The Wonder and Benefits of Beets
Having just planted another round of cold-season veggies in our garden, I am particularly excited about the blend of beets waiting to break the soil surface. Golden, striped, and blood-red are the colors of these amazingly beautiful and wonderfully nutritious root vegetables. Just the look of them alone makes you realize the miraculous power of nature to create such deep, rich perfection. The beauty of the beet is in its full glory, just out of the earth. The strong round and solid root attached to firm stems of wine red, with green and red leaves lifting toward the heavens. Slice it open and you get aesthetic perfection, the deepest crimson, with darker swirls that stain your hands and bleed onto your plate. Indeed, the golden and striped varieties are just as lovely, and add entertainment to any dish.
Benefits of Beets
As a child, the full effect of the beetroot was lost on me, having only tasted beets from a can. If you have only had beets from a can, you really haven’t had them at all! Having many health giving properties, the beet is such an important food to add to the diet, and one should definitely work them into regular eating rotation.
First and foremost, the betalains – phytonutrients responsible for the colorful pigment – have anti-inflammatory, detoxification and antioxidant properties. Beets have been shown to shrink certain cancerous tumors, specifically in pancreatic, prostate and breast cancer trials. They can lower blood pressure and boost stamina (so eat before a workout). Beet greens play an equal part in the wondrous benefits by having the ability to lift the immune system, ward off Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis.
If all of those reasons are not enough for you to partake in this beneficial root vegetable, the vitamin and mineral content should be convincing enough. Included are vitamins B, C, manganese, potassium, iron, zinc and well as other vital nutrients, fiber and protein.
Eat the roots and eat the greens. Grate them in salads, steam or roast them. Juicing them with lemon and ginger is a delicious way to experience the wonder and benefits of beets, or try this yummy warm and nutritious soup.
TKG’s Beet and Avocado Soup
- 2 beets
- An avocado
- A lemon (peeled and whole, or juiced)
- 1 tbsp umeboshi plum vinegar
- 1 tbsp shoyu
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Toasted sunflower seeds for garnish
Cut and steam beets until soft enough to blend. Cut and scoop avocado. Then, add beets and avocado to blender. Add peeled lemon or lemon juice. Blend. Add ume vinegar, shoyu, salt and pepper to taste (blend and taste, blend and taste). Finally, serve warm and sprinkle sunflower seeds on top. Enjoy!
Check out this post to learn more about getting more veggies into your diet.