Boiled, roasted or pickled – any way you make ‘em, beets can be a delicious and vibrant addition to every meal. The beet’s root is most commonly consumed, but all parts lower your cholesterol and triglycerides. Whether through its root, juice or greens, your heart will thank you for harnessing the beet’s stunning powers of disease prevention.
The beet prevents heart disease so efficiently because it is rich in betaine, the nutrient crucial to maintaining cardiovascular health. Pregnant women especially should befriend the beet, as it is a great source of folate, which prevents birth defects. Beets also contain healthy doses of calcium, potassium and antioxidants, helping to protect anyone from colon cancer, liver disease and stroke. In fact, drinking just two cups of beet juice significantly lowers your blood pressure within one hour.
If drinking beet juice straight doesn’t strike your fancy, try mixing it in another fruit or vegetable drink. Not only is it the healthiest way to sweeten your drink, but it also might turn your favorite beverage a delightful shade of crimson. Beet juice can be used as an environmentally friendly dye, but on the flip side, be cautious whenever you peel beets. Without gloves that ruby red can easily stain your hands and clothes.
Adding acid, like vinegar or lemon juice, will brighten the beet. On the other hand, adding salt dulls its brilliant hue, so if aesthetics are your priority, season accordingly. Speckles of red are a great way to enhance your next salad, so try grating raw beets to top veggies, like in our Beet Slaw over Kale. The beet is related to swiss chard, so its greens can also be cooked tender in oil or vegetable stock. For the traditionalist, boil beets in our Beet, Pear and Endive Salad. Just be careful to steam them slowly- quick cooking diminishes the beet’s preventative health potential.