Why You Should be Eating More of This One Overlooked Vegetable

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

If you already love beets, then you already know how super good they taste and how good they are for you. If you aren’t a fan, or if you just haven’t bothered to try them, this article is for you. Beets aren’t eaten quite as much as they used to be. If you found that you were turned off by those canned beets and their sour taste, you should really give them another go. Try eating them roasted, shredded, or even juiced. You will probably be surprised at just how good they really are.

Take a look around your local farmers’ market and you will find that beets actualy come in several colors, not just the typical red beet. There are yellow beets, golden beets, Cylindra and Chioggia beets, and of course sugar beets. Just be careful where you purchase sugar beets, as many of them are now GMO products. Although you might not think that beets are going to fit into your diet, once you see how much they have to offer us, not to mention their super delicious taste, you will almost certainly reconsider.

Read on for the top 10 reasons you should be eating more of these overlooked vegetables.

 

1. Mother Nature’s Viagra

No, we are not kidding! Beets contain high amounts of boron, which are related to the body’s production of sex hormones. This isn’t really news; in fact the Ancient Romans used beets as an aphrodisiac. Be sure to eat them two or three times per week for the best results in this area!

 

2.  Anti-Cancer Compounds

The most common beet is red, and it’s the powerful phytonutrients that give beets that red color. Research shows that phytonutrients extracted from beet root reduced tumor formation in numerous organs in studies done with animals. The extract from beetroot is being studied as a possible treatment for human prostate, breast, and pancreatic cancer.

 

3.  Super Cleansing Power

All varieties of beets are a wonderful tonic for the liver, purify the blood, and, as we mentioned above, contain powerful anti-cancer compounds.  Adding beet juice to your smoothies can help detox and cleanse the body a little each day.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

4.  Supports Mental Health

Now how many veggies do you know that can make this claim? Beets contain a substance called Betaine, which is the same substance used in many anti-depressant drugs. Beets also contain another substance you have probably heard of called tryptophan, the same compound in turkey that calms you and makes you feel peaceful. Beets can also naturally lower your blood pressure. So if you are feeling uptight and angry, you can dive into some beets and chill out.

 

5.  Natural Inflammation Fighter

Ok, we are going to talk some more about Betaine. This substance helps to protect the body from environmental stress, and fight inflammation. Betaine can also help protect our vital organs and prevents numerous chronic diseases that are brought on by chronic inflammation in the body. Read also about other natural remedies that combat inflammation.

 

6.  Great Nutritional Profile

Beets have no trans-fats or  saturated fats, but are very rich in carbs, which will give you plenty of energy to get throughout your day. Beets are excellent sources of vitamin C and A, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and folic acid, a B vitamin that helps the body to make new cells. This means that beets are especially beneficial for pregnant women, as the iron and folic acid can help the body grow new cells.

 

7.  Super Source of Energy

While beets are low in calories (but they can be high in sugar, depending on the variety) very few foods are as beneficial to the body as beets are. With their high nutrition and vitamin count, their high carb level will give you energy galore, without adding inches to your waistline.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

8.  Test Your Stomach Acid Level

Seriously! Try eating one or two beets a day (or juice one or two beets) for a few days and then check the color of your pee. If your pee is pink, you have a low level of acid in your stomach and should probably consider taking probiotics or other herbs that will increase bile. If your pee is still light yellow or clear, your digestive system is in the clear. Nutritionists often use beet juice to test stomach acid levels.

 

9.  Improve Your Stamina

If you are exhausted at the end of your workout, you might want to consider drinking some beet juice. Studies show that those who drank beet juice before exercise were able to continue exercising for as much as 16 percent longer than those who did not consume the juice. This is due to the nitrates in the beet juice changing into nitric oxide.

 

SEE ALSO: Top Health Benefits of Carrots

 

10.  Don’t Forget the Greens

If you have been eating beets but have been lopping off the greens, stop!  Those green tops are perhaps the healthiest part of the whole vegetable! Beet greens are loaded with potassium, copper, zinc, fiber, B6, magnesium, protein, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C! Spinach has nothing on beet greens, as those green tops have more iron than Popeye’s spinach and actually have a higher nutritional value than the beetroot itself!  In fact, studies show that eating beet greens can help fight Alzheimer’s disease, improving bone strength and possibly helping you avoid osteoporosis, and they can strengthen your immune system though the stimulation of antibodies and production of white blood cells. You can eat beet greens raw and add them to a salad, just as you would spinach, or sauté them lightly.

As you can see, you simply can’t go wrong by eating beets and the green tops.  There are very few other foods that have so much to offer. Give these delicious veggies a try!

References:

Nncbi.nlm.nih.gov