How to Properly Eat Beets for Optimal Health Benefits
Beets are a delicious and nutritious vegetable that have been enjoyed for centuries. They are packed with essential nutrients and have been found to offer numerous health benefits. However, not everyone knows how to properly eat beets to get the most out of them. In this article, we will explore the best ways to eat beets to optimize their health benefits.
Understanding the Health Benefits of Beets
Before diving into the various ways to eat beets, it’s important to understand their health benefits. Beets are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, such as folate, potassium, and manganese. They also contain nitrates, which have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve exercise performance.
In addition, beets are rich in antioxidants, which help protect against chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and prevent chronic disease.
Roasting Beets for a Delicious Side Dish
Roasting beets is one of the most popular ways to enjoy this nutritious vegetable. To roast beets, start by preheating your oven to 400°F. Cut off the greens and root, then wash and dry the beets. Place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45-60 minutes or until tender.
Once the beets are roasted, you can enjoy them as a side dish or use them in a salad. Roasting beets brings out their natural sweetness, making them a delicious addition to any meal.
Eating Beets Raw for Maximum Nutrients
While roasting beets is a popular way to prepare them, eating beets raw can offer even more health benefits. Raw beets contain higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants than cooked beets. To eat beets raw, wash and peel them, then grate or thinly slice them.
Raw beets can be added to salads, smoothies, or enjoyed as a snack with hummus or other dips. Keep in mind that raw beets have a strong, earthy flavor, so you may want to start with small amounts and gradually increase your intake.
Pickling Beets for a Tangy Twist
Another way to enjoy beets is by pickling them. Pickled beets have a tangy, slightly sweet flavor that makes them a great addition to sandwiches, salads, or as a side dish. To pickle beets, start by washing and peeling them, then slice them thinly.
Next, prepare a pickling liquid by combining vinegar, water, sugar, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the sliced beets. Allow the beets to cool, then transfer them to a jar and refrigerate. Pickled beets can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Juicing Beets for a Nutrient-Packed Drink
Juicing beets is another popular way to consume this nutritious vegetable. Beet juice is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, making it a great way to boost your health. To make beet juice, wash and peel the beets, then chop them into small pieces.
Next, add the beets to a juicer and process until smooth. If the juice is too thick, you can add water or other fruits and vegetables to thin it out. Beet juice can be enjoyed on its own or combined with other fruits and vegetables for a delicious and nutritious drink.
Beets are a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed in many different ways.