The health stats are in. 64.7% of Harford County residents — that’s 2 out of 3 adults — are either overweight or obese. When it comes to the health of our community, there’s certainly room for improvement, and diet plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. What’s the recommendation? Beets! This low-calorie root vegetable is available at Maryland farmers markets year round — and packs a powerful nutritional punch. Beets support weight loss, protect against degenerative disease, and even lower cholesterol levels.
Beet your way to good health
Beets are a great choice for anyone looking to start an exercise programme and improve their fitness. They strengthen the flexibility of the blood vessels, which makes it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body. Beets support heart health and can therefore be beneficial for people with weaker hearts.
Beets can also help ward of illness with impressive levels of vitamin A, which boosts the immune system, white blood cell count, and antibodies. Studies have shown beets can even fight cancer, a potential risk factor of obesity. Betacyanin — the pigment that gives beets their deep pink hue — has been proven to purge the toxins in chemotherapy drugs from the body and potentially stop tumor growth.
Eat your (beet) greens
Even the beet greens are an excellent source of nutrition, more so than the beetroot itself — so don’t throw them away! The greens have more iron than spinach, can help you lose weight, and are loaded with other nutrients: phosphorus, zinc, manganese, folate, potassium, copper, and B6. They also contain ample vitamin K, which has proven blood clotting abilities, as well as strengthens bone and prevents osteoporosis (a condition also linked to obesity).
Low-calorie ways to eat beets
Roast beets in the oven with olive oil and balsamic vinegar — they turn out soft, sweet, and caramelized. You can also eat beets raw: thinly slice them in a salad. You can even use beet puree as a healthy fat replacement in brownies and muffins. As for the beet greens, eat them raw in your salad, saute them in some coconut oil, or add them to your daily juice.
Eat your way to better health with beets! Weight loss, heart health, and protection against cancer are just some of its benefits. Pick up a bunch of beets and discover their wholesome wonders for yourself.