- Beets are a nutritional powerhouse, low in calories and full of phytonutrients, which give them their distinct red hue and contribute to their health benefits.
- Historically, beets were used for numerous medicinal purposes, such as treating constipation and fevers. In modern times, they have been utilized in managing cardiovascular diseases and cancers due to their high nitrate content, which aids in blood pressure control and blood flow.
- The beet offers additional health benefits; it is low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in essential vitamins like C, A, K, and several B vitamins which may protect against dementia and memory loss.
- Beets can be consumed in many ways – raw in salads, boiled, baked, or even dried. The nutritious leaves are high in vitamins A, K, C and E and are also edible.
When it comes to the humble beet, it’s time we recognize its true potential beyond the base of a TV sitcom farm or as a humorous reference to someone’s flushed complexion.
Rooted deeply in American language and tradition, the profound benefits of this vibrant vegetable unfortunately often go unnoticed due to a simple lack of understanding.
The Nutritional Powerhouse That is a Beet
Renowned nutritional consultant, Catherine Champagne, explains, “You look at a beet and wonder, ‘What can this do for me?’ The answer is surprising – an array of benefits more than you’d initially fathom.”
Beets, remarkably low in calories and overflowing with plant-produced, health-boosting phytonutrients, owe their distinct deep red hue to these amazingly beneficial compounds.
Wherever there’s colour in fruits and vegetables there’s phytonutrients, says Champagne. The vibrant color of beets certainly speaks volumes about its nutraceutical value.
Historical and Medicinal Significance of Beets
The beet’s medicinal properties have made it a staple since the days of ancient Rome, where it was used to treat an array of conditions ranging from constipation to fevers. It even earned the status of an aphrodisiac. Modern research has honed in on the potent medicinal properties this root vegetable possesses.
High in nitrates, beets aid cardiovascular health, as investigations reveal beetroot juice supplementation may lower blood pressure and enhance blood flow. The increase in oxygen uptake prolongs fatigue onset, allowing for lengthier physical activity.
The antioxidant-rich beet helps maintain cellular health and repairs DNA. Its anti-inflammatory aspect diminishes the risk of chronic illnesses. Thanks to these factors, beets are seeing a surge in popularity as a nutritional tactic in cardiovascular disease and cancer management.
Additional Health Benefits of Beets
Aside from these, beets are low in fat, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins C, A, and K, crucial for bone health; additionally, they have several B vitamins. These may protect against dementia and memory loss by increasing cerebral blood flow.
Folate is another star-player in the beet’s composition. Critical for red blood cell formation and healthy cellular growth, a half-cup serving of boiled beets gives you a hefty 17% of your daily folate requirement.
How to Enjoy the Beet
Despite the majority of beet-related health studies focusing on juice, beets confer benefits when consumed raw in salads, boiled, baked, even dried or as chips. They can also be pickled, keeping them available throughout the year. The nutritious leaves are edible, characterized by high levels of vitamins A, K, C and E.
Champagne loves roasting beets in olive oil with a touch of spice, blending them into dips with yogurt and garlic, or adding them to a colorful coleslaw. She also enjoys them boiled with onions to be enjoyed chilled. “It’s a refreshing taste.” she notes.
As you can see, the humble beet is so much more than just a root vegetable. Bursting with nutrients and historical significance, it’s time everyone learns to value the incredible beet.