"Beet It" by B.D.'s world licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Love them or hate them you can’t deny that they are good for you.

Their beautiful red color is much more than something to pretty up your’s evidence of all the good things this vegetable has to offer...

  • Beets have betacyanin which is a type of plant pigment that helps to combat inflammation causing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and is thought to be helpful in defending cells against carcinogens.
  • Beets are an excellent source of folate and betaine.  Together these nutrients help to combat the inflammation that can cause heart disease.
  • Beets produce nitric acid in your body which helps to lessen your risk of dementia.
  • Beet juice has been found to lower blood pressure.
  • Beets are high in fiber and very helpful in combating constipation.
  • Beets have phytonutrients that help to improve eye health and nerve tissue.

And it doesn’t stop there. Beet greens are a good source of lutein, an antioxidant helpful in protecting the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts.

The History of Beets

From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, to the Elizabethans, to Thomas Jefferson, beets have been around for a long time.

They originated in the Mediterranean region.  At that time the leaves were eaten and the beets were used medicinally.

It wasn’t until the 1800’s that chefs in France discovered how good they were when roasted.

Being that they grow well in cool weather and store well it’s not surprising that they became a staple in northeastern Europe as borscht.

Interesting Beet Facts

  • The earthy, almost “dirty” taste of beets comes from the chemical geosmin.  
  • Beets are very likely to be genetically modified, buying organic is important.
  • Beet powders are used to color foods.  Watch out for this since beets are highly likely to be a GMO food.
  • Beets are often turned into sugar.  Again, watch out for this as they have likely been genetically modified.  And when buying sugar, make sure it is cane sugar.

What To Do With Beets

You can eat them cooked as a side dish, raw on top of a salad, fermented as a condiment, as a soup (borscht), or drink them as beet kvass (which is more of a tonic).

And don’t waste the tops.  Cut the greens off the bulbs, wash them, and then cook the beet greens with other veggies and coconut oil to make a delicious stir fry. 

Beet Slaw

An easy way to get beets into your diet is by adding them to your salads.  I buy a bunch of beets, and wash, peel and grate them using my food processor.  Then I add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  This will keep well in the fridge for several days.  Just add  some to your salad or you can eat it on it’s own.  Either way it’s delicious!

Beet slaw can be eaten on its own as a side dish

Beet Slaw
It also makes a wonderful addition to a salad

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