Beets are one of the most beautifully colored foods on the planet so it’s only fitting that they also do beautiful things for our bodies. They are loaded with the vitamins and minerals A, B, C, beta carotene, beta cyanine, fiber, folic acid, manganese, potassium and are highly beneficial for pregnant women because of the Vitamin B and Iron that causes new cell growth and replenishes the mother’s iron levels. It was also one of the first foods used as an aphrodisiac because beets increase blood flow in the same way Viagra and other similar drugs create the same effect. Beets also contain the chemical element boron which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones. You really don’t have to take a pill for anything! Well, God did say be fruitful and multiply…
Now that I’ve got your attention here are 5 more reasons beets get a High 5 on my list:
Super Antioxidant – We all want to reduce the look of aging without reducing the wisdom that comes along with it. Eating foods high in antioxidants will do just that. Beets contain the above mentioned antioxidants C and Manganese, but have you heard of betalains? There are TONS of references on this powerful antioxidant that comes from the blood red color of beets credited for also helping with anti-inflammatory issues. Studies show the blood red betalains in beets reduce chronic inflammation which has been linked to chronic pain, arthritis, bronchitis, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.
High Energy – Who doesn’t want more energy without the jitters or extra empty calories? Well the sugar in beets is released into your system gradually giving you a sustained level of energy throughout your day. Put them in your morning juice or smoothie or add them to your garden salad at lunch or roast them at dinner (Read my blog post Finally Eat Your Veggies on earthlybodies.org.) It all depends on when you need your natural energy source to kick in and take you through your day like a CHAMP!
Mental Health Support – Beets contain betaine which is the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being. Yes that same sense you get from eating chocolate, but come one we both know your waist line will win by eating more beets instead.
Detox and Cleanse – Beets purify the blood which makes them an amazing tonic for the liver. The antioxidants in beets support Phase 2 detoxification/cleansing where unwanted toxic substances chemically combined with a small nutrient group that in turn neutralizes the toxin making it water soluble so they can exit through the urine…bye Felicia. (Read: Take Out The Trash! Detoxing vs Cleansing on earthlybodies.org)
Cancer Prevention – Studies suggest that eating and drinking beet root is useful in the prevention of lung and skin cancer as well as inhibit cancer causing compounds known as nitrosamines from forming.
The bottom line is they are delicious, super nutritious AND pretty…EAT THEM! However do be careful because that beautiful ruby color will stain your fingers, clothes, cutting board and anything else you let it sit on too long. Also do NOT be alarmed when you visit the bathroom as they “come out” the same color they went in…nothing is wrong…do not call 911.
Here’s a bonus: Eat Your Beet Greens Too!
If you simply throw away the green leafy tops to your beets, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Talk about a healthy leaf! They contain important nutrients like protein, phosphorus, zinc, fiber, Vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese, and also supply supply your body with a healthy dose of Vitamins A, C, calcium and iron. In fact beet greens have more iron than spinach and have been shown to ward off osteoporosis, fight Alzheimer’s and boosting the production of white blood cells making your immune system strong. Try steaming these lovely greens alone or with collards, swiss chard, kale, your other favorite leafy greens or use them as the next green in your juice recipe.