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 main substance that 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, allowing it to flow more freely from the liver to the gall bladder and into the small intestine. Quality bile prevents the formation of gallstones and is essential to optimal fat metabolism.
Beets also contain the mineral boron, known to balance sex hormones as well as detoxify heavy metals from the liver. They contain a 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. Beets are 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.
French researchers have reported that betaine and the red pigment betanin both found in beets, act on the methylation cycle of the liver cells, functioning as a methyl donor. This promotes the regeneration of liver cells and the conversion of triglycerides into transport fats. Beetroot has been specially indicated for fatty degeneration of the liver.
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
Gallstones and kidney stones
I have never been fond of beets especially since my only exposure was pickled beets. However, during my nutritional journey, I 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! I also drink beet juice 3-4 times a week and have added a small chunk to my smoothies.
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