The Incredible Health Benefits of Beets
Beets – A Necessary Super Food!
If you haven’t made beets a regular part of your diet, it’s time to do so. Beets are regarded as a super food for several reasons. Every part of the beet (the bulb, greens, juice) possesses incredible health benefits. This will help keep you in great mental and physical shape. Among other things, beets are an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, and fiber.
by Greg Montoya
Beets – A Rockstar of Nutrition
This incredible root vegetable is a rock star when it comes to nutritional benefits. Whether they’re roasted, raw, fermented or juiced. Beets are a member of the chenopod subfamily, super foods that include spinach, quinoa and chard. Health benefits of beets include lowering blood pressure (due to their high nitrate levels). Also, for providing detox support (a result of the high levels of betalains they contain). Beets are also a rich source of betaine, an amino acid that helps form the brain chemicals. These are responsible for the body’s natural antidepressants.
Beet Juice and Brain Health
Studies have shown that drinking beet juice can improve blood flow to the brain in older adults. This is an important find because it demonstrates great potential for fighting the advancement of dementia. According to Daniel Kim-Shapiro, of Wake Forest University’s Translational Science Center, several high-profile studies have also shown that drinking beet juice increases blood flow (perfusion) to the brain.
Lessens Tumor Cell Growth
Studies have found that the betanin pigments in beets may decrease tumor cell growth due to a number of factors. Including, the inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes. The tumor cell varieties tested included those from the stomach, prostate, testicular tissue, breast, lung and colon. The findings of the studies are encouraging additional research. This includes taking a closer look at the benefits of betanin’s. Also, other betalains found in beets for the prevention and treatment of some cancer types.
Beet Kvass is a fermented drink made from beets. During making this beverage, the probiotic bacteria in beet skin goes through a lacto-fermentation process. Thus, turning it into a nutrition rich powerhouse. The beverage is filled with probiotics, a healthy bacteria. Several digestive enzymes are produced by these bacteria. In addition to these, vitamins, a short chain fatty acid, and countless other beneficial compounds are produced. This healthy combination of natural beneficial compounds promotes healthy digestion. Cleanses the liver and blood, another great benefit!
Beet Kvass is easy to make! You can brew it on your kitchen counter.
- 1.5 to 2 cups Beets (organic preferred)
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt (course grind)
- 2 to 2.5 cups of filtered water
- Gently wash unpeeled beets (unpeeled because the probiotic bacteria lives in the beet skin)
- Remove the root tip and stem
- Cut beets into 1/2 inch cubes
- Put them in a jar with a tight fitting lid (preferably a Mason jar)
- Add the sea salt (sea salt prevents the growth of harmful bacteria)
- Add the filtered water, leaving about an inch of space at the top
- Put the lid on tightly and shake to blend
Label the jar with the date you made it. Also, the date that it needs to be checked, typically 7-10 days after. In the meantime, “burp” the jar everyday. This is done by unscrewing but not removing the lid, then tighten it up again. This step releases the built up CO2 gases, preventing the jar from bursting.
In 7 days taste the Beet Kvass. If it’s per your liking, strain it with a sieve. Then pour it into 2 jars and label them. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy. If you prefer it stronger, let it ferment for an additional 3-5 days.
Before starting the fermenting process, you can also add these below items:
- Lemon slices
- Orange slices
- Turmeric powder or root
- Slices of ginger root
- Cinnamon sticks
Enjoy Beet Kvass by itself, add a splash to sparkling water, or as a salad dressing.
There are soooooo many reasons to choose beets as part of a healthy lifestyle. Besides all the benefits listed above, this amazing root vegetable is low in calories, virtually fat free, rich in antioxidants, potassium and folic acid. Bottom line, when it comes to super foods, beets are at the top of our nutritional food of choice list. They should be on yours too!