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The Amazing Health Benefits of Beets

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Do you avoid eating beets? Do you dislike the taste or texture? Read on to see why you may want to add this often overlooked root vegetable to your table!

Beets are a root vegetable with a bad reputation.

Their surprisingly sweet flesh is often used as an alternative to cane sugar, and the juice was used for thousands of years as a dye for clothing. But beets are actually a lot more than a sweetener, dye, or bane of preschoolers’ existence. Beets are surprisingly nutritious and are a great food to eat during the fall and winter when other vegetables are not in season.

What Makes Beets so Special?

Beets are a dark red or purple color, which typically indicates a high nutrient content in the food world. Beets contain phytonutrients called betalains, which are powerful antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to their antioxidant benefits, some studies suggest that beets may also be beneficial in maintaining and building muscle strength and tone, which is particularly helpful during winter months when it is harder to exercise.

Nutrients in Beets

Beets are shunned because of their unusual texture and taste. They taste a bit like sugar-covered dirt, which is hardly appetizing when eaten raw. Additionally, many of our experiences with beets come from canned or pickled beets, which does nothing to make them taste better.

However, there are a few ways to prepare beets that make them taste better, which you’ll find below. And this list of ingredients in one cup of beets will motivate you to prepare these roots more often.

Nutrients in Beets 



How Beets Benefit Muscles

In addition to the other nutrients in beets, they also contain high levels of beneficial nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in the body (these are not the same nitrates found in bacon and processed meats). Nitric oxide is beneficial for cardiovascular health.

Heart expert Dr. Stephen Sinatra has this to say about the beneficial powers of nitric oxide: “NO promotes healthy dilation of the veins and arteries so blood can move throughout your body. Plus, it prevents red blood cells from sticking together to create dangerous clots and blockages.”

According to Web MD, the nitric oxide in beets has been shown to improve muscle tone and athletic ability in athletes, and similar fitness boosts are likely for individuals who have normal levels of fitness.

A 2015 study on the health benefits of beets published in Circulation Heart Failure has found that drinking beet juice is able to increase muscle power by 13 percent within just two hours. Beet juice was also shown to boost stamina by up to 16 percent.

How Beets Benefit Blood Pressure

Beets are also extremely beneficial for blood pressure and brain health. In 2012, researchers published a study in Nutrition Journal which found that individuals who drink beet juice for several weeks show a decrease in systolic blood pressure by up to 5 points. All of the nitrates and other nutrients in beets are also beneficial for optimal brain function. Blood flow to the brain is increased, preventing some age-related brain loss which is linked with health problems like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

How to Prepare Beets

If you don’t like beets, preparing them can be a problem. No one wants to eat something they hate. Luckily, there are several ways to add beets to your diet that won’t taste gross.

Beet Salad

If you really hate the taste of beets, try grating it on top of a salad. All other vegetables and the dressing will mask most of the beet taste and you’ll still get the nutrients.

Beet Juice

If you regularly drink juice or smoothies, add a bit of beet juice to each of your smoothies. Some people find that beet juice tastes better than the beets themselves and the sweet flavor comes out more than the dirt flavor. Add beet juice to other strong-flavored juices if you really dislike the taste.

Roasted Beets

Slice your beets like French fries and roast them in the oven with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. This will remove much of the dirt-like taste and remove some of the excess moisture from the beets. Beets do take a long time to cook, so let them cook in the oven for about 45 minutes before eating.

Marinated Beets

Beets will soak up the other flavor of foods, which is good if you hate the taste of raw beets. Slice beets thinly the night before you want to eat them and let them marinate in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs. The next day, the beets will taste like lemon and herbs which will mask some of their strong flavors.

Beet Dessert

Maximize the already-sweet taste of beets by adding it to desserts. You can make a delicious chocolate cake sweetened with beets, which is both delicious and healthy. When making a standard chocolate cake recipe, switch out some of the liquid for ½ a cup of beet juice and add about 1 cup of pureed beets. The beets will add a rich and flavorful texture to the cake which will keep the cake moist and delicious. If cake isn’t your thing, add beet juice when making ice cream for a surprisingly delicious dessert.

Beet Pancakes

Add about 1 cup of pureed beets to your regular pancake mixture for a delicious, sweet, and bright addition to your morning routine.

Why Eat Beets?

Beets provide a wealth of nutrients that can help maintain a variety of body systems. The high mineral content of beets makes them ideal for maintaining your metabolism, kidneys, and liver. The high folate content makes beets ideal for pregnant mothers, who are often deficient in important B vitamins. The antioxidants in beets make them efficient at preventing cancer and reducing inflammation caused by other foods.

In short, beets are an easy way to boost your overall health, particularly in the fall and winter when many other vegetables are harder to get. Beets are Beneficial for Everyone Beets are extremely healthy and benefit the body in multiple ways. Individuals who eat beets on a regular basis show improved muscle tone, endurance, and stamina. Not only do beets benefit your exercise ability, but beets also benefit your total inflammation and reduce cancer risk. As a large source of nutrients and minerals, beets are one of the best winter vegetables.





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