Many of us pass by the tiny round, red vegetables at the salad bar as beets are not the most popular of the bunch, however, the sweet and juicy root is something that you may want to add to your grocery list or pile on top of your next salad. Beet roots are rich in folic acid, manganese, potassium and fiber. Although the root is most popular, the beet green itself contains even more nutrients as it holds iron, calcium, Vitamins A and C. The roots get their ruby red hue from the betalains in it, which have cancer-fighting properties. Throughout history, beets have been used as detoxifying agents as well as for other medicinal purposes, particularly for liver disorders and even colon cancer. They are incredibly nutrient dense and hold antioxidant and anti-inflammatory factors, so they are extremely beneficial for your overall health. The fact that this vegetable packs such a strong antioxidant punch makes it a secret “superfood” that you should attempt to incorporate into your diet.
10 Reasons YOU should try Beets
1) Pregnancy: If you are pregnant or planning on being so in the future, you have all the more reason to integrate beets into your diet. Folate is very important during a woman’s pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Because of its high content found in beets, this vegetable is a great option to up your intake.
2) Anti-aging: With all of the anti-aging products and ads we are surrounded by on a daily basis, it is pretty safe to assume that we are a culture that seeks to be forever young. By no means are beets a secret cure to achieve this, but the anti-inflammatory properties are a good way to at least keep you looking and feeling young.
3) Cancer-Fighter AND Preventer: Similarly, the antioxidant properties are a treasure as they help in the prevention of cancerous cells forming and further metastasizing. The fiber especially, helps the body remove and prevent the growth of cancerous cells. The betalains that give the beets their hue also stand alone as a cancer-fighter.
4) Detox: The liver is one of the most over-utilized organs in the body as it is its job to cleanse, remove waste, and metabolize fats. With all of the processed foods that we consume each day, let alone each year, it is necessary to take care of this vital body part.
5) Blood Purifier: Aside from helping your organs to detox from all of the hard work they put in, beets also help purify your blood. We may take for granted the purity of our blood, but like everything else in our body, it needs to be cleansed and given a deep cleaning every once in awhile.
6) Versatility: Beets can be prepared and consumed in many ways. Most of the time, consuming vegetables in their raw form ensures that you receive the most nutrients/health benefits that they have to offer. Beets can be eaten raw on their own or with a salad. They can even be grated to add to any side dish. And of course, they can be boiled, sautéed, etc., but the less heat the better.
7) Four Seasons: Beets, like many other root vegetables are always in season! No matter whether you are at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, you can find beets any month of the year. They are easily stored and do not spoil as quickly as some of your other favorite veggies.
8) Energizer: Even though mainstream fad diets have taught us that carbohydrate is bad word, carbs are actually necessary to fueling your body. This is your first source of fuel and the lack of carbs can even slow down your metabolism, making your body less efficient in burning fat. A quick beet salad can be a great source of energy for that pre-workout snack. Plus, it is a natural source of carbohydrates, so it is not the same thing as eating a piece of white bread.
9) Fat Free!: Going along with diet trends, as most of us are cautious about adding inches to our waistlines, beets are a good alternative to fatty snacks. And for those sweet-toothes out there, the natural sweetness of the beet may help curb your craving for that late night cookie.
10) Mineral source: Because they are packed with iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous, beets can be thought of as a multi-mineral pill in themselves. They are more efficient than many other foods when it comes to delivering these nutrients.
If you haven’t found at least a couple of reasons to either rethink your preconceived notions (if you currently are NOT a beet-lover) or stock up on even more (if you are already a converted believer), then by all means, stick to your many bottles of vitamin and mineral supplements. Beets have the advantage as they are a one-stop shop for many minerals, nutrients and health-inducing factors. You have nothing to lose and will only gain many of the discussed health benefits. So you can’t beet that!