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Beets, " the most intense of vegetables" - Tom Robbins, are deadly serious.

Feb 23, 2020

Beetroot (Beta vulgaris),

the root vegetable also known as red beet, table beet, garden beet, or just beet.

Packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of

fiber (helps maintain bowel health, lowers cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels, aids in achieving healthy weight),

folate (vitamin B9 - important for normal tissue growth and cell function),

calcium (needed to build and maintain strong bones),

manganese (important in connective tissues, in the formation of the bones and blood clotting factors, also involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, important for brain and nerve function),

potassium (reduces blood pressure levels and has positive effects on heart health),

iron (necessary for the transport of oxygen in red blood cells),

and vitamin C (antioxidant that is important for immune function and skin health).

Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with numerous health benefits:

Beets contain nitrates and pigments that may help lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance. "... the nitrates in beets help expand blood vessels,” says Lisa Sasson, R.D., clinical professor of nutrition at New York University. “Studies have shown that after eating foods that contain nitrates (such as beets), there is increased blood flow to the brain.”

With a high concentration of nitrates, which have a blood pressure-lowering effect, consuming beets may lead to a reduced risk of heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.

Numerous studies suggest that nitrates can enhance physical performance, particularly during high-intensity endurance exercise. Dietary nitrates have been shown to reduce oxygen use during physical exercise by affecting the efficiency of mitochondria, the cell organs responsible for producing energy .

Consumption of beetroots may improve running and cycling performance, increase stamina, boost oxygen use, and lead to better exercise performance overall. To maximize their effects, beets should be consumed 2–3 hours prior to training or competing.

Betalains (which give beets their rich red color) have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Betaine is essential for many cell functions and also protects cells against oxidative stress, which can damage cells.

Beets mainly consist of water (87%), carbs (8%), and fiber (2–3%).

The carbs in beetroots are mainly simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose.

Beets are high in fiber but also have FODMAPs, which can cause digestive problems in some people.

Beets contain an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid. This compound may help lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.

Beetroots have a glycemic index (GI) score of 61, which is considered medium. The glycemic load of beetroots is only 5, which is very low.

This means that beetroots should not have a major effect on blood sugar levels because the total carb amount in each serving is low.

Beetroots are usually well tolerated — except for individuals prone to kidney stones.

Beet greens contain high levels of oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stone formation.

Oxalates also have antinutrient properties. This means that they may interfere with the absorption of micronutrients.

Levels of oxalates are much higher in the leaves than the root itself, but the root is nevertheless considered high in oxalates.

Not only are beets nutritious, but they are also incredibly delicious and easy to incorporate into your diet.

Beets can be juiced, roasted, boiled, steamed or pickled. Also, they can be bought precooked and canned for convenience.

Choose beets that are heavy for their size with fresh, unwilted green leafy tops still attached.

Dietary nitrates are water soluble, so it is best to avoid boiling beets to maximize their nitrate content.

One cup of beetroot provides 3.81 grams (g) of fiber. Consuming enough fiber is essential for smooth digestion and gut health.According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a single cup of beets can provide more than 8.81% of a person’s daily requirement of fiber, depending on their age and sex.

Including beetroot in the diet is one way that a person can increase their fiber intake, exercise and athletic performance.

When you buy fresh beets, you’re essentially getting two vegetables in one. Those leafy green tops (which many people chop off and throw away) are also incredibly tasty and nutritious.

Some delicious and interesting ways to add more beets to your diet:

Beetroot salad: Grated beets make a flavorful and colorful addition to coleslaw.

Beetroot dip: Beets blended with Greek yogurt make a delicious and healthy dip.

Beetroot juice: Fresh beetroot juice is best, as store-bought juice can be high in added sugars and may only contain a small amount of beets.

Beetroot leaves: Beet leaves can be cooked and enjoyed like spinach, so don't throw them out.

You can prepare beet greens as you would other greens—such as Swiss chard.

Wash and separate the leaves and stems. Chop the stems into ½-inch pieces and tear the leaves into large pieces.

I sauté the stems in olive oil, add the leaves and cook till slightly wilted, then finish with a splash of white wine, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

if you are new to beets, here is a link to 10 Yummy Ways to Enjoy Them:

or my fav , make beets taste as good as they look:


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