Beets don’t get the attention they deserve. True that they are too bitter for some people, but with the right preparation or by taking a beet supplement, you can start to enjoy the potential health benefits of this vegetable.
So how should you prepare beets, and is there a beet supplement that is right for you? We’ll cover that in this article.
Potential Health Benefits of Beets
What gives beets their dark color is also the reason why they are good for you. Betalains are a type of plant pigment found in beets that give the plant its color and also acts as an antioxidant that may support the cardiovascular system, liver function, and the immune system.
Beets contain inorganic nitrate that when ingested by humans helps to regulate nitric oxide (NO) levels found in the body. Nitric oxide is essential for all cellular activity, including cell-to-cell communication and also the dilation of vessels and arteries.
Research shows that NO levels within the normal range helps to support blood pressure levels, muscular fatigue associated with higher intensity exercise, and may also help to promote the function of calcium moving in and out of tissue, which is important for muscular contractions.
Antioxidant and Immune System Support
As mentioned above, beets contain a compound known as betalains. This compound supports the removal of free radicals, liver detoxification, and helps to protect healthy cells from environmental toxins and foreign organisms.
Some groups refer to beets as a “functional food” because it helps individuals to support a healthy diet while at the same time providing a potential medicinal benefit. About 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates, one of the first students of medicine, defined a philosophy of using food as medicine. This idea promotes the removal of foods that disrupt the normal functions of the body, and instead seeks foods that help the body to flourish.
Some studies agree with this. Beets have been found to support a healthy internal response to oxidative stress, the regulation of inflammation in a healthy immune system, and a healthy brain during normal aging.
The antioxidant support of beets is also thought to extend to the liver. One study found that the antioxidants in beets help to reduce oxidative stress and the risk of obesity-related complications that can result from a high fat diet. Another study found that beetroot juice had a protective role in the liver by helping to mediate the activity of enzymes that can increase the risk of oxidative stress.
Best Way to Prepare Beets
Beets are bitter, so how you pair them is important. Also, if you can find beets with the green still attached, buy them. You should immediately separate the green from the beet, however. Wrap the greens in a wet paper towel and store it in the crisper drawer. Use the greens for salads, stir-fries, or other pairings where you want color or a little extra flavor.
You can eat beets raw, puree them into a soup, grate them into slaw, boil them, squeeze the juices into a smoothie, or sautee them (be warned that they will stain your hands, cutting board, etc). The key is to balance the bitterness with bright flavors, such as citrus, lemon garlic, vinegar, red wine, and also a lot of salt.
If you want to learn more about how to cook beets, check out Taste of Home. For a few suggestions on how to serve beets so you can enjoy both the flavor and potential medicinal benefits, check out Very Well Fit.
Beet Supplement from Pure Synergy
Beets are incredible as a whole food, but they are also available in supplements. Pure Synergy makes a phytonutrient-dense formula from whole beets with absolutely no fillers or additives.
Beet Juice Powder Organic takes all of the nutritious parts of the beet and concentrates it into a juice that you can take by the teaspoon or mix with water, or add to smoothies, soups, or your food of preferences. This formula may provide support for phase two detoxification, a healthy circulatory system, and much more.
Pure Synergy formulas are just one way to enjoy the potential health benefits of beets. Combine your beet supplement with other functional foods and support your nutrient intake and feelings of wellness throughout the day.