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Beet, Beets, Beetroot
Beet is another high-antoxidant vegetable, with an ORAC score of 1840, and a total antioxidant concentration of 1.98. They contain many healthful substances: betaine (aka: trimethylglycine, TMG), betalains, betacyanin, betanin, folate, iron, and fiber. Betaine helps convert homocysteine into methionine, preventing heart disease.
Beet fiber seems to be particularly health-promoting. Pectin, a soluble fiber in beets, binds toxins, heavy metals, and excess hormones that have been dumped into the gut from the liver. The toxins are passed out instead of being reabsorbed.
Beets for Health: Traditional Use & Modern Research
- Beets have long been used by herbalists and traditional healers.
- Alexander Ferenczi, MD of Csoma, Hungary fed cancer patients raw beets and beet juice, in the 1950's. Most of the people recovered from their cancers. His claims for the beet were not taken seriously at the time. He was onto something; research shows the beet to be strongly cancer-preventive.
Beetroot Therapy: Dr. A. Fenenci, MD
- Beets contain multiple health-promoting substances.
- Betaine heals the liver, lowers homocysteine, and improves production of stomach acid.
- Betalains prevent free-radical formation in LDL.
- Beet root extract prevents lung cancer and skin cancer.
- Betanin prevents chemical-induced liver, skin and spleen cancer, even at a very low dose.
- Beet fiber reduced the number of animals with colon cancer by 30% (the poor animals had been dosed with a carcinogen). Beet fiber reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increased HDL (they had been fed a high-cholesterol diet). Beet fiber increased production of SOD, catalase, glutathione (both peroxidase and transferase). These are detoxifying enzymes made in the liver.
- Only red beets boost the cancer-fighting, detoxifying phase II enzymes.
Beet pigments may help prevent cancer
- Phase II Enzyme-Inducing and Antioxidant Activities of Beetroot
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
How to Use Beets
Red beets are the ones to get, not the white, yellow, or striped ones. The red pigments are the beneficial substances mentioned above with names that sound like beet: betacyanin, betaine, betalains, betanin.
Eat the whole beet, don't juice it. As some of the studies listed above show, the beet fiber is extremely helpful. The more research that gets done on whole foods, the more phytochemicals get discovered. Don't throw any of them away. Eat the whole foods.
Beets are hard and fibrous. Grate them, slice them thinly, blend them, put them through a food processor, or Pound them in a mortar and pestle.
Beet recipes are on the Salads and Soups pages.
Beet Art, Beet Culture