Health Benefits of Beets
You may have noticed that in the last few weeks I published two recipes with beetroot being the main hero. And I have even more of them on my blog. So, yes, I can say I am a bit of a beet fan, and I like its earthy but sweet taste. I should mention here though that this earthy flavour caused by geosmin (an organic compound found in beets) for some people is just unbearable. For example, both Michelle and Barack Obama confessed they disliked this vegetable so much they even didn’t want any of them in the White House’s vegetable garden!
But unless you really can’t take its taste, you should (just like all of us) eat more beetroot because it is extremely good for us. Health benefits of beets were already acknowledged in Middle Ages for treating problems with blood and digestion. However, by now, scientists have found even more benefits of consuming beetroot:
Strengthening Cardiovascular System
Beets are a terrific hematopoietic agent that prevents anaemia. Besides, they contain a high amount of folic acid that determines the proper development of a fetus. Furthermore, folic acid also helps to remove homocysteine from the bloodstream, which may help in preventing heart problems.
Beetroots additionally include betalains – phytonutrients that not only give them their beautiful colour but are also strong anti-oxidants. Betalains increase the absorption of oxygen through the cells, which helps the bloodstream.
Another vital function of betalains is destroying free radicals. Free radicals damage DNA which might result in the formation of tumors. The high content of betalains in beetroots makes them a fantastic weapon in preventing or even possibly fighting many types of cancer (the latter is still under research).
Furthermore, as mentioned above, beets assist in treating anaemia. This implies they are also excellent for cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy and therefore have weakened bodies.
Betalains play another critical function in human body. They assist in the detoxification process that removes toxic substances by making them sufficiently water-soluble to be excreted from the body in urine.
Thanks to its alkaline properties, beets restore balance in the stomach after acidifying meat and sugary foods. That is why it is such a smart idea to have a beetroot dish along with the heavy meat.
Relieving Menopause Symptoms
Beets work exceptionally well for ladies during menopause. The veggie decreases the risk of osteoporosis, lowers high blood pressure and amounts of recurring migraines as well as eliminates hot flashes.
Assisting with Fighting Viruses
Consuming beetroot and drinking beet juice strengthens the body's resistance to illness, especially to viral infections. It is also useful in case of coughing as beets have an expectorant effect.
Helping to Detect Potential Problems
Roughly 10-15% of adult population experience beeturia – passing pink or red urine after eating beetroot. This condition by itself is nothing to worry about. However, it may indicate issues with iron deficiency, its excess or metabolism and therefore must be checked with a physician.
Beetroot Soup Borscht – My Recipe for an Extremely Healthy Dish
So, the health benefits of beets are another reason why I prepare even more dishes with them. One of them is Beetroot Soup Borscht. It is so popular in the part of the world I come from that probably each family (if not each cook!) has their own borscht recipe. And no wonder because you can easily adjust borscht ingredients to what you have in your kitchen. You can cook it with meat to make it more substantial, almost like one pot. Or you can make it vegetarian or even vegan.
Since a few weeks ago I prepared Fermented Beet Kvass, I wanted to use ingredients from that recipe to cook my Beetroot Soup. It was a smart idea because the kvass was already so full of flavour that I didn’t have to add any stock. I didn’t cook the fermented beetroot as long as I did the other vegetables, so they stayed crunchy and gave a nice texture to the dish. But if you prefer your veggies softer, you can add all of them at the same time.
For me, Borscht is a soup of a perfect balance between acidity and sweetness. Previously, when I cooked my Beetroot Soup, I used lemon juice for the sharpness. But if you add the kvass, you don’t have to do it. And to balance it out you can add cream or – if you prefer a lighter version – just milk. Both will work very well with this delicious and healthy Beetroot Soup Borscht.