He is one of Hollywood’s hottest stars, but did you know that Chris Pratt also loves his beets? Recently, the Hollywood star of the recent blockbuster hit Guardians of the Galaxy was quoted as saying, “I have some weird habits. For instance, I love beets. Show me a salad bar and I will clean them out of their beets.”
But, long before Chris was flying throughout the galaxy, people have been eating beets for centuries. It was first reported in 1542 when the root part of the beet was first cultivated for consumption. However, the earliest signs of their cultivation dates back at least 4,000 years within the Mediterranean region.
Initially, humans ate beet greens and not the roots, which are most common today.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Beets
Eating beets are extremely healthy. However, beets roots do have high levels of carbohydrates, so perhaps eating them only a few days a week would be advised. Although, eating the beet greens can be done in as much quantities as you would like.
Here Are 4 Health Benefits To Eating Beets:
- Fight Cancer – When you visualize a beet, no doubt you see that dark crimson color. This color is from the powerful phytonutrients found within the beets. Phytonutrients are also known as betalains. Studies have shown that betalains help protect the body from developing cancers such as lung, stomach, colon, and breast cancer.
- Build Stamina – You may have heard the commercials on the radio advertising beet juice. Turns out that beets, with its nitrates, helps get more oxygen to the muscles. In a recent study by Exeter with cyclists, they found that cyclists who drank half a liter of beet juice for six days were 11 seconds faster over a 2.5-mile course and 45 seconds faster over a 10-mile course than those who didn’t.
- Reduce Inflammation – Rich with anti-inflammatory compounds, beets are an excellent source for helping reduce levels of inflammation. Reducing inflammation can help fight off diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
- Lower Blood Pressure – The nitrates found within beets convert to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide then serves as sort of a relaxant by helping relax and dilate blood vessels. In doing this, it helps improve blood flow and can lower blood pressure.
For some, eating beets can conjure up those “remember when” memories of growing up eating beets served from the can. Much like Brussels sprouts, there is not often a lot of good childhood memories served up in conversation about how much one enjoyed eating their beets. But, with these significant health benefits becoming more well-known, many people are beginning to give beets a second look, or taste, that is.
What Are The Best Ways To Eat Beets?
- Raw – A nice grated raw beet salad with a touch of lime juice and olive oil can make for a perfect and healthy light lunch.
- In a salad – You’ve been to the all you can eat salad bars, but have you tossed some beets on that impressive vegetable mountain you were building? Next time, give it a shot. You might just be surprised at how beets can provide a tasty addition to your salad.
- Pickled – With a little bit of sweet and a little bit of sour, pickled beets are a timeless tradition for many families.
- Roasted – There’s something about roasting beets that takes them to a place of tender and silky sweetness. Pair the roasted beets with some Goat cheese and balsamic vinegar and you’ll have left those old memories of eating beets from the can, in the dust.
What Are Some Interesting Facts About Beets?
There’s nothing like dropping some knowledge on friends and family around the dinner table about something you’re all currently enjoying. That is, of course, if there’s not an empty can of beets anywhere in the vicinity.
Here are some interesting facts about beets that you may not have known:
- Can you believe that a Dutchman once grew the largest beet in the world? Well, maybe that’s not so hard to believe. But can you believe that beet weighed in at over 156 pounds?
- Did you know that beets are most commonly consumed as a root vegetable, leafy greens, sugar, or for animal feed?
- Before beet roots were used for cooking, did you know that they were used for medicinal purposes? That’s right. Beet roots were used for treating anything from headaches to toothaches.
How Would You Like Your Beets?
As we have seen, there are many health benefits to eating beets as well as different ways to enjoy eating your beets. But, is there anything better than farm fresh beets? Be like Chris Pratt and get to love your beets!
Did you know that Our Honor System Farm Stand is full of the freshest Certified Organic produce, raw cheese, eggs and much more right in Madras, Oregon? We invite you to come in and take a look. You’re welcome to shop at any time.