inflammation in the body.  Beets are packed with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that naturally help quench this inflammatory response.

#4 Antioxidant Powerhouse

Anti-oxidants are compounds that help neutralize free radicals, that can cause damage to our cells.  Betalains are phytonutrients  that gives beets their beautiful dark red coloring. These phytonutrients are powerful antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties as well as protection against certain types of cancer and disease.

#5 Boosts Cardiovascular Health

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.  High blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular issues like, stroke, and heart attacks.  Beets have been shown to significantly lower blood pressure because of the high concentration of nitrates that they contain.

Eat More Beets!

Beets provide some impressive health benefits, but not only are they nutritious but they are also delicious and super easy to include in your diet.

There’s more than just pickled beets, and if that’s your only experience with beets, I’m so sad for you!  Beets are also delicious raw, juiced, roasted, and steamed.

Choosing Beets:

Choose beets that are heavy for their size, if the leaves are attached they should be bright in color and fresh looking, not wilted.  Beets should be free of cuts and bruises, avoid beets with soft, moist spots or shriveled, flabby skin.

Storing Beets:

The greens will continue to suck moisture from the beetroot, so remove the greens before storing.  Cut greens off leaving 1 inch of stem attached.  Beet greens should be used within a few days but beet roots can be refrigerated for up to four weeks.  Discard beets when they are shriveled and dried out or soft like a tomato.

Eating Beets:

Raw beets are delicious added to a smoothie, grated and tossed into a salad or thinly sliced and  tossed with some oil and vinegar.

Roasted beets are a delightful side dish with other root veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes.  Roasted beets are excellent added to salads.

Try These Recipes:

Double Rainbow Smoothie

BJC Salad

No-Mato Sauce

Resources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19335713
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16014443
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20951824/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492709/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25118005
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4288952/

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