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Beets: The Nutritionally Dense Vegetable You Should Try

on July 26, 2012

Sure, we have all seen beets as they are recognizable by their distinct color, but did you know that they are packed it essential nutrients that promote good health?

Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.  Beets contain high percentages of magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorus.  They are also considered a high-fiber food due to the large amount of dietary fiber they contain and contain vitamins A and C as well as niacin. Beets 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 are available all year round, so they are not difficult to find in any produce section if you want them fresh.  End of July/beginning of August is their peak season.  Beets can be eaten raw or you can boil, steam roast or sautee them.

Select beets that are firm with smooth, blemish-free dark red or golden yellow skins. If you want to cook any attached leaves, make sure they are bright green.  Before refrigerating, separate the beets from the leaves. To keep the beets dry, store them and the leaves, unwashed, in separate plastic bags in the vegetable drawer.  The leaves will last for only two to three days, but the beets can stay fresh for two to three weeks.

Sources:

http://www.organicfacts.net

http://www.realsimple.com

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