Beets are one of the few vegetables in which both the top and bottom are edible.
The tender greens that grow above ground are a delicious addition to a green salad, or the greens can be sautéed and served as a side dish.
The red, bulbous roots are what comes to mind when beets are mentioned. The roots have natural sweet flavor and were once used as a primary source of sugar.
Beets can be used in a variety, including juiced and pickled. Whichever way you decide to eat beets, both the leafy green top and red bulbous bottom, you will be reaping a variety of health benefits.
Beets nutritional offerings include: vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds like carotenoids, lutein/zeaxanthin, glycine, betaine, dietary fiber, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus.
This nutritious root vegetable is also a source of beneficial flavonoids called anthocyanins. They are high in immune-boosting vitamin C and cholesterol lowering fiber.
Their nutritional content also includes essential minerals like potassium which promotes healthy nerve and muscle function and manganese which is good for bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas plus they contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
Beets are very low in calories and contain no cholesterol, however, they do have the highest sugar content of all vegetables.
The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their dark red color helps to prevent certain types of cancer.
Beets work hard at preventing skin, lung, and colon cancer since they contain the pigment betacyanins, which counteracts cancerous cell growth.
Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal when administered in drinking water.
A study conducted in Hungary also discovered that beet juice and its powdered form slows down tumor development.
Oysters have long been considered an aphrodisiac, so have beets, but on a more low-key level.
Beets contain significant levels of the mineral boron, which has been shown to boost the production of sexual hormones.
This is a boost to libido, increases fertility, sperm mobility improvement and reduces frigidity.
Blood Pressure Reducer
The naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body, act quickly to reduce blood pressure.
Drinking a glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure within a few hours. A recent study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points within 2 hours.
Nitric oxide helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and naturally lowering blood pressure.
Drinking beet juice or eating beets daily will lower and maintain blood pressure to within the normal range.
Birth Defect Prevention
Beets are a good source of B vitamin folate which helps in the development of infant’s spinal column. Deficiency of folate can lead to a variety of conditions called neural tube defects.
The entire beet is beneficial for women to eat regularly during pregnancy.
Beets are rich in beta-carotene, which is a form of vitamin A.
That vitamin A is what helps prevent age-related blindness called cataracts and helps reduce the occurrence of macular degeneration that commonly occurs as we age.
Vitamin A is considered a powerful antioxidant substance that is involved in many essential activities of the body, and especially promotes healthy eyes.
The betalain pigments in beets support your body’s natural detoxification process.
The betalain pigment cause broken down toxins to bind to other molecules so they can be naturally eliminated from your body.
Beets have long been valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify the blood and liver.
Environmental toxins and pollution build up within the body’s organs and tissues and can lead to a variety of health problems that range from fatigue and joint pain to cancer.
Beet juice provides a natural boost to your stamina level so enables you to fend off afternoon fatigue.
A glass of beet juice will also help you increase the amount of time you can workout or do other physically intense labor.
This endurance boosting benefit comes from the nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise.
Heart Health Promoter
The fiber content of beets helps reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing the level of good HDL cholesterol.
Increased HDL cholesterol is a good line of defense against bad LDL increasing.
The presence of the nutrient betaine lowers the levels of homocysteine in the body which can also be harmful to the blood vessel.
Debilitating conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke are less likely to develop with an increased level of HDL and beet fiber stripping the excess LDL cholesterol from the artery walls and speeding up the elimination process.
The betaine that gives beets their dark red color and help detoxify the body naturally also provides several other health benefits.
Betaine helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress and it fights inflammation throughout the body.
Inflammation is the root cause of many chronic diseases, including cancer and arthritis. Betaine protects internal organs, improves vascular function and plays a role in the prevention of numerous chronic diseases.
Prevent Respiratory Problems
Asthma flare-ups can be prevented, or at least reduced, by the high amount of vitamin C found in beets. The natural beta-carotene found in the root vegetable also helps to prevent lung cancer.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system and helps ward off viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoan toxins that can result in a multitude of infections and illnesses that attack the respiratory system.
The frequency of colds and flu can be significantly reduced by adding beets to your diet.
When the body is low in potassium, the risk for stroke increases. Beets are potassium-rich and work hard to improve heart health by preventing strokes.
Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relaxes the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure throughout the body.
When blood pressure is reduced, and the vessels and arteries are no longer contracted, blood clots are far less likely to form or get stuck.
Potassium also helps remove plaque that may have built up along the walls of blood vessels, so it won’t accumulate and form blood clots. Clots are what eventually lead to heart attack and stroke.
Beet Green Benefits
Beet greens are rich in important nutrients like protein, phosphorus, zinc, fiber, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese.
The flavor-filled greens also supply significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Beet greens contain more iron than spinach and have a higher nutritional value overall than the beetroot itself.
Research has shown that beet greens:
*Help ward off osteoporosis by boosting bone strength
*Help prevent Alzheimer’s disease
*Strengthens immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies and white blood cells
Treat beet greens just like baby spinach leaves or Swiss chard; add raw to salads or vegetable juice or sautéed with other greens.