(NaturalNews) When most people think about beets, they likely turn up their noses and think "yuck!" However, health-conscious people would be wise to expand their palette and discover ways to utilize and enjoy beets on a regular basis because the oft-maligned beet is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
Beets are rich in betaine, which stimulates liver cell function and helps keep the bile ducts healthy and flowing; this enables the body to eliminate toxins properly. Beets also protect against heart disease because another benefit of betaine is its ability to reduce homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is the toxic amino acid that increases risk of cardiovascular disease.
Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine (TMG), is a minor "mood enhancer". Through a series of events, it increases serotonin levels and can be used to help relieve many cases of depression.
Drinking just over two cups of beetroot juice daily may help keep your blood pressure in check, according to a 2008 study. Within three hours of drinking 500 milliliters (about 17 ounces) of beetroot juice, volunteers showed a significant decrease in blood pressure. What's more, that drop in blood pressure was sustained for up to 24 hours after the juice was consumed.
Beets also help protect against cancer, particularly colon cancer, and there is something called "Beet Therapy" which doctors have used to get rid of tumors and to help with blood diseases and leukemia. Even the leaves of raw beets have been eaten and useful and beneficial to one's health. The leaves have been known to counter "garlic" breath and in Roman times Hippocrates advocated the use of beet leaves as binding for healing wounds.
*Helping cleanse the colon *Strengthening the gall bladder *Increasing stamina *Treating and curing boils, abscesses and even acne.
Beets, which are low calorie and have no saturated fat, contain folic acid which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is especially important for pregnant woman or anyone undergoing physical healing. Beets also contain sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorous.
Beets are usually bright red (and sometimes white or yellow) and make a colorful and healthy garnish. They also can be made into a number of cold salads. Betacyanin is the pigment that gives red beets their color and is believed to be responsible for helping fight cancer.
Borscht is a vegetable soup made of beets and is a very popular and traditionally loved dish in Poland, Russia, Germany and other Eastern European countries. There are cold and hot Borscht soups and each country varies the ingredients somewhat, but beets are the one main and common ingredient of this revered hearty soup.
Juiced beets are usually called either "beetroot juice" or "beet juice". Beetroot juice has a strong flavor; thus, it is best blended with other juices (such as carrot, apple, and lemon) for better taste. Since juiced beets can be combined with other healthy ingredients for both taste and health benefits, many people prefer to consume beets in juiced form.
Here is a healthy and simple juiced beets recipe:
Beet Juice with Carrots and Celery
*1 small organic beetroot (the small ones are sweeter!) *2 large organic carrots *1 stalk of organic celery
1. Wash the vegetables using water and a vegetable brush. 2. Remove the carrot and beetroot tops. Peel the beetroot if the skin is tough. Otherwise, just cut off the top. 3. Slice up the vegetables to fit your juicer. 4. Juice and serve.
For a sweeter drink, add an apple, or use 2 apples instead of the carrots.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".