Health benefits of Beet Greens

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Beet Greens Quick Facts
Name: Beet Greens
Taste Distinct and delicious, bitter
Calories 8 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Choline (0.04%)
Total Fat (0.14%)
Selenium (0.55%)
Lysine (0.72%)
Vitamin B3 (0.95%)
Health benefits Reverse aging, Supports digestive health, Lower calories and fat content, Blood clot, Stronger bones
Botanically, beet belongs to the family Amaranthaceae and subfamily Betoideae. It has scientific name Beta vulgaris. This plant is a cool season crop which grows best under loamy, organic-rich and well-drained soil. Beet root is an underground fleshy taproot from which leaves appears directly from its crown with stem like petioles. Beet greens are leafy young tops of beetroot plant. It is loaded with more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

The plant measures 1 to 2 feet in height. The long petioled leaves feature light green, pink, crimson red veins and broad or deep green succulent leaves. The top greens are most sought after while tender, young and crispy. It is grown in Mediterranean region far back 2000 B.C. The cultivation spread in the eighth century to Babylonia then around 850 A.D. Beet greens are nutritious with very subtle taste. Usually they are harvested during cool spring time of year. Beet greens were consumed as delicacy during pre-historic times in Northern Romans during olden days used for consumption only.

History

Since prehistoric times, beet greens are used in cuisines especially in Asia, Northern Africa and parts of Europe. They are also consumed worldwide today. Beets fall into 3 basic categories from commercial production standpoint: table beets, sugar beets and fodder beets. Table beets are cultivated for consumption as fresh vegetables. Sugar beets are cultivated for beet sugar extraction. Primarily, fodder beets are cultivated to use in animal feed. The key differences between table beets and sugar beets include the role of genetic engineering. Major sugar beets cultivated worldwide includes genetically modified versions of plants. About 30 million tons of sugar beets are cultivated and harvested each year in U.S. with North Dakota, Minnesota and Idaho which produces the highest volume. The average production of sugar beet worldwide is close to 300 million tons with Russian Federation, United States, France and Germany on the leading producers of sugar beet. Globally, over 12,500,000 acres of sugar beets are planted each year. By comparison, about 700 acres are planted in production of U.S. table beets.

Health Benefits of Beet Greens

Besides great amounts of protein, zinc, phosphorus, they are loaded with fiber. Moreover, they have rich amounts of magnesium, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese with low content of cholesterol and fat. On the basis of 2000 calorie diet, the daily value of beet green possesses 60% Vitamin C, 220% of Vitamin A, 15% iron and 16% calcium. Studies shows that Vitamin K found in Beet greens possess blood clotting properties, prevent osteoporosis, counteract Alzheimer’s disease and works with calcium for strengthening bones. Beet greens have high content of iron and high nutritional value. 

  1. Reverse aging

Beets help to detoxify the body. It is loaded with adequate amounts of iron, fiber, Vitamin C, antioxidants, carotenoids and potassium. It helps the one to feel and look younger. Beets have excessive amounts of folates as well and anti-inflammatory properties which help to lower the appearance of wrinkles. Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties makes the skin look younger and fuller.

  1. Supports digestive health

Nutritional fiber is required to maintain digestive health. Roughage is not digested like rest of the food. Food passes through the body at the same time as passing on nutrients. Fiber is the vital source to keep the bowel movements regular and to cure or avoid constipation. Additionally, fiber reduces the cholesterol, manages blood sugar and helps to have healthy weight.

  1. Lower calories and fat content

Beets have low content of calories and fat. A serving size of 100 grams offers insignificant 0.2 grams of fat and also 40.3 calories. Moreover, beets contain dietary fiber and whole carbs that assist the one to maintain higher energy levels all the day.

  1. Blood clot

Beet greens are loaded with Vitamin K which is an essential vitamin for maintaining proper blood flow and health of the blood throughout the body. So the beet greens are regarded as a great source to prevent blood clotting in the body.

