Sep 252012

beets nutritionDiscover beets nutrition and nutritional value and beets health benefits.

If you are like me—and I hope you’re not!—you may be missing out on the nutritional benefits of beets. Okay, so I’ve had the canned variety and tried borsch, but these root vegetables are nutritional powerhouses with amazing health benefits.

It is estimated that about two-thirds of commercial beet crops end up canned, which is a shame. With their sweet, earthy, and unique flavor they can be used in a variety of unusual and tasty ways, or juiced for enormous cleansing benefits. The leaves can be used like swiss chard with their crisp stalks and beautiful color. I’ve also noticed them popping up in high-end resturant menus in the last few years., AND Ben & Jerry’s has an ice cream called Beet It! Need I say more…….

The roots are most commonly deep red-purple in color, but come in a wide variety of other shades, including golden yellow and red-and-white striped. Many markets import fresh beets from opposing climates, carrying fresh beets year-round.

Beets Nutrition Profile

Approximate Nutritional Information: 1 roasted beet: 44 calories; Total fat: 0.2g; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 77mg; Total carbohydrates 10.0g; Dietary Fiber 2.0g; Sugars 8.0g; Protein 1.7 g.

What are the Health Benefits of Beets?

Both beetroot and beet greens are very powerful cleansers and builders of the blood. Betacyanin is the phytochemical in beets that gives it its rich ‘amethyst’ color.

The root itself is also a remarkable source of choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber and carbohydrates in the form of natural digestible sugars.

Although the iron content is not high, it is very high quality iron and it reactivates the red blood cells, and can supply frish oxygen to the body. Beets can be used to treat anemia.

Juicing Beets

 Beets were originally used for medicinal puposes until the french discovered their food benefits in the 1800’s. Today juicing is one of the most popular ways to use beets.

Beet Juice benefits: Drinking beet juice can help many common digestive problems. It not only detoxifies the liver, but coupled with carrot juice it is exceptional for curing ailments relating to the gall bladder and kidney’s. Mix honey with your beet juice and drink 2-3 times a week to speed up healing of gastrics ucers, or to relieve constipation. Studies show that beet juice inhibits formation of cancer-causing compounds and is protective against colon or stomach cancer.

How to Select and Store Beets

Choose beets that are small and firm with deep maroon coloring, unblemished skin, and bright green leaves with no sign of wilting. The taproot should still be attached. Beets larger than a 2 inch diameter may have a woody center. Smaller beets are sweeter and more tender. Purchase fresh beets only if the leaf stems are still attached to insure ultimate freshness.
To store beets, trim the leaves 2 inches from the root as soon as you get them home. The leaves will sap the moisture from the beet root. Do not trim the tail. Store the leaves in a separate plastic bag and use within two days. The root bulbs should also be bagged and can be stored in the refrigerator crisper drawer 7 to 10 days.

Cooked or canned beets may be refrigerated up to one week.

TIP: To remove beet juice from fingers, rub with wet salt and lemon juice and then wash with soap and water. For cutting boards and plastic containers, use a bleach solution, or cover with wax paper before use. You can also line pans with foil.

Roasted Beets Recipe:

beets nutritionHere is an easy preparation for Roasted Beets, and check out this week’s recipe for a Beet, Cucumber, and Orange salad, along with microwave instructions—if you’re not opposed to microwaves — and get the benefits of beets nutrition.

Or……you can grate them in to salads, or juice them. I mixed some raw grated beets with Dijon and they were great! Who knew?

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the greens away from the beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Save the greens for a later use. Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish (or lidded ovenproof casserole dish). Add 1/4 inch of water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast small beets (three ounces or less) for 30 to 40 minutes, medium beets (four to six ounces) for 40 to 45 minutes, and large beets (eight ounces or more) for 50 to 60 minutes. They’re done when they’re easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish. Cut away the ends and slip off the skins.

*Individuals with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should limit their consumption of beets.

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