Thursday, June 17, 2010

BEETS are?
Beets belong to the same family as chard and spinach – greens that are renowned for their healthful benefits. But, with this delicious and nutritious purple root gaining in popularity and accessibility, it’s time our traditional green salads are tossed to a different “beet.”

Beetroots (the purple bulbous part of the plant) are an excellent source of folic acid, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, and potassium. But don’t get lost in the “purple haze” and forget to eat the beet greens, which are rich in calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.

Beets have long been used to treat liver disorders, given their stimulating effects on the liver’s detoxification process. They contain high levels of betacyanin – compounds with antioxidant capabilities – that are powerful cancer fighting agents. Additionally, beets are high in fiber, which helps to moderate bowel function and cholesterol levels.

According to Dr. Michael Murray’s book, “Healing Foods”, beets have been reported to play a protective role against colon cancer. In animal studies, beet fiber has been shown to increase the level of antioxidant enzymes, specifically glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase, as well as increase the number of special white blood cells responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells.

In a study of patients with stomach cancer, beet juice was found to be a potent inhibitor of the formation of nitrosamines (cancer-causing compounds derived primarily from the ingestion of nitrates from smoked or cured meats) as well as the cell mutations caused by these compounds.

I prefer beets in juice form mixed with other veggies. Here is a simple recipe for juicing:

Raw Carrots (alpha carotene, beta carotene, Vitamin E, etc.),
Raw Broccoli (sulforaphanes/isothiocyanates),
Raw cabbage (isothiocyanates),
Green Asparagus (saponins),
Beetroot/red beets (proanthocyanidins (PAC's or OPC's)), and
Turmeric (a spice) (curcurmin).