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Did you know this about beetroots?

Beetroots varieties

Beetroots, also known as betabelves or blood turnips, are a root vegetable that has been enjoyed for centuries. They are a deep purple color and have a slightly sweet, earthy flavor. Beetroots are a nutritional powerhouse, and have recently been classified as a superfood.

Health Benefits

Beetroots are a good source of many vitamins and minerals, including folate, manganese, potassium, and fiber. Studies have shown that they can improve heart health, blood pressure, athletic performance, and cognitive function. They can also help regulate blood sugar and improve digestion.

Here are some of the specific health benefits:

  • Improved Heart Health: Beetroots contain nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps to relax and open blood vessels, which can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
  • Enhanced Athletic Performance: Beetroots can help to improve athletic performance by increasing oxygen delivery to the muscles.
  • Boosted Cognitive Function: Studies have shown that beetroots can improve cognitive function in older adults.
  • Regulated Blood Sugar: They can help to regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity.
  • Improved Digestion: They are a good source of fiber, which is essential for digestive health.
Beetroots

How to Use

Beetroots can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. They can be roasted, steamed, boiled, pickled, or eaten raw. Beetroots can be added to salads, soups, stews, and stir-fries. They can also be juiced or made into a powder.

Here are some tips for using this wonderful veggie:

  • When buying beetroots, look for firm beets with fresh, green tops.
  • Beets can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • To roast beets, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the beets and trim the tops. Place the beets on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender.
  • To steam beets, place them in a steamer basket and steam for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
  • To boil beets, place them in a pot of boiling water and cook for 30-45 minutes or until tender.

Beetroot Nutrients

They are a good source of many essential nutrients, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Manganese
  • Iron

In addition to the nutrients listed above, they also contain nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide has a number of health benefits, including improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure, and boosting cognitive function.

beetroots

Additional ways to incorporate more beets into your diet

  • Beets can be roasted, steamed, boiled, pickled, or eaten raw.
  • Add sliced pickled beets to your favorite salad and top with goat cheese.
  • Make your own beetroot juice by peeling beetroot and blending it with a combination of fresh orange, mint, and pineapple or apples, lemon, and ginger. Blend and strain.
  • Grate raw beets and add them to coleslaw or your favorite salad.
  • Top roasted beets with goat cheese for a perfect pairing.
  • Add sliced pickled beets to your favorite salad and top with goat cheese.
  • Slice raw beets and serve them with lemon juice and a sprinkle of chili powder. 3

Beyond the Basics: Additional Information about Beetroots

Beetroots offer more than just a vibrant color and earthy flavor. Here’s a deeper dive into these fascinating root vegetables:

Varieties: While the classic deep purple beetroot reigns supreme, there’s a surprising rainbow of options. You can find golden beets with a milder, sweeter flavor, candy cane beets with red and white stripes, and even chioggia beets with stunning concentric red and white circles.

History: Beetroots have a long and colorful history. Evidence suggests they were cultivated as far back as 4000 BC in the Mediterranean region. They were initially grown for their greens, with the roots becoming a popular food source later.

Leaves for Greens: Don’t discard those beet greens! They’re packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, and can be enjoyed sauteed, steamed, or added to salads for a peppery punch.

Benefits Beyond the Basics:

  • Antioxidant Powerhouse: Beetroots are rich in betalains, a unique type of antioxidant that may help protect against cell damage and chronic diseases.
  • Natural Food Dye: The vibrant pigments in beetroots make them a natural alternative to artificial food coloring. Try using beetroot juice to add a beautiful pink hue to frostings, smoothies, or savory dishes.
  • Detoxification Support: Beetroots may aid in detoxification by stimulating bile production and supporting liver function.

Selection and Storage: When choosing beetroots, look for firm, smooth roots with fresh, green tops. Avoid any with soft spots or wilted greens. Store unwashed beetroots in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Precautions: Beetroots are high in oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stones in susceptible individuals. If you have a history of kidney stones, consult with your doctor before consuming large amounts of beetroots.

Beetroots are a versatile and healthy addition to any diet. With a little exploration, you can discover the many ways to enjoy this unique and beneficial root vegetable.

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