If you're a fan of healthy eating, chances are you've heard of beets. Whether in a salad, as a roasted side dish, or blended up in a smoothie, this root vegetable has long been a staple of healthy eating. But what exactly are beets? In this post, we'll explore what beets are, the nutrition facts behind this humble vegetable, and some delicious recipes you can make with beets.
What Are Beets?
Put simply, beets (or beetroots as they are sometimes called) are root vegetables that belong to the Chenopodiaceae family. This group of plants includes a wide range of colorful vegetables, from Swiss chard and spinach to more exotic varieties like quinoa and amaranth.
Beets are believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region, and have been used for centuries as a health food. Throughout history, beets have been touted for their many medicinal properties. In fact, ancient Greeks and Romans recommended the consumption of beets for everything from cleansing the blood to promoting a healthy digestive system.
Nutrition Facts Behind Beets
Beets are an excellent source of several essential nutrients. A one-cup serving of beets contains:
• 154 calories
• 1.3 grams of protein
• 5.8 grams of fiber
• 15.7 grams of carbohydrate
• 14 grams of sugar
• 2.1 grams of fat
Beets are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. They are low in calories and high in antioxidants and dietary fiber, making them an excellent addition to any healthy diet.
Benefits of Beets
Beets are known for their many health benefits, which range from improved digestion to better cardiovascular health. Here are a few:
• May lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that consuming beets may reduce hypertension and improve overall heart health.
• May help protect against cancer. Beets contain a compound called betalain, which is linked to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
• May boost stamina. Beets are a rich source of nitrates, which are believed to increase blood flow to the muscles and improve exercise performance.
• May improve digestive health. Beets are high in dietary fiber, which is essential for a healthy, balanced diet.
• May help detoxify the body. Beets are believed to stimulate the liver and kidneys, aiding in the body’s natural detoxification process.
Delicious Recipes Featuring Beets
Now that you know a bit about beets, let's move on to how you can incorporate them into your diet. Here are two delicious recipes featuring beets:
• Roasted Beet Salad. This simple and flavorful dish is the perfect addition to your next dinner party. For this roasted beet salad, just combine diced red beets, honey, olive oil, shallots, and walnuts and bake in the oven until fork-tender. Top with feta cheese and enjoy!
• Beet Soup. This thick, creamy soup is a great way to warm up on a chilly day. For this recipe, simmer peeled and chopped beets with vegetable stock, garlic and thyme in a pot until tender. Puree the mixture until it's smooth, then serve with a dollop of yogurt and chives.
Beets are an incredibly versatile veggie that can be used in a variety of recipes. Whether you're looking to add some color and flavor to a salad, whip up a soup for a chilly night in, or blend a smoothie for breakfast, beets can do the trick!
By understanding what beets are, learning about their nutrition facts, discovering the advantages of adding beets to your diet, and trying out some delicious recipes featuring the veggie, you can reap the benefits of this colorful root vegetable. So what are you waiting for? Give beets a try today!