Beets are part of the chenopod family, like quinoa and spinach. They have something special health benefits, and you can’t find in other families. This family contains red and yellow betalain pigments and carotenoids, which are connect with the nervous system. So that’s why this family is great for our body.
In beets you can find betalains, which are source phytonutrients. Betalain have two forms: betanin and vulgaxanthin, both of them provide antioxidant, detoxification support. Betalains can be found in chard, rhubarb, amaranth, nopal cactus.
To Beet Or Not To Beet
There is a long history behind the beet, the origin is located in North Africa. This type of food featured in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, it is also used as aphrodisiac by ancient Romans, because beet contains a boron, which is related to the production of sex hormones.
Beet has been used for medicinal purpose during the middle ages, for digestion or blood illnesses. We can not say that people have been actually cured, but we can say for sure that they got a lot of vitamins and minerals.
Beets For Your Health
Like other healthy food, beets have many vitamins, and minerals. For example: beta-cyanine, beta-carotene, magnesium, iron vitamins A,B,C, fiber, phosphorus, and folic acid. Pregnant women have to consummate beet, because it has high levels of vitamin B, and that will help them to form new growth cells during their pregnancy. This is a great food to prevent colon, nerve, breast, stomach, prostate and testicular cancers.
Beet fiber provides lot of benefits to the digestive tract, also for cardiovascular system, that other fiber does not. You can use it when detoxifying your body. In “phase 2 detoxification”, the cells hookup activated and unnecessary toxic substances with smaller nutrient groups, so the toxins are neutralized.
But if you consummate to much beet, you may have small issue. Beeturia is when your urine is starting to turn a reddish color, thanks to betalain pigments. So if you have problems with your urine, after eating beats, consult your physician.
Give It Up For Beet Juice
Beet juice is high in nitrates, which body uses to make nitrite and nitric oxide. These components expand blood vessels, as protect them from injury.
There is a study published in the 2011 Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise journal, that says cyclists could cut 11 seconds off of their four kilometer times, and 45 seconds off of their 16.1 kilometer times, by drinking beet juice. These will be the most needed food for athletes.
Beautifully Red, Beautifully Sweet
When we talk about the look of beets, it’s a little bit confusing. There are green leaves connected to a round/oblong part, which is the beet. It has a reddish-purple hue, but you can find it in golden yellows to white. Betalain gives their reddish pigment, quite red.
The beat it has high sugar content, they are a little bit sweet. If you get raw beetroots, and cook them, they will come softer and buttery.
Preparing Your Beets
You can find beats in June through October. When you choosing them, try to find smaller or medium sized, with firm roots. If you find smaller one, you have less chance to peel them after cooking.
Beets are sensitivity because have betalain, so the suggest is to steam for 15min and roast them for under an hour. They can easily bleed from the smallest bruise, and they have to be treated like delicate vegetables.
This food should be kept in a plastic bag, most of the air out, because they are very sensitive to oxidation. You can keep them for three weeks. When you want to freeze them, you have to cook them first.
Beet greens and the root, both are edible and great for variety recipes. The greens are best when prepare them as spinach.
Try to add the beets to soup or salads. Also you can boil roast, pickle, grill, or marinate them with lemon juice, virgin olive oil, and herbs.
From now try to add this food in your kitchen, start finding ways to get your family eat it. The percentage of sugar in it, and energy content with low calories, will help it become a new household favorite.