(NaturalNews) Beets are often ignored by shoppers, even if they are available all year round. Perhaps you're one of those who pass by the beet section looking for other veggies. Understanding the merits of buying, preparing, and consuming beets might make you reconsider and give them a fair trial.
Before getting into the eight health reasons, here is some information on preparing beets.
Purchasing and Preparing
Whole fresh organic beets offer two vegetables in one. The leaves are edible and tasty if steamed and topped with some butter, lemon or lime and your favorite spices. Those greens are similar to spinach in taste and texture and quite nutritious. Simply separate the beets from the leaves and store them until there are enough to steam. The separated beets can last for days in the fridge.
There are several ways to consume the red beets. The outer skins should be peeled regardless of how you prepare them. Then they can be grated raw and sprinkled on salads. Or chop them up into quarters, steam them and prepare as you would any vegetable. Consider a mild sauce topping or mush up some soft goat cheese for your topping.
Or, wait until the cooked beets cool and make a cold side dish with the beet chunks and some crushed walnuts: top off with goat or bleu cheese and olive oil and vinegar, yum!. There are several possible variations, all surprisingly tasty.
Of course, raw beets offer the most complete nutrients. And juicing beets with a slow masticating juicer is highly recommended. Juicing a few beets with lots of carrots and an apple or two is the tastiest way to go. And this adds more nutrients intact with important enzymes.
Eight Health Benefits
(3) Beets help cleanse the blood and create more red blood cells. They are useful for treating and curing anemia. Heavy daily beet consumption has even been used to treat leukemia and other cancers. With normal consumption, one can benefit from beets' anti-carcinogenic properties.
(4) Red beets and their leaves are a high source of folate, which is the natural base of folic acid. Folate helps build tissue and red blood cells. Folic acid from folate is more beneficial for pregnant women than folic acid synthetically derived. It is healthier long term to depend on folate rather than to use folic acid supplements. Unfortunately, the two terms are misused interchangeably.
(5) Beets contain lots of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which help prevent or even cure macular degeneration and other age related eye issues.
(6) Beets are a high source of phytonutrients called betalains. Beet betalains provide strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
(7) Beets help lower blood pressure, maintain blood vessel elasticity, and even help eliminate varicose veins.
(8) Beets are high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, niacin, calcium, iron, and biotin.
Beets can be so detoxifying that if you are in a toxic condition you may experience Herxheimer events (healing crisis) such as headaches and fatigue.
Red coloring in the stool or urine is not uncommon after consuming beets. It's no big deal, though some say it might indicate a bit of anemia.
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About the author
Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com