Beets Support Heart, Digestive Health

Patient Expert

My elderly father is really excited that our CSA share included beets last week. Dad made a special request for a Valentine's present last week, asking, "Would you please make me some pickled beets?"

It turns out that consuming beets may really be beneficial for Dad's high blood pressure. Research out of the United Kingdom found that daily consumption of beet juice over a four-week period significantly lowered blood pressure in the study's middle-age participants who had hypertension. The researchers also found that blood vessel function improved by approximately 20 percent among this group.

Here's some other interesting information about beets:

  • Beats get their color from betalins, many of which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The betalin pigments also support the body's detoxification process.
  • Beet fiber may provide special health benefits by protecting both the digestive tract and the cardiovascular system.
  • Beets are an excellent source of folate and a very good source of manganese, potassium and copper. This vegetable also is a good source of fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6.
  • Consuming beets can cause some people's urine and stool to be discolored. However, that shouldn't stop you from eating these veggies.
  • The beet's greens are edible, too Prepare them like spinach or Swiss chard.

Beets are easy to grow. Here are some tips from Burpee Gardens:

So how can you prepare beets? Here are some ideas from Eating Well:

And about that request for pickled beets? Well, here's the recipe I use, courtesy of Alton Brown. I hope you enjoy it as much as Dad does!

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Primary Resources for This Sharepost:

George Mateljan Foundation. (ND). Beets.

Lukits, A. (2015). A juice helps blood pressure. The Wall Street Journal.