Mmm, beets.

I absolutely love beets. Back when I still had a Nutri-Bullet (which tragically died last summer, RIP), I made a lot of berry and beet smoothies, not to mention throwing them in salad or letting them soak in some vinegar. A couple summers ago I even made a chocolate beet mousse- which sounds questionable, but it came out amazing (not super aesthetic though, since it was made in the heat of July and didn’t have an easy time setting).

Those who know me know that I have a bit of a love affair with this vegetable, which does so much more than stain your clothes and teeth.

In addition to being healthy, beets also lend themselves to some comedic gold.

Health Benefits

Cholesterol Management. Studies show that beets help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase good (HDL) cholesterol. This leads to better heart and blood health overall. Speaking of the blood, beets are also a good source of iron, so if you’re suffering from anemia, eat up! (Source).

Pigments. Probably the most notable quality of the beet, at least in terms of aesthetics, is the color. The pigments in beets, betacyaninis, is responsible for reducing the cell growth caused by certain cancers. Betalains, one of the pigments, is an antioxidant that helps remove toxins in the bloodstream and liver. (Source)

Detox. Beets have a micronutrient, betaine, that helps support detoxing of the blood, in addition to what the aforementioned betalains have going on. Basically, beets are a one-stop shop for detoxing all the things, which is why you probably won’t avoid beets in some form if you ever do a cleanse.

Maganese. Maganese is a trace mineral that we need, but not necessarily in abundance. It is connected to bone health, healthy metabolism and hormone regulation (which is part of the reason why some people attribute beets to higher sex drive), more detox-worthy stuff including cleaning out the colon, and inflammation (including the kinds caused by PMS and chronic disease). (Source).

Nitrates. Beets are a nitrate rich food, which has made them a valuable part of many athlete’s diets. To summarize, when you up your nitrates, this increases nitric oxide, which increases the efficiency of oxygen use: “This means ATP, the molecule known as the cell’s energy currency, can rest during muscle activity due to less oxygen use” (Source). This means you can go for longer, whether lifting weights, running, etc.  A lot of runners will drink beet juice, but at least it’s for a scientifically backed reason and not just because we’re colossal weirdos.

Recipes

Roasted Beets and Sweets from Mantitlement (one of my favorite root veggie recipes 🙂 )

Beetroot and Feta Cheese Salad from Scrambled Chefs

Chocolate Beet Cake with Avocado Frosting from The Pretty Bee

Pink Power Detox Smoothie from Oh She Glows

Blueberry Beet Smoothie from Turnip the Oven

Amish Pickled Beets from Key Ingredient (I love pickled beets, wrinkles, and even cukes in vinegar- but am not a fan of actual pickles save for that one pregnancy craving).

Ingredient of the Week: Beets
Tagged on: