When I was a little girl I loved it when my grandma cooked beets. I found it fascinating because not only did I like the flavor, but it was like a game. My fingers got purple and I even pretended it was lipstick and I colored my lips.
This is one of the foods I have a special connection with. And this is why I was very surprised when I found out my husband hated beets. He dislikes the flavor and how they stain everything. I started to think about ways to make him fall for this vegetable and I came up with two ideas: change the recipe and let him know why they’re so good for your body.
When you think about superfoods, red beets are not usually top of mind. However, this root vegetable does magic to your body. They’re low in calories and fat, and are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other essential nutrients.
5 reasons to include them in your diet
- Rich in nutrients – they have many of the vitamins you need, like vitamin C, B9 or folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. They’re also high in antioxidants. The list of benefits this brings would be endless, but some of them include improving your skin, helping your liver fight toxins, prevent cancer, boost your immune system, and many more.
- Improve digestion – fiber is the king of digestion, and beets are a great source. Having enough fiber in your diet helps absorb nutrients and move the food through your system. This also includes preventing issues like constipation. Just remember that they can change the color of your urine and stools, making them a little red, pink or purple. Don’t worry, that’s normal.
- Allies to your heart, circulation and brain power – because beets have a high concentration of nitrates, they can improve blood flow, lower blood pressure and keep your brain with the right amount of blood and oxygen to be healthy. Because of this, they improve your memory, and help you think better and learn and faster. Having beets in your diet can also increase your physical condition. If you exercise and want to enhance your performance, this vegetable helps you produce more energy, which you can take to the gym, court or track. If you consume them two or three hours before training or before a game, you’ll see immediate results!
- Fight inflammation – the reason why beets are this color is because of a pigment called betalain, which has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties. This is a huge problem in many diseases, and having this root as a regular in your diet reduces pain and discomfort.
- Good for weight loss – because they are high in water and low in calories, they don’t hurt your weight. And, because of the high fiber in them, which reduces appetite and promotes feeling of fullness, you won’t need much more in your plate.
Roasted or raw?
I love beets, no matter the preparation. However, some of my favorite ways to prepare them are roasted with other vegetables like carrots and kale.
I also tend to make beet juice with ginger, carrots and lime. And a great snack is having them raw, grated with lime and salt.
Although the effects are stronger when the beets are raw, the nutrients and benefits aren’t lost if you cook them.