For a long time I was completely turned off of beets as I only thought of them at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners and their sour, pickly taste that I despised so much as a kid. Now that I have finally given them another go, but this time in roasted, shredded or juiced format, I think that they are absolutely amazing and I am disappointed that I didn’t give them another chance sooner! Beets have a mildly sweet, extremely earthy taste to them and they are LOADED with antioxidants and many other nutrients that can be extremely beneficial to your health.
Beets come in many different varieties including the most popular: the red beet. This is the one that you would most often see at family dinners in their sour pickly form. Beets also come in other varieties such as: Golden, Yellow, Chioggia, Cylindra and the very popular beet, the sugar beet. You can find beets in practically any grocery store in their whole form (edible leaves included) or sliced and canned, or pickled and jarred. Beets may not be something you really think about eating very often, or-never, but once you have read about all of the amazing benefits these little vegetables contain, I’m sure you will consider finding ways to incorporate them into your diet more often.
- Beets have no trans fats and no saturated fats, and are quite filling.
- Beets contain a high source of folic acid, which is a b vitamin that helps the body to regenerate new cells.
- Beets are very rich in carbohydrates, which can provide a lot of energy.
- Studies have shown that consuming beets can protect against certain cancers, especially colon cancer.
- Beets contain high sources of magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin C.
- The leaves from beets are edible as well and contain many of the same benefits. Beet leaves also are known to combat ‘garlic breath.’
- Studies have shown that beets are also capable of protecting against heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States.
- Beets contain high amounts of boron. Boron is related to the production of human sex hormones, which is why the ancient Romans consumed beets for the purpose of their aphrodisiac effect.
- Beets cleanse the body and purify blood.
- Beets contain the same chemical that is used to combat depression Trimethylglycine. If you’re feeling down why not treat yourself to a beet salad? It might just make you feel better.
How can you start to incorporate beets into your diet?
There are many ways that beets can be eaten: raw, shredded, sliced, pickled, roasted, boiled, steamed and juiced. Be careful when preparing them though, well at least the red ones, because their color is so strong that it will stain your hands, clothes and potentially your cutting board! To remove beet juice from your skin, just rub your hands with a little bit of lemon juice. Keep in mind that it is important to be purchasing organic beets, as beets along with all other root vegetables readily absorb the pesticides from the soil from which they are grown. Beets definitely deserve to get some more attention! Be sure to share some of these amazing benefits of beets with your friends and family!