  1. Stronger bones

Beets contain manganese, vitamin C, folate, copper and magnesium which are minerals and vitamins which contributes healthy bones and overall body. Besides this, it contains silica which is a mineral which permits body for absorbing and using calcium. Beet ingestion helps to promote energy of muscular or skeletal system. It lowers the chances of osteoporosis.

  1. Alzheimer’s prevention

Beets are considered as brain food and its consumption slows down the effects of dementia leading from nerve harm or loss of nerve cells in the brain. Alzheimer’s and dementia may be the result of brain tumor, stroke and other head accidents. It contains high nitrates content which transfers the oxygen and blood to attain in all parts of the body. Basically, the flow of blood goes to mind and frontal lobes which is a prominent area which degenerates as dementia sets in.

  1. Prevent the chances of anemia

Iron is required for muscles health and to carry oxygen throughout entire body. Oxygen is required for brain and muscle functions and it assist the hemoglobin formation. Iron helps to strengthen blood by preventing the chances of developing anemia and it contains more iron content in comparison to spinach.

  1. Strengthen immunity

Beet greens helps to boost entire immune system due to the nutrients loaded in it. It is a great option to add to the diet which aids entire body.

  1. Vision health

Beets possess Vitamin A known as beta carotene which assists to prevent cataracts or blindness associated with aging. Additionally beets include zeaxanthin and lutein which are required for retina. Beets act as an antioxidant which helps to lower muscular degeneration.

  1. Manage blood pressure

These present days, most of the people have stressful lifestyle that affects blood pressure. High blood pressure results to various health problems such as memory loss, stroke, artery disease, angina, loss of cognitive actions, kidney damage, coronary heart ailments and coronary heart attack. Though Excessive blood strain does not provide any symptoms, it is essential to maintain eye on blood pressure levels. Beets have adequate nitrate which turns to nitric oxide when digested inside the body. It provides anti platelet properties which prevents clotting and thickening of blood. One should incorporate beets to the diet to achieve positive effect on blood pressure.

Precautions                                                                                                 

  • Beet greens contain oxalic acid which could cause kidney stones when consumed in large quantities for prolonged time period. So avoid by the people having kidney stones.
  • Avoid the greens by the patients taking anti-coagulants such as warfarin due to the high content of Vitamin K found in Beet greens.
  • Though it does not have any side effects, its consumption in high amounts causes diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.

How to Eat         

  • Add beet greens to lasagna recipe.
  • Add pine nuts to cooked beet greens.
  • It is used in the preparation of ravioli, soups, sandwiches, pasta, omelet, pizza, quiche and stuffed bread.
  • The young greens are juiced into healthy drink.
  • Subdue the beet greens with cucumber, oranges or lime.
  • Crispy beet greens are added raw in salads.
  • Typically, mature leaves & stalks are sautéed or cooked.
  • Use it in pasta, stir-fries and casseroles.
  • Beet greens are added to soups and stews.
  • Leafy tops are used for making Korean side dish called Kimchi.
  • Roasted or sautéed greens could be combined with spinach, beet and collard.
  • It pairs well with feta cheese, nuts, hazelnuts or walnuts.

How to store

  • In a Ziploc bag, put the greens and store it in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for about four days.
  • Wrap dried (washed) greens in a paper towel. Store it in a plastic bag in a vegetable section of refrigerator for keeping them upto two weeks.

Other Facts

  • Beet leaves were consumed whereas the root was discarded in ancient times.
  • Romans discovered the edible uses of roots and leafy beet tops are preserved for medicinal purposes.

References:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=151

https://foodfacts.mercola.com/beet-greens.html

https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/beet-greens.html

https://www.freshorganicvegetables.com/products/greens2

https://www.onlyfoods.net/beet-greens.html

https://cals.arizona.edu/fps/sites/cals.arizona.edu.fps/files/cotw/Beet_Greens.pdf

https://veggiesinfo.com/beet-greens/

http://www.cutnclean.com/products/beet_greens

http://oneminutejuice.com/health-benefits-of-beet-greens/

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