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BEETS!

Whether you are someone who already loves beets and consumes them regularly, or you’re new to beets and hesitant about beginning to cook with them more, there are plenty of great reasons that beets make my shopping list.

Napoleon set aside 70,000 acres to explore the beet root’s sugar-producing potential. In an era of sugar shortages due to wartime blockades, France was then able to produce its own sugar. Since then, beets of varying hues and varieties, including the sugar beet that is now a global sweetener source, are widely cultivated. Beets are commonly boiled, baked, and pickled. They also can be grated raw into salads to add color and a tasty crunch.

Whether you’re growing or buying beets, they’re usually best harvested between June and October – the Midwestern growing season. When purchasing, look for beets that are firm and not “rubbery” when squeezed firmly, with healthy, crisp greens. If you can’t prepare them immediately, store the beets and the greens in separate bags in your refrigerator’s crisper, and they should be good for two to three weeks. It’s best to store beets unwashed.

Health benefits of beets…

One last word about beets: they’re not only delicious, but also super beneficial nutritionally! Beets are low in calories and loaded with essential everyday nutrients. They also have amazing health-boosting qualities. Here’s the rundown:

Beets are high in B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium.

They’re also rich in nitrates which promote good circulation and can help lower blood pressure.

Beets are rich in manganese which has an important role in calcium absorption, carbohydrate and fat metabolism and blood sugar regulation. Eating manganese-rich foods such as beets ensures your brain and nerves function at optimal levels.

Studies have shown that beets can help ward off numerous chronic diseases because they are a good source of betaine. Betaine plays a vital role in cellular reproduction and liver function.

Studies have been done showing that eating beets may enhance athletic performance by improving oxygen use and time to exhaustion.

Beets are a good source of fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. Beet fiber also helps to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing the level of HDL (good) cholesterol.

Studies have revealed that beets can help prevent skin, lung, and colon cancer since they contain the pigment betacyanins, which counteracts cancerous cell growth.

Beets are a great source of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system and helps our bodies defend against viral and bacterial infections.

For a vitamin-packed lunch try this Gingery Beet Soup Fresh ginger is simmered with beets and potatoes in this nourishing soup, as well as combined with yogurt to finish the dish.

“This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey.”
~ Joel Salatin

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