This colorful, sweet root may
not be the richest vegetable in
nutrients but it certainly
should not be overlooked and
is invaluable during the
Beet comes in white and gold varieties as well as the classic purplered, which is the best source of nutrients. Betaine, which gives it its deep color, is even more potent an antioxidant than polyphenols in its effect on lowering blood pressure. A scientific study also found that the high levels of nitrates in beet juice work like aspirin to prevent blood clots, and help to protect the lining of the blood vessels. Red beet is also rich in anthocyanins, which may help to prevent colon and other cancers.
- Contain betaine to lower blood pressure and may be anti-inflammatory.
- Contain nitrates to help prevent blood clots.
- Anthocyanins can help prevent cancers.
- A good source of iron, magnesium, and folate.
Cooked beets will keep in an airtight container for a few days in the refrigerator or you can puree cooked beets and freeze. To cook, cut off the leaves but leave about 2 inches/5 cm of stalk and the root still on. This will avoid the beet “bleeding” as it cooks. Beets can be boiled whole for about 50 minutes or brushed with a little oil and baked in aluminum foil at 400°F/200°C for 1 hour. The skins can then be easily rubbed off. Beet can also be used raw, peeled, and finely grated into salads or salsa, or juiced.
DID YOU KNOW?
Beets were originally cultivated for their nutritious leaves, which can still be eaten when small, in the same way as spinach.