Recently one of our exercisers surprised me with a beautiful bunch of beets from her garden. I was interested to learn that beets grow during the summer months; I’d always thought of them as a fall crop. I absolutely love beets. I’ve heard they’re super healthful but I was curious to find out exactly how they improve our health. Read on to learn more!
Beets are not only loaded with antioxidants they also have important anti-inflammatory properties.
You may be surprised to know that beets also:
Lower Your Blood Pressure- This 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.
Fight Inflammation-Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It’s also known to help fight inflammation and help protect internal organs.
Help Prevent Cancer –The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer. Taste good and help prevent cancer. What more do we need to know?
Provide Us With Valuable Nutrients and Fiber-Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium, and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets are particularly important to women who are pregnant–vitamin B and iron are very beneficial to new growth cells during pregnancy and replenishing iron in the woman’s body.
Less known but interesting facts about beets:
Nature’s Libido Booster- One of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac. And that’s not just urban legend – science backs it up. Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.
Beets cleanse the body-They are a wonderful tonic for the liver and work as a purifier for the blood.
Help your mental health-Beets contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being.
* Researchers have found that sunlight triggers your skin’s production of nitric oxide. Why is this significant? Because nitric oxide is crucial for maintaining healthy blood pressure, helps prevent atherosclerosis, and plays a role in modulating immune system function.
I usually enjoy my beets roasted but the thought of turning on my oven during these dog days of summer is not appealing. This recipe does require a little stove top cooking but the end result is a really tasty vegetarian meal.
Tangy Beets With Soba Noodles
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
3-4 large beets
1 Cup almond milk
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
3 Tablespoons almond butter
1/2-1 cup vegetable broth
1 package soba noodles* or whole grain pasta
Peel the beets and cut them into small pieces. Peel and dice the onion.
Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet then add the onion and beets. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the almond milk, tamari, maple syrup and spices. Reduce heat to low, stir in 1/2 cup broth and the almond butter. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the beets and soft.
Meanwhile, cook and drain the soba noodles. Serve the beets over the noodles.
If you have leftovers try this:
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add a can of drained garbanzo beans. Season with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Add sea salt and pepper to your taste. Cook to heat through then add to your beet mixture.
*Soba noodles have fewer calories, more fiber and more protein than traditional pasta.