Seven Wonders of the Beet World
As a vegetarian I’m always keen to find out how I can maximize vitamin/mineral intake within my diet. So after speaking with an acupuncturist about improving my blood circulation and health in general, he suggested increasing the quantity of beet in my diet because of its multiple health benefits.
Although having mixed popularity across Europe, the beet’s strong-hold has been and still is, in Eastern Europe. As a plant, it’s easy to grow and withstands the frost and harsh weather very well, hence it is grown and eaten in abundance in that region.
Beetroot will seldom win vegetable beauty pageants. They are difficult to peel and its ruby coloured juices stain your fingers when you cut them. These attributes can put people off from preparing it; hence it is either purchased mainly via easy-to-use vacuum packs, pickled in jars or they are dismissed completely.
But for those that persevere with beetroot, whichever format you buy it in, you will give yourself an instant vitamin/mineral boost and when consumed whilst hot, you’ll feel an inner warmth that few foods can provide.
In order to make the most of the fresh beetroot plant, keep the green leafy stalks. When they are boiled or steamed they have a similar taste to spinach.
For inspiration next time you wish to include beetroot in your meal, try recipes for Ukrainian/Slavic borscht soup. Another option might be a side dish of hot grated beetroot with apple & spices, or roasted beetroot with other root vegetables or perhaps even beetroot risotto. For those with a sweet tooth, try chocolate & beetroot brownies.
Beetroot Benefits include:
1. Amongst other properties, beetroot contains potassium, protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, folic acid and vitamins (A, B6 and C).
2. Suggestions show that it reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
3. The mineral silica is found in beetroots and as this helps to utilize calcium, it may contribute to keeping osteoporosis at bay.
4. The soluble fibre within beetroot is known to help combat cholesterol.
5. Beetroots are an excellent source of iron and folic acid, making it a super-food for expectant mothers.
6. Relatively low in calories and almost fat free, it makes an excellent meal accompaniment for those on a weight-loss diet.
7. Beetroots are full of nitrates, which in turn produce nitric oxide in the bloodstream, which aids blood flow to the brain. Based on this fact, studies in the USA have shown that beetroot may also help to control the advancement of dementia because of its high nitrate content and ability to assist blood flow.
February 8, 2014
Ooops…Nice article about one of my faves. Thanks for all the great ideas. Lynn
February 8, 2014
Cook beets whole. Cut tops to leave an inch or so and leave the tail on. Scrub with a brush to get all the soil off and from around the top. Cook till done to your liking. While holding under coolish water, cut off top and tail with a paring knife, rub off skin and done. If some of the skin sticks, scrape with the paring knife a little. If you want to cut it up, place it on a cutting board that can get a little stained, or one that the color won’t effect. It can be a little slippery, so I like a wooden cutting board.
November 20, 2012
So glad you have both enjoyed the article and indeed love beetroots themselves! Definitely the ideal super food for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons! Anna (Word In Veg Ways).
November 19, 2012
Beets are also an amazing liver cleanser!
Great food to nourish the body over the holidays :)
November 13, 2012
Hi Ana. I agree with everything you have said regarding beetroot. I still cook my own, its a bit messy, but well worth it.
Love it with cheese etc. John.