Beets are a super-healthy vegetable with a sweet taste and an amazing color. Despite this, beets don’t seem to be consumed as often as other vegetables. Perhaps it’s because most people feel that beets need to be cooked before they can be eaten, making them a little more labor intensive to prepare (you can eat beets raw, by the way, just like any other vegetable).
Whatever the reasons for beets being left off your weekly grocery list, this article is intended to get them back on the list and into your stomach as soon as possible. Why? First of all, beets are a great vegetable for detoxifying your liver. All of those chemicals that are hovering in our air and floating in our drinking water and lingering in our food inevitably end up in the liver.
It’s you liver’s job to filter all the blood that passes through your digestive tract. Once cleaned up, this blood is distributed throughout the rest of your body. Any chemicals that enter your body get neutralized and detoxified in your liver. Your liver also helps to metabolize any drugs you’re taking. One other important job your liver performs is to make proteins for your body to use for a variety of functions.
Your liver has a very important and vital role to play in your health. Eating beets can boost your liver function by helping to get toxins out of your body more quickly. Beets are thought to increase bile production. Bile is produced by the liver and is used to break down fats into fatty acids, along with the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Better bile production means a more efficient liver that can better secrete toxins out of the body.
What’s in beets that make them such a healthy choice for you? They contain some special phytonutrients called betalains. The two betalains found in beets are vulgaxanthin and betanin. These two substances possess a number of health-boosting properties, including being anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifying. To get the most from beet betalains, don’t cook your beets too long. These healthful substances are lost the longer you cook beets.
Beets are also low in calories, but high in carbohydrates and for that reason can be a good energy source. Beets contain folic acid which is a key vitamin when it comes to healing from injury or illness. The antioxidants in beets can play a role in cancer prevention. Most importantly, these antioxidants target cancer cells that try to take hold in the intestines.
There are a number of different ways you can incorporate more beets into your diet. You can drink beet juice (you won’t need a lot of beet juice as it is quite potent), steam beets, bake beets, try some borsht, or even steam beet leaves to eat (another part of the beet plant which is equally good for you).
Anyway, adding beets to your diet on a regular basis can help boost the health of your liver. Put them on the grocery list this week and enjoy!
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Jain, N.K., et al., “Protective role of Beta vulgaris L. leaves extract and fractions on ethanol-mediated hepatic toxicity,” Acta Pol Pharm. Sep-Oct 2012; 69(5): 945-50.
Szaefer, H., et al., “Beetroot juice protects against N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced liver injury in rats,” Food Chem Toxicol. June 2012; 50(6): 2027-33.