Beets are one of my favorite foods and a key component of The Paleovedic Diet. Beets are loaded with multiple antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting nutrients that help your body detoxify and perform optimally.
Rare and Unique Nutrients
Beets have unique phytonutrients called betalains, compounds that are not found in any other food. Betalains have been shown to have strong cancer-fighting properties. Betalains also increase the activity of glutathione-S-transferase, a critical enzyme involved in liver detoxification – one of the main pathways that your body uses to get rid of toxins.
Anti-inflammatory activity has been demonstrated for 3 unique nutrients found in beets – betanin, isobetanin, and vulgaxanthin. One cup of beet greens may also contain over 275 micrograms of lutein, an antioxidant that is very important for health, especially eye health.
Supports Detoxification and Methylation
Beets are a rich source of trimethylglycine or TMG, which supports methylation, an important process that occurs in your body 1 billion times every second. Methylation is a vital metabolic process that helps control cellular energy production, neurotransmitter regulation, and detoxification. TMG also is being studied for its ability to quell chronic inflammation.
Beet greens have significantly more antioxidants than the root (here are some that I found at my local supermarket – make sure the leaves are not wilted). The roots are no slouch, however – they still contain 50 times more antioxidant activity than orange carrots!
Enhances Athletic Performance
Nitrates in beets enhance athletic performance and endurance. Studies show that people who consumed beet juice were able to run faster, walk further, and exercise harder. As a result, a number of Olympic athletes have taken to drinking beet juice!
How do you like your beets? Please share in the comments below.