Beets are a nutritionally powerful vegetable and one of my absolute favorite ♥ I eat them whenever I can, especially in the spring and fall when my body is in need of detox.
I love beets cooked, steamed, juiced or simply julienned in a colorful salad with a few slices of fresh avocado and a pinch of sea salt. Amazing!
Even a small serving (1 cup a day) of raw or lightly cooked beets delivers a unique combination of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, which not only aid the body in detoxification, but also in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, inflammation, as well as certain types of cancer, especially cancer of the colon.
The phytonutrients present in beets are called betalains. They help cleanse the body of waste by stimulating the liver’s detoxification mechanisms and reduce oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Betalains are sensitive to heat however and undergo steady loss from food as the cooking time increases.
I mostly prefer to juice my beets or make a salad, but if you enjoy them roasted or steamed, just keep the cooking time to under an hour (30-45 minutes for roasting and 15-20 minutes for steaming) to preserve their nutrients.
Beets are a nutrition powerhouse indeed and not only the roots, but also their greens, which are often chopped off and discarded. Beet greens, like swiss chard and spinach, are a very rich source of beta-carotene and alkalizing minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. So make sure to add them to your plate, instead of throwing them out, be it in a salad, juice or as a lightly steamed garnish to your main dishes.
You can find beets at your local store year-round, but the best time to buy them is June through October. Look for local farmers that harvest and sell beets at a market near you from early summer to fall.
Here is one of my favorite best juice recipes, which I often include in my cleanses and as an everyday detox boost. This drink is nutrient-packed, delicious and very refreshing. If nothing else, it will add some much-needed flavor and color to your life this time of year.
- 1 medium size beet root (peeled)
- 2 medium size carrots
- 1" ginger root (optional)
- 3-4 stalk of celery
- a handful of parsley or cilantro (optional)
- Juice all ingredients
- Drink right away or store in an air-tight container in the fridge