What are Beets?
Beets are edible plants native to the Mediterranean. They are grown all over the world, since they are easy to grow and they thrive in most climates, although they do not appreciate extreme cold or heat.
The Benefits of Beets
Drinking beet juice may help to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points. The benefit likely comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
If you need a boost to make it through your next workout, beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 percent longer. The benefit is thought to also be related to nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise.
5 Reasons you should consume beets:
- Beets are known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.
- Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas).
- Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
- Beet greens actually have even more iron than spinach (another leafy green in the same botanical family) as well as a higher nutritional value overall than the beetroot itself.
- One of the major benefits of beet juice it that it contains a color pigment called betalain. This is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, fungicidal and aid in detoxification substance.
Beet Juice Lemonade
- 1 small beet, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (approximately 5 lemons)
- 1/2 cup agave or coconut sugar to taste
- 6 cups water, divided
- Attach the shredding blade to a food processor and shred the beet chunks (you should end up with about 1 cup of shredded beets). Scoop shredded beets into a bowl and set aside. Remove food processor bowl from base and rinse out; replace the clean bowl onto the food processor and insert the regular processor blade. Add shredded beets, lemon juice, sugar and 1 cup of water and process until smooth.2. Strain beet mixture through a sieve into a large bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. (You should end up with about 2 cups of liquid.) Transfer liquid into a pitcher and dilute with remaining five cups of water. Taste and adjust sugar or water levels to taste, and refrigerate before serving.
Roasted Beet Salad
- 1 bunch of beets
- 1/4 cup sliced natural almonds
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon agave
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large Asian pear
- 3 cups of baby arugula (3 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Rinse beets off really good
- Roast Beets in a roasting pan for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Take out the oven and cool.
- While beets are roasting, cook almonds in oil in a small skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden. Cool almonds in oil (nuts will get darker as they cool). Transfer almonds with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and season with sea salt.
- Stir together shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, agave, sea salt, and oil from almonds in a large bowl.
- Slip skins from beets and halve large beets. Cut beets into 1/4-inch-thick slices and add to dressing, tossing to coat.
- Quarter and core pear and cut into julienne strips.
- Plate the arugula first, arrange beets on a platter and drizzle with any dressing remaining in bowl. Top with pears and sprinkle with almonds.