Beets

Ah, the beet.  It can be a divider among foodies - some people love them, some people hate them. I was not always a beet lover, but I have jumped on the beet wagon and will sing their bright pink staining praises.

Beets

One of my favorite things about the beet is that you can eat ALL of it. The root bulb AND the greens. Beets can be roasted, boiled, grilled, pickled and shaved. They can go in risotto or in salads or in veggie burgers or as a crunchy addition for your falafel. Beets are way more diverse than just using them to make Borsht. The greens can be sautéed with onions or garlic or blended into your morning smoothie (my favorite way to eat the greens). And now onto all the nutritional value have (using a one cup example):

  • 59 calories
  • .2 grams of fat
  • 0 mg of cholesterol
  • 106 mg of sodium 
  • 442 mg of potassium - helps heart, brain, kidney, and muscle tissue health)
  • 13 grams of carbs
  • 3.8 grams of fiber
  • 2.2 grams of protein

And more goodies:

  • High in magnesium (helps prevent high blood pressure)
  • High in phosphorus (with calcium helps build healthy bones and teeth)
  • High in Iron (helps transport oxygen through the body, maintains healthy cells)
  • High in Vitamin A (helps keep strong eyes / vision, helps function of heart, lungs, kidneys)
  • High in Vitamin C (acts as an antioxidant, helps make collagen - a protein that helps heal wounds)
  • High in beta-carotene (acts as an antioxidant, and sources more Vitamin A)
  • Contain betaine (same substance used in certain treatments of cancer)
  • Contain trytophan (relaxing the mind and creating a sense of positive well-being)

If you eat a lot of beets and notice the next time you use the bathroom that everything comes out pink - DON'T PANIC! You may just have low stomach acid. Your stomach acid breaks down pigment in food, so if you do experience 'beeturia', as its called, it may be a sign of low stomach acid. When I first ate a lot of beets I experienced 'beeturia', but since I've changed my diet and now eat loads of raw veggies (salads, smoothies, etc) and have increased the amount of water I drink daily, I don't experience 'beeturia' any more.