Beets and Beet Greens

Beets seem like the funniest little vegetables.  In our culture, we don’t really consume them often, but they have some important nutrition, especially when raw!   Here are some facts I’ve found on the internet, specifically at a website called The World’s Healthiest Foods:

Beets belong to the chenopod family which has some unique health values not readily available in other foods. Chenopods include chard, spinach, and quinoa. Here are a couple things you want to know about beets:

  1. There is a special connection between their phytonutrients and our nervous system health
  2. In a recent lab study on human tumor cells, betanin pigments from beets have been shown to lessen tumor cell growth
  3. The longer you cook beets, the more they lose the betalains’ nutrient value
  4. The phytonutrients betanin and vulgaxanthin have both been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support
  5. They are a wonderful source of folate
  6. Beet greens are incredibly rich in nutrients
According to the above-referenced website, beeturia (a reddening of the urine after consumption of beets) occurs in 10 – 15% of adults.  It is not considered harmful in and of itself, but it may be a possible indicator in one particular set of circumstances involving problems with iron metabolism. Individuals with iron deficiency, iron excess, or specific problems with iron metabolism are more likely to experience beeturia than individuals with healthy iron metabolism. So if you experience beeturia, it is worth following up with a healthcare professional to verify iron status.
Two more bits of info for you…
Beets do not need to be peeled… the peels contain lots of nutrients and can be scrubbed well before use.
One or two whole medium beets per week is enough to benefit from their rich nutritional value.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s