To live vigorously and luxuriantly, to flourish
Raw beets are nutritional powerhouses, containing high levels of fiber, the right kinds of natural sugars and an impressive amount of carotenoids and antioxidants which help protect against heart disease and colon cancer. Beets are one of the richest sources of natural plant iron making them a powerful blood builder. They also contain niacin, copper, potassium, folate, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins C and K. Betacyanin is the substance which gives beets their rich red color. This pigment helps to substantially increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood.
Beets are potent liver cleansers and aid in thinning the bile, which allows it to flow more freely through the liver and into the small intestine, which is where fat breakdown and peristalsis occur. When the bile is able to flow better, it reduces the chances of forming gallstones as well. Beets also contain the mineral boron, known to balance sex hormones as well as detoxify heavy metals from the liver.
Beets contain soluble fiber known as pectin which also aids in the removal of toxins, heavy metals and excess hormones preventing them from being reabsorbed by the body. French researchers have reported that betaine and the red pigment betanin promote the regeneration of liver cells and the conversion of triglycerides into transport fats. Beets are especially helpful for fatty degeneration of the liver. The beet is also a well-researched therapeutic cleanser for the kidneys.
Beets are high in betaine; an amino acid naturally present in fresh vegetables. Betaine stimulates the production of SAM-e, or S-adenoslmethionine. SAM e is formed from the essential amino acid methionine and adenosine triphosphate. SAM e is found in every living cell, where it is essential to 100 different cellular reactions. It also serves as a precursor to the synthesis of glutathionine, a potent liver protector. Neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline, adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, and histamine are also dependent on SAM e reactions.
Betaine plays a role in the breakdown of homocysteine, a byproduct of protein metabolism which can be harmful if allowed to build up to high levels. Raised levels of homocysteine are now the number one indicator of heart disease and are known to cause thickening and loss of elasticity of the arterial walls (arteriosclerosis), compromised fertility, osteoporosis, hormonal imbalances, mood disorders, pain and inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease, type II diabetes and more.
Raised homocysteine is also an indication that a process called ‘methylation’, which keeps all the natural chemicals in our body in balance, is not working well. Betaine and other nutrients – especially B vitamins – are needed for healthy methylation and to keep homocysteine levels in control.
Excess homocysteine generates free radicals that oxidized LDL cholesterol. Low Density Lipoproteins in and of themselves are not “bad cholesterol”. LDL is essential to hormone production, cell integrity and bile production. It is OXIDIZED LDL that is now recognized as a major factor in heart disease.
The nutrients in raw beets provide the perfect constituents to benefit health challenges such as:
Congestive heart failure
Gall stones and kidney stones
I have never been fond of beets especially since my only exposure was pickled beets. However during my nutritional journeys I’ve learned the great benefits of adding raw beets to a weekly food plan. I started by adding beets to a RASPBERRY BEET SORBET. This is still one of my favorite desserts!