Thursday, September 19, 2013

Benefits of Beets

Lately I have been drinking a beet drink consisting of apple, beet, lemon, and ginger. I started doing this daily when I learned about the amazing benefits of beets.

These babies are packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B, and C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine, and folic acid to name a few. The real draw for me was that they are an amazing tonic for the liver, a purifier of the blood, and can prevent various forms of cancer. I have been going to an acupuncturist and learned that in eastern medicine we hold our anger and stresses in our liver, I believe he called it the liver wind, and detoxifying is very important to stay healthy. Aren't we all just a little too stressed out. The Betalain pigments that give beets their color are helpful for the body's detoxification process. They help neutralize unwanted toxins and make them easier to eliminate in urine. Beets are a great aid to keep our body running as it should...along with avoiding toxins (like in beauty products and household cleaners), practicing meditation, stress reduction, and just chilling out, that is!

Beets contain trytophan which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being similar to when you eat chocolate. Just had my beet drink and I feel pretty mellow right now. They can also help lower your blood pressure.

Beets are also high in boron, which is directly related to the production of sex hormones. In fact one of the first known uses of beets were by the ancient Romans as an aphrodisiac. 

Although beets are best eaten raw or juiced, they can be prepared a number of ways- boiled, roasted, sauteed, added to soup...or here is a recipe for an excellent beet salad. Best of all beets are fairly cheap, they are filling, and you can get them year round. They sound like the perfect food to me! Ok, one warning, though. Don't freak out if you are eating a ton of beets and your urine comes out pink. Looks a little scary, but it is actually pretty interesting. The discoloration of the urine after eating beats is called beeturia. It is caused by pigments in the beets as they are breaking down. Stomach acid and gut flora play an important role in breaking down food so if they are compromised in any way, your urine may be pink! People often drink beetroots to test their digestive health

Lastly beets are wonderful for a brain boast (And I suffer hugely from "mommy brain"!) Consumption of nitrate-rich beet juice is said to increase blood flow to the brain (and apparently to some other areas if you think back to those Romans. wink wink). They also offer a quick form of energy via carbohydrates...but unlike processed carbohydrates they are a healthy source of fuel. My beet drink is also sweet enough to ease any sugar cravings. Beets can't be beat! Sorry I had to throw that in there. :)

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