Beets, botanically known as Beta vulgaris, belongs to the family of Chenopod. This prehistoric plant evolved from seabeets that grew along the coastline of North Africa, Europe and Asia and was later on domesticated in the Mediterranean. It was said to be offered to Apollo in his temple at Delphi and was also mentioned by the famous Roman gourmet, Apicius in his famous book.
Beet green has been eaten for thousands of years, but it was only in the 18th century was the beet root recognized and became a popular food, thanks to French chefs who saw their potential. Story has it that Napoleon declared the use of beets as the primary source of sugar after the British Empire controlled the access to sugar cane.
Its season runs from June up to October in North America. To maintain a constant supply of fresh beets year round, most market imports them other locations. Although canned beets are always available in supermarkets.
Some colored varieties also come in white, yellow and candy striped red and white. The most common type are the ones in deep ruby red color or what is called sugar beet which are also used to make table sugar. Among the colored beets, the red beet is the only one found with both healing and nutritional value.
Beets are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Other nutritional benefits found are vitamins, minerals, fibers and carbohydrates. It is also a source of phytochemical compound called betaine, which has been found effective in preventing heart disease and capable of lowering homocysteine levels that can cause platelet clot as well as atherosclerotic-plaque formation, this is where your heart problems start.
Both tubers and greens provide a good amount of vitamin C to help the body scavenge harmful free radicals. Top greens of beets are a tremendous source of vitamin A and carotenoids to help maintain a healthy skin and good vision; and flavonoids, for protection against lung and oral cavity cancers. It contains pectin that can rid the body of heavy metals, excess hormones and toxins. This superfood has zero cholesterol and a very low calorie count with a small amount of fat.
In order to keep muscles and nerves functioning well and maintain healthy bones, kidney and liver, eating beets will provide the needed potassium and manganese supply to achieve that. If you have an active workout schedule, drinking beet juice will boost your energy through your next activity.
And as a safety measure, individuals with urinary tract stones are to avoid eating red beets due to its oxalic acid content. For weight watchers and diabetics, eat red beets sparingly as it contains high carb and sugar.
Need to rev up your energy?... Make a beet-strawberry-banana-almond milk smoothie! It’s super!
Enjoy life. Stay fit.
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