Beets Bring Nutrition and Color to the Vegetarian Diet

9 March, 2010 (09:53)


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RECIPES: Apricot Spice Beets, Mom’s Pickled Beets, Sweet and Sour Beets

By Rae Udy

Beets are thought to have originated in prehistoric times in North Africa. In Asia and Europe, the beet greens were eaten but not the roots. The value of beets increased in the 19th century when they were used as a concentrated source of sugar.
Beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables but they are also very low in calories, about 75 in one cup.
This colorful root vegetable contains powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.
In stomach cancer patients, when scientists compared the effects of fruit and vegetable juices on the formation of nitrosamines, cancer-causing compounds produced in the stomach from chemicals called nitrates, beet juice was found to be a potent inhibitor of the cell mutations caused by these compounds. Nitrates are commonly used as a chemical preservative in processed meats.
Beets are particularly rich in the B vitamin folate, which is essential for normal tissue growth. The daily requirement for folate is 400 micrograms. One cup of boiled, sliced beets contains 136 micrograms of folate.
Fresh or canned beets are a very good source of manganese, with 28 percent of needed daily value and potassium with 15 percent. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.
Don’t peel fresh beets until after cooking. To minimize a loss of color or bleeding, wash beets gently under cool running water, taking care not to tear the skin since this tough outer layer helps keep the color pigments inside. To prevent bleeding when boiling beets, leave them whole with their root ends and one inch of stem attached.
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49
http://womenshealth.gov/faq/folic-acid.cfm?debugMode=false
http://www.acc.org/media/patient/heart/family.htm?debugMode=false

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Posted in Canning for the Vegetarian, Salad and Salad Dressings, Vegan and Vegetarian Side Dishes, Vegetarian Appetizers

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