Beet – The Neglected Nutrition Bomb

The misunderstood beet or beetroot finds itself being cut asunder for either the root for some or the tops for the more adventurous others. The actual root, like most under-the-ground vegetables, is high in sugar, and off limits for those eating low carb but with a little fermenting with carrot and ginger, the roots can make an excellent, earthy sauerkraut variation as the sugars are mostly consumed by the beneficial bacteria many of us have recently learned to love. But beets don’t stop there, they also come with tasty and extremely nutritious tops which in most cases are removed before the plant even makes it to the store. These tops are full of amazing benefits such as glycine betaine (Trimethylglycine). Betaine has the property of lowering homocysteine, a promoter of platelet clots as well as atherosclerotic plaque.

Beet Tops also called Beet Greens hold more minerals, vitamins, and fibre than the root (except for folate) and are a great source of ß-carotene (the precursor to vitamin A), lutein, and zeaxanthin, flavonoids with strong antioxidant and anti-cancer activities. They are very high in Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium (which is useful for those avoiding potatoes and bananas).

I have only looked at the benefits of beets here but there are some side effects that should be discussed with a doctor. Like other greens and Brassica family vegetables, beet greens contain high levels of oxalic acid (but far less than spinach) which can cause kidney stones when eaten in large quantities and for those taking anti-coagulants such as Warfarin, the high vitamin-K content in beet greens, and other greens, increases the dose of the medicine and should apparently be avoided.

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