Beet it!

22 Jul

The miracle vegetable

By Alya Alyssa kattan

Beets anyone!  Before you answer that, let me just tell you that this miracle food is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and fights all kinds of aliments from cancer, birth defects, vision problems, asthma, heart disease, etc… You name it, beets fights it.

This vegetable should be eaten often.  It is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.  It is also is a source of beneficial flavonoids called anthycyanins.

A closer look at this power food’s medicinal uses:

  • Good for the heart-all the fiber it contains reduces cholesterol by increasing the level of HDL.  Consuming it can help prevent cardiovascular diseases.
  • Birth defects can be avoided with the help of beets because they are high in folate.  They help in the development of infant’s spinal column. Deficiency of folate could lead to the condition called neural tube defect.
  • Prevents certain cancers
  1. Colon cancer as it contains the pigment betacyaninis which counteracts cancer. Nitrates used in meats as preservatives, cause the production of nitrosamines compounds in the body resulting in cancer. Studies reveal that beet juice inhibits the cell mutations caused by these compounds.
  2. Slows down tumor development.
  3. Lung cancer-it contains beta-carotene.
  • Prevents asthma symptoms: beets are a source of vitamin C.
  • Boosts energy: beets are high in carbohydrates.
  • In ancient times, it was used to cure fever, constipation, wounds, and digestive disorders.

Tip:  Beets health benefits are greatly reduced by cooking. If you really must cook them, leave 1inch-2inch (up to 50mm) of stem attached and leave dangling roots intact when cooking fresh beets to prevent loss of color. The skins slip off easily after cooking.

Warnings: Beets contain oxalates, which when in excess, can cause body fluid to crystallize. So people with kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid beets.

If you’re in the mood for some beets, try this highly nutritious and easy to make recipe.

Miracle Drink: Carrot, Beet and Apple

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 beet
  • 1 apple
  • 1 carrot

DIRECTIONS

Wash the above well, cut with the skin on into pieces and put them into the juicer.  For best health results, make sure to drink immediately after juicing.  You can add some lime or lemon for more refreshing taste.

References:

McAllister, I. (2011). Beets Fight Cancer But Raw Is Best.  Retrieved July 22, 2011, from http://healthforu.info/health/healthfood/Beets-Health-Food.php

Health Benefits of Beet . (n.d.)  Retrieved July 22, 2011, fromhttp://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-beet.html

Photo Credit: simplygluten-free

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