Beets are one of my favorite foods. I liked beets before I had breast cancer. The Silver Lining is that there are gobs of anti-cancer benefits of eating beets. One of the great things about beets is that they are available year-round, so whenever the craving occurs (and after you try this recipe, I pretty much guarantee that you’ll crave them!), you can find them readily available.
There are lots of Silver Lining health benefits to eating beets, including:
- Beets are known for their intense red hue, which is caused by betacyanin. This compound is a powerful antioxidant that may reduce inflammation and serve as an anti-cancer agent. When scientists at Howard University in Washington, D.C., tested beet extract, rich in betanin, against human prostate and breast cancer cells, they found that it slowed the growth rate of the cells.
- Beets are a great source of vitamins and minerals. They contain folic acid which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is especially important for pregnant woman or anyone undergoing physical healing.
- They also contain substantial amounts of Vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and copper.
- Beets are low in calories, have no fat, and are high in fiber, which makes them an ideal food to eat if you are trying to lose weight. The high fiber content also supports healthy bowel function and can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Beets help to keep bad cholesterol at bay. Eating beets on a regular basis can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 30 percent.
- Beets are nature’s viagra. Seriously. 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.
- The large amount of potassium in beets can aid in relieving dehydration. Potassium is an electrolyte, a substance in the body that facilitates electrical impulses, and plays an important role in heart function and digestion. Electrolytes are lost through sweating caused by warm weather or strenuous activity. When the body becomes low in potassium, then it may exhibit signs of weakness, muscles cramps, and low energy.
Last week, while cooking with Maili, we prepared beets using my all-time favorite (and of course, easy peasy) method: by simply roasting them.
Maili said to be sure to hold onto the leaves because actually, the leaves, whether served tender and young in salads or cooked after they mature, are more nutritious than the beet root. How ’bout that?
Here are some images to help with your beet preparation. Enjoy!