When I think of vegetables, beets are never the first thing on my mind. In fact, I would probably think of twenty other veggies before even remembering that beets exist. But all that has changed. I recently read an article in Taste of Home Magazine about the red vegetable, and I’ve got to say, I’m hooked.
Before we get into the benefits, we have to understand the different types of beets. Sugar beets are often used as a sugar cane substitute in many food brands and food types. Typically, red beets are much sweeter than golden or white beets, which often taste more like turnips or carrots.
So why eat beets? Here are 5 reasons to give beets a try:
Lower blood pressure: Some studies show that drinking one glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure in just a matter of hours. Some say this is due to the nitrates in beets which help relax blood vessels.
Lower risk of heart disease: The betaine and folate found in the beet are proven to reduce the amount of homocysteine in the blood which in turn reduces the risk of heart problems, strokes, and artery damage.
Energy and stamina boost: Just like with blood pressure, the nitrates in beets help increase oxygen intake and improve circulation. One study claims that those who drank a glass of beet juice prior to a workout could exercise for up to 16 percent longer than those who didn’t!
Daily source of vitamins and minerals: Beets contain Vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, and betaine (a nutrient that protects organs and prevents inflammation).
Cancer prevention: The nutrients that make beets that juicy red color (mainly betacyanin) are also responsible for protecting against cancer cell growth.
What can’t beets do? And what’s listed above is just the benefits derived from the root, or the bulb at the end of the beet plant. The leafy green part at the top of the beet however, have more iron than spinach, and are proven to boost bone health and ward off Alzheimer’s Disease. So don’t throw away the leafy part of the beet, or you’ll really be missing out. I bet you could make pesto with it!
So let's not beet around the bush, instead let's try the amazing Beetroot and Garlic Hummus recipe I posted below! Happy beeting!