Beetroot – Beta vulgaris (beet)
Root vegetables are probably among the most underrated foods that are available.
They do not require being kept in the fridge and can be stored for longer periods in cool, dark and relatively dry places like a pantry, or root cellar.
This makes root vegetables very easy to keep available on hand for a variety of recipes, and easy to integrated into your nutritional plan, especially when it includes cooking large amounts of it to make salads, puree or for juicing.
Beets and carrots are among the most popular root vegetables, especially for juicing, because they have so many health benefits and have an enjoyable sweet flavor that most people find palatable for juices or to add to savory meal recipes.
Some of the health benefits of beets are more widely known, but there are many less known health benefits, some of which are mostly available when using the root part of the vegetable rather than the greens or the bulb.
This article will cover some of the benefits of adding beets and beetroot to your nutritional plan, some of the benefits of integrating beetroot into your regular diet and finally, the main benefits of juicing beets on a regular basis to get the most out of eating beets.
In each section, this article will offer you some considerations to be aware of to ensure that you can strike a balance and get the more enjoyment out of adding more beets to your regular diet.
Benefits of Beets and Beetroot as Part of Your Nutritional Plan
Most beets available on the market are simply in root form and the greens have been removed from the root. But did you know that there are many health benefits to using the beet greens as well?
Because root vegetables grow directly in the soil, their greens are also very high in mineral content as compared to other leafy green vegetables like spinach or lettuce.
Beet greens can be added to soups, smoothies, salads and even steamed as a side dish.
Beet greens can be included in any beet recipe, including juicing, and have been found to be an unusually comprehensive nutrient containing over 20 different vitamins and minerals that are excellent for human consumption.
Beets are also very popular as marinades, which can be easily added to salad when you don’t have time to cook. In their marinated form, beets are a low fat way to add potassium and healthy, lean carbohydrates to your diet for consistency, and nutritional value.
They are high in vitamin A and magnesium.
What to Be Aware of When Eating Beets
It’s important to always check food labels when buying canned foods or foods prepared in jars.
For instance, some marinated beets can be high in sodium and additives, and it is important to check for this when buying them in the store.
As an alternative, you can look up some recipes for making marinades at home.
This is a great way to ensure you know exactly what goes into your beet marinade, and avoid excess sodium or additives that you don’t want.
As for beet greens, you may want to ensure that you wash them properly as root vegetables are particularly prone to carrying mold on the surface of their greens.
You can soak them in a cleansing solution or wash them thoroughly after buying them to clean any bacteria or mold off them.
Buying organic beets will ensure highest quality greens, GMO-free produce and no pesticides on the surface of your greens.
While most supermarkets may not have beet greens, local food stores and farmer’s markets are more likely to leave them attached.
Leave the greens attached to the beet as long as you can and only cut them apart when cooking either the beets or the greens, to preserve the best longevity and freshness of your greens!
Benefits of Integrating Beetroot in Regular Diet
Many people are aware that beets have something to do with cleansing the blood, but they may not be aware that beets have so many other health benefits as well.
Beetroot is high in dietary fiber, folate, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium as well as many other nutrients.
These nutrients and vitamins are excellent for the liver, and can assist with cleansing the blood.
They are also great for skin, lung and colon health and anything to do with organs of elimination which are supported by beetroot’s ability to detoxify the body.
Beetroot also has been associated with lower rates of skin, lung, colon and liver cancer, and with better immune health.
Beetroot is excellent for the heart and due to the contents of folate, can also help reduce birth defects when consumed during pregnancy.
What to Be Aware of When Eating Beetroot
The exact nutritional content of beetroot may vary according to the soil and farming methods.
Benefits of Juicing Beetroot
Juicing beetroot will often yield a stronger and more potent absorption of the primary health benefits.
Because juicing also removes much of the fiber, it does also reduce the amount of carbohydrates and is, therefore, excellent as an added source of vitamins to any meal that already contains grains or carbohydrates.
This way it can contribute to supporting a low-carb diet.
Juicing beetroot is very palatable for its sweet flavor, and it can be added to any juice or smoothie combination in order to add flavor to a vegetable juice, or to add health benefits to a fruit juice.
It blends very well with carrots, but it is also popular to add in ginger, orange juice or pineapple.
However, you can get as creative as you wish with combinations of foods to add to your beets.
Regular consumption of beetroot juice has been linked to lower blood pressure due to the contents of nitrates, which have also been found in some studies to improve brain function and reduce degenerative diseases affecting the brain or muscle tissue.
At one time, beets had been used to cure constipation and fever as it lowers the body temperature and blood pressure and also facilitates elimination.
The anti-inflammatory aspect of beetroot juice can assist with any inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, as well as preserve health of the arteries, which is also excellent for heart health.
As mentioned above, beets are known for their ability to cleanse the blood, and they do this by detoxifying the liver.
This can be great afor a short term liver and blood cleanse, as well as for longer term regular integration into your diet.
A juicing cleanse can be a good way to maximize the benefits of beetroot juice on a regular basis without making significant dietary changes.
What To Be Aware of When Juicing Beetroot
While juicing beetroot, it is important to be aware of the impacts of juicing more generally.
While juicing can be excellent for digestion, removing the fibers means that one should be aware of compensating in the diet so that the body can obtain some carbohydrates and fibers from other sources.
Beets contain oxalates, which can crystallize in the body, and for this reason should be avoided by people with kidney or gallbladder stones, as it can worsen the problem.
Striking a Balance
As with any food, while beets carry many health benefits, they are not a miracle food and must be consumed in balance with other items in your diet.
The most important thing in integrating beets to your diet is to monitor any significant changes, and consult a certified nutritional professional or general physician if any symptoms or discomfort persist.
The health benefits of beetroot are also available on the market through various supplements.
While it is preferable to turn to dietary implementation first in order to allow the body to adjust to the changes, the supplement option can be explored with a certified professional or physician if you are seeking to treat certain conditions more specifically.
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