You’re either going to love ’em or hate ’em. Originally, just the leaves or beet greens were eaten. And when I say originally, I’m talking way back before the Roman empire. It was the Romans who dug up the sweet red root & cooked it.
From a super food standpoint, beets are great source of a phytonutrient called betalains. Many of the betalains in beets function as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Though it is interesting to note, that we humans vary greatly in our response to betalains. Some folks have a higher capacity for absorbing and metabolizing betalains in beets than others. Another benefit is the support of detoxing. The betalains in beets have been found to ‘hook up’ with the toxic cells, neutralize them and them make them water soluble so they can easily find their way out of the body. It’s like match.com for good cells and bad cells.
But the beets don’t stop there. They’re also high in fiber, immune-boosting vitamin C and essential minerals. Drinking beet juice can help lower your blood pressure and boost your stamina when working out.
Beets are actually two great super veggies in one. The root, that we already covered & the beet leaves. The greens on younger plants are among the healthiest part of the plant. They’re loaded in nutrients and even have more iron than Spinach. They can boost bone strength and strengthen your immune system. They can be easily eaten raw as part of a salad or lightly sauteed with other greens like spinach or swiss chard.
Best way to cook or eat beets?
- Grate them raw into your salad
- Juice them raw
- Lightly steam them
- My personal favorite – Roasted. Cut into smaller chunks, tossed in olive oil, lightly salted & placed on a cookie sheet & roasted in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes until they’re soft.