Beetroot is one of those versatile ingredients that you can slice and drop in a classic soup, roast or bake with olive oil, or toss in the blender for a refreshing smoothie. This earthy vegetable has been known to have health benefits including lowering blood sugar – but did you know that it is also rich in antioxidants that promote liver health?
Beetroots are deep-purple taproots of the beet plant. Also called the table beet, red/golden beet, or borscht, beetroots are often found in Eastern European cuisine; and in fact, they are culturally significant to Eastern and Central European cuisine. As well, they’re specially prepared as a common side dish in Indian cuisine. While the taproot portion is known for its distinctive color and sweet flavor, the beet plant leaves, which are very similar to spinach and chard, are also used in cooking for its high nutritional value. In fact, since the Middle Ages, this taproot has long-held medicinal value.
In liver health, beetroots are among the most effective natural detoxifiers. They contain pectin, glutathione and betaine that support liver function, particularly eliminating toxins. The fiber pectin and betalain pigments in beets help the liver filter and flush out chemicals from the body. Beetroot is also high in glutamine, an important amino acid that regulates the acid-base ratio of the body, and removes toxic waste products. These antioxidant properties stimulate rejuvenation of the liver cells. Beetroot also offers anti-Inflammatory benefits. In addition, it is rich in nutrients such as iron, betacyanin and folate.
Today, beetroots are primarily produced in the USA, Poland, Germany and France. To select fresh and high quality beetroots, make sure that the taproot is smooth and firm, with a vibrant red or purple color. Avoid those that are wrinkled and dull. Also, while beets are available year round, the sweetest beetroots are produced in its peak season around June to October. Eating raw beetroots or drinking beet juice is believed to be the best way to get maximum health benefits.
With these multiple liver and general health benefits, make sure to include beetroots in your diet.
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