How Complex Are the Vegetables You’re Eating?
Beets… nature’s candy. Well, they are used to produce sugar, but maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. Love them or hate them, it may be time to give beets a second look. It turns out that a rich shade of red isn’t the only thing they have in ample supply. They are also full of beneficial nutrients, and their health benefits are plentiful.
Let’s take a closer look at the mighty beet, and find out why it deserves to make more frequent appearances in our meals, shall we?
A Wealth of Nutrients
Beets and beet greens contain plenty of essential minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorous. They are also full of vitamins and precursors A, C, and B3 (niacin), beta carotene, betacyanin, and folic acid. Beets are also rich in dietary fiber.
Many people use expensive supplements to get the necessary amounts of some of these nutrients. Eating beets can save money, by eliminating the need for supplementation. Not only that, but getting nutrients from food is healthier for the body.
Health Benefits of Eating Beets
Now that we’ve established that beets are chock-full of nutrients, how exactly can they help to improve your health? Let’s take a look at some of them.
The pigment responsible for their deep red color, betacyanin, also fights cancer. Folic acid is essential for pregnant women, and those recovering from physical injuries. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that eliminates free radicals, and prevents cell damage. Calcium builds strong bones, and prevents osteoporosis.
Red is the color of passion, and beets may be able to help in that department, too. The ancient Romans used beets as an aphrodisiac. It turns out that beets contain boron, which is used in the production of human sex hormones.
Many people don’t get enough dietary fiber, which beets have lots of. Not only does it keep you regular, but it also is effective in preventing hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and coronary heart disease.
Not bad for a simple beet, eh?
Beets: A Cheap, Healthy Snack
Beets are somewhat of a sleeper superfood. Humans have been cultivating them since the robes-and-sandals days, and they have long been prized for their unique flavor, and for their health benefits and medicinal properties. They are very low in calories even though they have the highest sugar content of any vegetable.
But, the novelty has worn off, and people don’t see beets as some hot, new, exotic superfood. Because of this, beets are pretty inexpensive. Fresh beets are cheap, and easy to come by, especially when in season.
So, if you’re looking for some sustained energy, better health, or want to satisfy a sweet tooth, look no further than the humble, yet mighty beet.
[Photo Credit: grasshoppersdistribution]