Beets (beetroot) have edible leaves and are a root vegetable known to contain nutrients that helps to protect against birth defects, heart disease and some cancers.
Most people are familiar with the round, purplish-red beets. However, beets come in many different varieties. With either round or oblong roots, some are white, golden, or even rainbow colored, many of which have a less earthy flavor that the darkest varieties.
Beet greens have a similar flavor as Swiss chard, and are higher in nutrients than the roots–a good source for vitamin A, potassium, iron, and calcium. They can be sautéed or steamed, just as you would spinach or chard.
Though most are familiar with canned beets, fewer people have experienced the flavor of fresh beets. They can be grated into a salad, or steamed and marinated in olive oil and fresh lemon juice, or roasted with other root vegetables in the oven.
According to EZHealthDiet.com, beet root is rich in vitamins B1, B2, C and bioflavonoids, as well as potassium, iodine, copper, and other minerals. Its fiber also adds bulk to the diet, which is excellent for improving the function of the large intestine.
Beets are not only high in nutrients and fiber, but low in calories. One cup of boiled beets has only 75 calories.
Raw foods will add years to life
Britain’s Jamie Oliver has been made it his mission to bring about a food revolution to save America’s health by changing the way that people eat through education. He teaches that “switching from processed to fresh food will…add years to your life.”
Try this delicious, raw beet salad adapted from JamieOliver.com:
Crunchy Raw Beetroot Salad with Feta and Pear
4 good-sized beetroots (use variety of color), scrubbed, peeled, and cut into fine matchstick pieces
3 ripe pears (or apples), peeled and cored, and cut into matchstick pieces
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
6 Tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh mint (small leaves)
Handful of raw, chopped walnuts or shelled sunflower seeds (optional)
1. Mix lemon juice and olive oil with a whisk. Add pepper and salt and stir.
2. Toss the beetroot and pear matchsticks with a bit of the lemon oil dressing. Taste and adjust with more lemon juice, if necessary. Flavors should be balanced.
3. Place on large platter, crumble the feta over the salad, and sprinkle with baby mint leaves.
4. Add walnuts or sunflower seeds, if using.
The World’s Healthiest Foods @ WHFoods.org