Beeting the Winter Diet Blues
The lack of local fresh vegetables in the winter can wreak havoc on a healthy diet, but there are nutritious and tasty options. In temperate climates, beets are in season all through spring, in our northern areas they're easily stored and retain their flavor. They're not just a replacement for more desirable veggies, they're stars in their own right.
Long valued for their blood-building properties, beets also naturally detoxify the blood. Recent studies indicate that betaine, a by-product of beet sugars, contributes to the prevention of coronary and cerebral artery diseases. Beets are high in carbohydrates, low in fat and contain phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and potassium. They are also an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A and C, niacin, and biotin. Beets also contain folic acid, which is recommended for pregnant women because it may lower the risk of spina bifida in newborn infants. What does all this mean for you?
- High in nutrition and low in calories, beets are a great choice for dieters. And they're filling! Adding beets to your menu can help you lose weight while raising your energy levels.
- The significant amount of vitamin-C found in beets offers a natural antioxidant, ridding the body of deleterious free radicals and protecting against the development of cancer.
- Beets are high in carbohydrates making them a great source of energy.
- Studies have shown that beets guard against cancer, especially colon cancer.
- Considered one of the top 'detox superfoods,' beets contain mixture of natural phytochemicals and minerals that make them powerful infection fighters, blood purifiers, and liver cleansers. These phytochemicals also help boost cellular oxygen intake of oxygen, making beets excellent overall body cleansers.
And you can eat it all! Beet greens are an excellent source of carotenoids, flavonoid anti-oxidants, and vitamin A and actually contain several times more of these compounds than the roots. The vitamin A assists in maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision while the flavonoids help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Like most root vegetables, beets are delicious slow-roasted or raw in salads, and their deep-red color is a visually beautiful addition to any meal. Give them a try and beet those winter blues!
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