Thursday, December 22, 2011

Benefits of Beets

Growing beetroot in the backyard garden is a must for people who take their health seriously.

It is a rich source of carbohydrates, has no fat, it is a great source of fibre and has built up a reputation throughout Europe that it has anti-carcinogenic properties in the red colouring matter.

It's not common knowledge that the leaves, which are also edible, are a great source of iron and foliate, along with beta-carotene. Studies are being undertaken to substantiate the claims that beetroot increases the uptake of oxygen by as much as 400 per cent. Beetroot is one of the many vegetables with a range of antioxidants which help to fight various diseases.

It can be eaten in a variety of ways either raw, steamed, boiled or baked.

The leaves when freshly picked should be crisp and fresh looking. They make a great addition to salads or you can cook mature leaves and use as one of the five recommended daily serve of fruit and vegetables. Try them in stir fry or cook in a small amount of water for a short time only.

If you are looking to add folic acid or fibre to your diet then this can be found in the roots of beetroot.

Beetroot can be preserved in a variety of ways for later use such as canned, pickled, frozen or stored in a cool dry environment. Alternatively you can keep them stored in a refrigerator for a couple of months by removing all but a couple of inches off the tops and placing them in an unsealed bag.

To preserve beetroot, gently wash off any soil, leaving the skin and roots in place till your ready to prepare for eating. If you intend cooking, leave the skin on along with some of the stalk to prevent the beetroot losing its colour and nutrients.

You can also juice the beetroot and drink it. Beetroot juice is harmless and at the same time, beneficial, because it is high in nitrate content. Use raw beetroot in a juicer; you'll find that the liquid is a stimulating drink and is also benefical to the digestive system.

A further benefit of drinking beetroot juice, according to research done in the UK at the William Harvey Research Institute at Barts and the London School of Medicine, is that drinking 500ml a day can possibly lower blood pressure. This might be a simple way to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, and might also be an additional approach that one could take in the modern day battle against rising blood pressure. It is important that you check with your doctor and take his advice. If you are already being treated for hypertension do not change the course of treatment without consultation with your physician.

Colin Price has been producing fruit, vegetables and flowers in his garden for several years. Find out how you too can be successful by using the information he shares on his website at =>

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