Whether you prefer a summer salad of beets over a bed of greens — or wait for winter to whip up a warm bowl of borscht — new findings on the cardiovascular and anti-cancer health benefits of beets should inspire you to enjoy year-round.
Beets contain the antioxidant betanin, which can help keep LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol from clogging the insides of your arteries, according to a study published in theJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Moreover, this root vegetable is a good source of folic acid, which helps to break down homocysteine, high levels of which have been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Beet bonus: A serving of cooked beets packs potassium (to help regulate blood pressure) as well as beta-carotene (for better eyesight) — a great deal when you consider that half-cup will cost you just 37 calories. Steam beets in their jackets to help preserve nutrients (they should slip off easily once cooled), or see our Featured Recipe to try a delicious, unconventional Beet Dip that comes from our friends at Vegetarian Times.
Published August 23, 2004