Health Benefits of Beets

 

 The beet is the most intense of vegetables. 

— tom robbins

The earliest known written mention of the beet comes from eighth century B.C.E. Mesopotamia. Roman and Jewish literary sources indicate that already in the 1st century B.C.E., domestic beet was represented in the Mediterranean basin by leafy forms (chard) and very probably also by beetroot. Beet remains have been found in the Third dynasty Saqqara pyramid at Thebes, Egypt, and four charred beet fruits were found in the Neolithic site of Aartswoud in the Netherlands. 

Humans have been eating beets for quite  a long time. They were even used as medicine — the Romans used beetroot as a treatment for fevers and constipation, among other ailments. Hippocrates advocated the use of beet leaves as binding for wounds. Since Roman times, beetroot juice has been considered an aphrodisiac. It is a rich source of the mineral boron, which plays an important role in the production of human sex hormones. From the Middle Ages, beetroot was used as a treatment for a variety of conditions, especially illnesses relating to digestion and the blood. 

It turns out that beets are good for blood-related conditions like the doctors of the middle ages thought. Studies show that beet juice consumption significantly lowered systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. This is due to their high nitrate content [2]. Consuming beetroot in juice form delivers a high amount of bioaccessible antioxidants to your body [3]. I like to juice beets and then blend the juice in with the rest of my green smoothie. Another added benefit — because they are nitrate-rich, eating whole beetroot has also been shown to improve running performance in healthy adults [4]. Beets are also high in vitamin C and folate (refer to the below nutrition chart for more). 

How to Prepare:

  • Roasted in the oven until caramelized with olive oil, salt & pepper

  • Peeled & shredded as a slaw or fresh salad

  • Beet Juice (I blend the juice into smoothies!)

  • Use the leafy green tops of the beets for salads or sautéed as you would spinach 

  • Pickled beets

  • Borscht (beet soup)

Beetroot Salad | roasted beets, romain, walnuts & avocado

Beetroot Salad | roasted beets, romain, walnuts & avocado

Nutritional value

Per 100 g (3.5 oz)

energy .................................... 180 kj (43 kcal)

carbohydrates ....................... 9.56 g
   Sugars ................................. 6.76 G
   Dietary Fiber ....................... 2.8 G

fat .......................................... 0.17 g

protein ................................... 1.16 g

vitamins
   Thiamine (b1) ....................... 0.031 MG (3%)
   Riboflavin (b2) ................... 0.04 mg (3%)
   Niacin (B3) .......................... 0.334 mg (2%)          
   Pantothenic acid (B5) ........ 0.155 mg (3%)
   vitamin b6 ........................... 0.067 mg (5%)
   folate (bg) ......................... 109 micrograms (27%)
   Vitamin C ............................ 4.9 mg (6%)

minerals
   calcium .............................. 16 mg (2%)
   iron ................................... 0.8 mg (6%)
   magnesium ......................... 23 mg (6%)
   manganese ......................... 0.329 mg (16%)
   phosphorus ....................... 40 mg (6%)
   potassium .......................... 325 mg (7%)
   sodium ............................... 78 mg (5%)
  zinc .................................... 0.35 mg (4%)

usda food composition database 

References

[1] Beet. (2013, January 14). New World Encyclopedia, . Retrieved 16:33, August 13, 2017 from http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/p/index.php?title=Beet&oldid=966216.

[2] Hobbs, D., Kaffa, N., George, T., Methven, L., & Lovegrove, J. (2012). Blood pressure-lowering effects of beetroot juice and novel beetroot-enriched bread products in normotensive male subjectsBritish Journal of Nutrition, 108(11), 2066-2074. doi:10.1017/S0007114512000190

[3] Peter C. Wootton-Beard, Lisa Ryan, A beetroot juice shot is a significant and convenient source of bioaccessible antioxidants, Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2011, Pages 329-334, ISSN 1756-4646, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2011.05.007.

[4] Margaret Murphy, Katie Eliot, Rita M. Heuertz, Edward Weiss, Whole Beetroot Consumption Acutely Improves Running Performance, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Volume 112, Issue 4, 2012, Pages 548-552, ISSN 2212-2672, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2011.12.002.

 

 

Hey, I'm Sam. Part time cook, part time artist & full time mother. I create unique illustrations for all of the recipes you'll see here. I eat low carb with the occasional croissant.

Hey, I'm Sam. Part time cook, part time artist & full time mother. I create unique illustrations for all of the recipes you'll see here. I eat low carb with the occasional croissant.

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