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Articles by natural health author Paul Fassa
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Learning to Love Beets
by Paul Fassa
(The Best Years in Life) My wife loves raw beets on salads, beet soup, and mixing beets with other veggies for juicing. She kept trying to share her enthusiasm for beets and encourage me to use more beets, but it didn't work. However I could avoid them, I did.
It wasn't just the flavor. They have to be peeled and they're so messy, staining everything they touch. I had a genuine aversion to them that couldn't be shaken for quit a while. But after researching their health benefits my resistance began to wane, slowly, as I'm still learning to love beets.
Here's what I've learned to help me begin loving beets
Beets are widely known to help create red blood cells. The red pigment color of beets is from a group of phyotonutrients known as betalains. Betalains are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying agents that are richer in beets than other plant foods.
Beet betalains provide some cancer prevention capacity, especially against colon cancer. In vitro (test tube or petri dish) lab tests have reported beet betalain suppression of human cancer cells.
The anti-inflammatory aspect of betalains helps prevent many chronic diseases and promotes cardiovascular health. Early research indicates the betalains support nerve and eye tissue better than most other anti-oxidants.
It's been observed that the betalains provide a more varied and higher antioxidant value than most other vegetables containing beta-carotene.
In addition to the high betalain phytonutrient content, beets are very high in vitamin C, folate (the natural source of folic acid), manganese, magnesium, and potassium. The fiber in beets is similar to carrots and supports gastrointestinal health.
When it comes to detoxing, certain enzymes in beet betalains stimulate glutathione production and connect toxins to glutathione molecules. Then the toxins are neutralized and excreted harmlessly.
Don't be shocked if this happens, but pink or red urine (beeturia) occurs occasionally after consuming beets. Beeturia could be an indicator of a low iron metabolism capacity at worst. A more likely weird occurrence is pink or red water surrounding one’s stool after consuming beets.
Dr. John Douillard, DC, who specializes in Ayurvedic medicine, recommends using the red stool from beets as a marker of your digestive cycle. If it happens less than 12 hours after consuming beets, it’s probable your digestive cycle is too fast for absorbing enough nutrients. If it takes longer to appear, your digestive system is sluggish.
Beets for cancer
There's even evidence that beet juice helps cure cancer! But beet juice alone is not recommended. There should be other veggies, carrots, and apples juiced along with a natural organic diet that excludes meats and refined sugars and starches.
If going it alone with cancer, it's recommended to use more than one remedy. You can consult the Cancer Tutor here to determine which approaches compliment each other or conflict with others.
Sugars in beets and carrots are okay by the way. Cancer cells that depend on fermenting sugar for their metabolism because they no longer are able to use oxygen as part of normal cell metabolism invite those sugars in, and surprise, beet and carrot sugars also carry their cancer cell killing nutrients. It's kind of a Trojan Horse mechanism.
Beets lose a lot of their nutritional value if cooked for more than 15 minutes. This means the most delicious beet entree offered, soup or borscht with a couple of dabs of sour cream, won’t support your health as much as raw beets.
Juicing with beets mixed in with other veggies and some apple is a tasty way to ingest the health giving qualities of beets. In addition to juicing, you can thinly slice or shred them for a raw topping on salads, pretty tasty that way.
Buying organic beets, which are roots, with the attached plant greens gives you an added nutritious vegetable to steam or juice. Beet greens are like chard, as a matter of fact, beets and chard are closely related in the same chenopod family.
When separating the beets from their plant leaves, leave an inch or so of the plant attached to the beet. This prevents the beet from “bleeding.” When you’re ready to use the beets, peel the outer skin with a good peeler and slice or dice appropriately for your food or juice application.
My bald-faced contradiction: A salad that uses cooked beets
This contradicts my earlier statement that cooking beets for over 15 minutes harms a lot of nutrients. But it's yummy and can help simulate an interest in beets among others who have aversions to them.
Roasted Beet and Blueberry Salad
This recipe makes two main dish salads, or 4-6 side salads.
For the dressing:
1. Roast the beets: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. With a sharp vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the beets and chop them into small pieces, about 1/2 inch in size. Wrap the beet pieces in a piece or parchment paper, followed by a piece of aluminum foil to make a sealed packet. Roast them in their packet for 45-60 minutes, or until soft. Allow the beets to cool.
2. While the beets are
cooling prepare the dressing. In a pint sized mason jar, or other glass
container, whisk all the ingredients together. I prefer to use a mason jar with
a lid and shake the dressing to incorporate.
Sources for this article include:
About the Author:
Paul Fassa started looking into natural health to overcome his unhealthy lifestyle. Then he developed more interest as he researched his articles for Natural News and Align Life.