People either love beets or they hate them, mostly because they haven’t discovered all the wonderful ways to enjoy beets. I, personally, am in the LOVE BEETS camp. I still remember the first time I ate them as a child. I wanted them every day after that. Whether you already love them, or just haven’t discovered their marvels, here are 7 reasons to eat more beets.
1. Beets are high in nutrients such as folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C, making them an excellent source of nutrients, and a particularly good choice for pregnant women who have higher folate needs during pregnancy.
2. In their uncooked state, beets also contain an important compound called betaine, which research has shown reduces several compounds linked to inflammation in the body. In other words, it’s a great anti-inflammatory food that helps protect us from the effects of aging and disease.
3. Beets are one of Nature’s miracles in the prevention of cancer. The fiber found in beets seems to increase the body’s special immune compounds that are responsible for detecting and removing abnormal cells before they can become cancerous.
4. Beets help fight cancer. The phytonutrients–proanthocyanidins–that gives beets their rich purplish-red hue has potent anti-cancer capabilities.
5. Beets have been recommended for many years to help purify the blood.
6. Beets also help cleanse the liver—one of the most overworked organs in the body, with over 500 functions including: cleansing toxins, removing excess hormones, and metabolizing fat.
7. They are versatile. They can be eaten raw (grated), steamed, boiled (although many nutrients are lost in the cooking water), or added to soups and stews. I love steamed beets tossed with a little flax oil and unrefined sea salt. Remember: the anti-cancer properties of beets lessen with heat! So it’s always a great idea to enjoy a little grated raw beetroot on your salads.
Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.
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