Good news: unless you're diabetic, you needn't ponder the nutritional value of beets unduly, as it's one of Mother Nature’s primo multivitamins. Plus, it also has an interesting “pedigree." Did you know, for example, that the ancient Greeks used the beet in offerings to Apollo?
Yet, many of us in the present day tend to think of it merely as a pretty but also pretty-messy veggie. So, perhaps some attitude adjustment might be in order...and not just because of the beet’s "friends in high places," but also because the beet is a twofer. Besides the goodies in its delicious red or golden root, its edible tops provide some good nutrition as well.
Try these for a start: potassium (518 mg per cup!), manganese, folate, magnesium, tryptophan, iron, copper, and phosphorus. Not to mention fiber, too.
And I haven’t even mentioned the beet’s phenomenal antioxidant properties by way of its betalain. To my knowledge, only one other natural source of betalain exists—prickly pears. Yet that same betalain can help protect your body from the oxidative process that contributes to aging and disease. There’s enough of that around already!
The juice of the beet can even help lower blood pressure when ingested in large-enough amounts: generally, at least 8 ounces. [However, it's often suggested that beet juice be diluted with water or another juice, as it is so highly concentrated.] Studies have also shown that beets prevent those pesky nitrates in processed foods from turning into the carcinogen nitrosamine once inside your body.
Well yes, actually: if you're diabetic or even pre-diabetic, your doc
may prefer that you partake only sparingly of these little treasures. Or
even lay off them entirely because of their high sugar content. So—a
possible issue there for certain readers. The other bad news? Beets can
be Really messy to cook if you don’t use the recommended technique: how to cook beets.
Aside from those caveats, though, you've got quite a winner with beets. From The Ten Things You Need to Eat: "Beets are the stuff that chefs dream of. Once cooked and peeled, a batch of beets reveals a bright, glistening flesh that promises [and delivers] sweet, earthy flavor and supple texture..."
So, off you go to buy (or pull) some beets, right? When you have them in hand, here's a tasty salad for you to try, which features roasted beets. Perhaps you might substitute marinated white beans for the suggested trout.
Living Vegetarian the Easy Way
Copyright 2010-2023. Lynda Edwards. All rights reserved.