The beet is a delicious crispy root vegetable that grows just about anywhere and for most of the year from summer to winter. It has loads of nutrient value including a little iron and primarily a good source of anti-oxidants, similar to most red vegetables. Along with anti-oxidants, they also contain anti-inflammatory properties and aid in detoxification pathways. This means that they promote the growth of glutathione in your colon which then is absorbed by the liver and promotes the Phase II detoxification pathway there.
In Phase II there are other nutrients being produced by your body in the liver, such as SAMe and CoQ10. So by eating a small portion of beets every week, you will feel better. They are not a great source of Vitamin C, which is necessary as a cofactor in most metabolic pathways, so by adding some greens and sprouts to your meal you will aid the digestion of beets and so avoid the common red urine, which could indicate that you are not digesting or absorbing your iron.
While most beets are red, and you can always associate red food with anti-oxidant properties, some beets are yellow, or striped. The yellow beets contain more lutein in them which is very beneficial to the eyes. Spinach also contains lutein, but much more iron, so these make a lovely pair in your salads or other dishes. Beet greens can also be added to the salad, especially from very young beets as their greens are very tender.
Keep in mind that some of these nutrients are very sensitive to heat, so eating beets raw is always the best choice. However, when you do cook them you can keep their skins on them if you wish because they will become nice and tender along with the beet root itself. I usually peel my beets because the flavor of the skin does not agree with my taste buds especially in my raw salads, but you be the judge for yourself.
Did you know that beets are mostly water? Yes, they are! About 85% of the beet is composed of water. This may explain why there are so many B vitamins in a beet, though not a great deal, but enough to help with nerve health but especially with blood sugar regulation due to the amount of choline in them. Of the fat content of beets which isn’t really fat like you might think, but just the oils naturally found in their cellular makeup, we find beta-carotene or Vitamin A. Beets are a good source of Vitamin A but not a huge amount. So not to worry with your vitamins if they also contain Vitamin A because beta-carotene is in its’ natural state and more beneficial in the long run.
More on the nutrient ingredients of beets can be found here: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=88
Other vitamins present are great for your daily intake such as Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium. Again, they make you feel well. If you need extra amounts of these vitamins in your body, then enjoy 1 to 2 servings of beets every week.
Raw Beet Salads
I prefer to spiral cut my beets and either with the Angel Hair spiral cut or the larger variety; they are both equally tasty. I generally use a medium to large beet depending upon how many I want to serve but for these recipes I am using a medium red beet.
Orange Spiral Beet
1 medium beet, peeled and spiral cut, then cut into 2 inch strips
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Blood Orange Infused Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar (Olive Tap)
2 Tbsp Pomegranate seeds (fresh or frozen)
5 drops of Orange Essential Oil
Place the lemon juice into a glass bowl and add your spiral cut beets. Then cut them into 2 inch strips and toss with the juice. Add the remainder of the ingredients and toss well.
Be sure to taste your salad BEFORE you add the Orange Essential Oil. Then add a few drops and POW! The flavors will explode!
This is a sweet version, and could substitute as a fruit salad to complement any meal.
Beet Dill Salad
I love, love, love Dill with my beet salad. A friend made a beet salad the other day, and was disappointed that the dill changed their color. So I decided to try dill in a couple of versions and this is what I came up with.
1 medium beet, spiral cut, then cut into 2 inch pieces
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 avocado diced pieces
1/2 cup sprouted sunflowers
1/4 cup Rejuvelac (made from quinoa)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Tahini paste
1/8 cup Nutritional Yeast
1 Tbsp Flax seed oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 Tbsp fresh dill, diced tiny
1 tsp fresh basil, diced tiny
Peel the beet and spiral cut. Add to a glass bowl with 1 Tbsp lemon juice and cut into 2 inch pieces and toss.
Prepare the sauce separately. Place sunflower sprouts into the blender and add the Tahini Paste, lemon juice (to taste), Tahini, Nutritional Yeast, Flax seed oil and garlic and blend together. Pour this into a bowl and add the fresh spices and toss together.
Add enough sauce to coat your beets and watch it turn a beautiful pink! This is my favorite part. The avocados will stay green, giving it that beautiful combination of pink and green colors.
Optional Sauce: Mayonnaise, yes it works great! Just add mayonnaise right out of the jar (like good old fashioned Hellman’s) and add everything else together. I use it in a pinch! shhhh!
This is what I came up with tonight. I guess I just had a craving for some beets. My puppy LOVES her beets and usually steals one from my grocery bag when she smells it and so I can’t leave my bags on the floor anymore! She also steals mangos, but that is another story!
Good Nutrition to All, and Natural Health!