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Health Benefits of Beets

A few weeks ago, I decided to dust off my juicer that has been sitting in the back of my pantry for years. It was one of those things, you know, out of sight out of mind. There are positives and negatives to juicing… but to my mind, as long as you don’t look at it as replacing your fruit and vegetable servings, you are able to get much more variety and many more nutrients than most people would otherwise.

One vegetable that I just don’t incorporate into my diet is beets. For most of my life they have been one of the few foods that I have had an aversion to. Later in life, I started to occasionally put them on my salads when hitting a restaurant salad bar, but otherwise they are absent from my meals. Until now.

Now that I broke out my juicer, most days I’ll find myself experimenting with various combinations of fruits and vegetables, including beets. While it may sound a little suspect to the uninitiated, beet juice is pretty sweet and when mixed with the right fruits and vegetables can be a tasty treat.

Here are some of the health benefits that come with eating this purple root:

  • Beets are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C. They are also high in fiber.
  • According to a 2010 Queen Mary University of London study published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, just one glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure in a matter of a few hours. It may also be a natural solution for preventing future cardiovascular problems. Beets are loaded with nitrates, which is believed to be the culprit for the aforementioned blood pressure and cardiovascular benefits.
  • Beets have betanin and vulgaxanthin, both phytonutrients referred to as betalains. They have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties.

Also read:

Beetroot Juice Found to Enhance Athletic Performance

RECIPE: Beets and Oranges with POM Port Sauce

October 19th, 2011

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