• Dr Meltzer

Upbeat, Mood and Liver-Booster: The Nutrition of Beets

Notable Personality Factors of Beets:

Bright, burgundy-colored beets are highly nutritious root vegetables native to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. No matter how you look at them, beets are an upbeat food! They inspire positivity! Beet fans find the vegetable invigorating and uplifting — and there are plenty of reasons why. Beets are endowed with all kinds of therapeutic benefits that keep us healthy, happy, energetic, and well!

No matter how you look at them, beets are an upbeat food! They inspire positivity!

Much like their vibrant hue, beets have a colorful history as a medicinal vegetable. Ancient Greek and Roman cultures looked to beets to treat a variety of ailments, particularly as it related to digestive and cardiovascular conditions, while Hippocrates, the famed Greek physician, allegedly used beet leaves to help bind wounds. Hundreds of years later, we’re continuing to learn about the unique nutritional make-up of the mighty beet that makes it a boon to our overall health and wellbeing.

In the next few paragraphs we’re going to cover some of the most important nutritional and therapeutic benefits of beets. For more information, make sure to check out this article on how to cleanse your body, boost your immune system, and lose weight with beets and other fresh, whole foods.

Therapeutic and Healing Properties of Beets:***

So what is it that makes beets so special when it comes to uplifting our mind, body, and mood?

To begin with, the beetroot is the liver’s buddy. More specifically, beets reduce liver stress and clear out the sludge and sediment in the liver bed and bile. Not only does this improve the assimilation and detoxification processes of the liver, which bring the body to life and protect the body from aging and disease, but it also has a positive impact on our mood! How so? A healthy liver has an anti-depressant effect on the brain! This liver-boosting, mood lifting effect of beets is enhanced by its magnesium content, which soothes the nerves, and its significant concentration of tryptophan, a serotonin supporting amino-acid that can help in stabilizing and elevating our mood.

In addition to the positive impact beets have on our mind and mood, they can also play an important role in improving our cardiovascular health and helping prevent degenerative disease.

Beets are a great source of betaine, a phytonutrient that helps lower homocysteine levels in the blood and helps protect against atherosclerosis, stroke, and other cardiovascular disease. Meanwhile, beet greens (the greens of the beet, as opposed to the root) are a great source of antioxidants such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamin A — all of which have been shown to have powerful anti-cancer qualities.

Perhaps the most unique cancer-inhibiting compound found in beets, however, is its high concentration of betalain. Betalain is the phytonutrient responsible for giving the beet its vibrant color and is currently being studied for its disease fighting and detoxification properties.

While beets and their greens can be very supportive to our overall health and wellbeing, beet greens are not recommended for those with a history of kidney stones, due to measurable amounts of oxalic acid that can contribute to stone formation for those at high risk.

It’s also important to note that around 10-15% of the population cannot breakdown certain pigments in beets. While this is not considered harmful it can result in a reddening of the urine.

Additional Nutritional Benefits of Beets:

In addition to the nutrients mentioned above, beets are also a good source of minerals and trace minerals, such as manganese, potassium, magnesium, and iron. They are an excellent source of folate and a respectable source of other B-Vitamins such as niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine.

Selection and Care of Beets:

Judge a beet by the freshness of its greens. Choose young roots with upright, frond-like tops, and look for purple-red beets that are firm, symmetrically shaped, and smooth. Avoid soft, dull-colored beets. Scrub beets well, and shred or pare the thin outer skin before eating or cooking.

Optimal Use and Combining:

Beets add a hearty snap to leafy green salads, and, from an aesthetic perspective, a pleasing punch of color to mixed vegetable plates—combined with green celery, red tomatoes, and orange carrots, for example. From a therapeutic point of view, beets are most effective when eaten raw, as part of a salad, or mixed in to a fresh vegetable juice. Carrot-celery-beet juice really cleans out the liver. Beets can also be steamed and make an excellent side dish with lunch or dinner.

***This article is not intended to treat or diagnose any type of health condition or disease. Any nutritional considerations for any health complication should be discussed with your physician or healthcare provider.

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