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by Larry

January, 2012

For Health, It's Hard to Beat the Beet!

Ounce for ounce, beets are arguably about the healthiest vegetable one can find. They can be eaten raw, baked, or boiled. They lend themselves to salads, soups, casseroles, garnishes for other foods, juicing, added color for one's dishes, and even beet wine.

They taste good, are easy to prepare, do not add much to one's daily caloric intake, are loaded with vitamins and minerals, build immune system defenses, lower hypertension and bad cholesterol, help fight against cancer, anemia, gout, and acidosis, add fiber, cleanse the blood, counter tendencies toward constipation, and are especially good at enhancing the health and function of the heart, colon, gall bladder, kidneys, and liver.

From ancient times, beets have been used for their medicinal properties, supposedly early consumed to help cure fevers. The folic acid and vitamin B9 in beets are suggested during pregnancy, lowering congenital defects. Fertility is also said to be enhanced by eating red beets.

While the root of the red beet plant is typically a favorite, the greens actually contain even more nutritional benefits.

A heady blend of carrot and red beet juice is tasty and powerful as a blood and liver cleansing concoction which also lowers blood pressure. However, till a person's body is used to this potent drink it is wise to keep the beverage quantities low and infrequent, about once a week. One can, however, gradually build up a greater tolerance for it.

A few precautions are in order for this wonder food. It contains a modest amount of sugar and so is not appropriate for diabetics. It should also be eaten more frugally if one is inclined toward oxalate-containing kidney stones. The juice can be strong enough to cause dizziness as it stimulates the cleansing of toxins. There may be mild attendant discomfort as well, as the unhealthy poisons are being eliminated, though this really is a desirable outcome and the effects are generally neither harmful nor long lasting. When cooking, it is best not to heat too long, as nutrients can thus be destroyed.

Finally, if one slices them right, another advantage of having red beets around this time of year is that they are roughly heart shaped!

After all the benefits of eating beets, we should actually replace those funny old commercials with a new catch phrase: "Where's the BEET??"


The Health Benefits of Red Beet: Nutritional Value of Red Beet. in; July 2, 2009.

Beets. in; last updated 11/10/10.

Beets. in; last updated in 2010.

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