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Have you noticed a number of new beet products on store shelves lately?
From beet hummus to beet-infused sports drinks, beets are now in the spotlight, and for good reason. A 2015 review in the journal Nutrients found that beets and their concentrate hold promise in treating oxidative stress and inflammation.
But the health benefits associated with beets don’t stop there. They've also been shown to lower blood pressure, slow the progression of dementia, enhance exercise performance, lower blood glucose, and increase insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. This chenopod packs fiber, essential minerals, vitamin C, and more.
Here are three easy ways to integrate beets in your diet:
Beet Salad: Albeit a more traditional avenue, nothing beats (unable to resist the pun) a fresh salad with citrus, goat cheese, walnuts and herbs for flavor. Note that golden, or yellow, beets have a mild flavor compared to their red counterparts, so consider incorporating some to broaden the flavor profile of a salad.
Sauce: Beets are versatile, and can be part of a simple beet and horseradish sauce--like that served as part of a Seder—or replace some of the tomato in a non-traditional beet “marinara.” Embrace a root-to-frond mindset and use the beet greens to create a pesto sauce, or simply sauté them with garlic.
Chocolate beet cake: While beets don’t always replace a single ingredient in cooking, their water content can help add moisture to baked goods. Try adding some to your next chocolate cake!
Kayleen St. John is the resident nutritionist at NYC’s Natural Gourmet Institute. Kayleen has a Master’s degree in clinical nutrition from NYU and is a registered dietitian. Her research examines the relationship between diet and inflammatory conditions. Kayleen is an avid runner and believes smart nutrition contributes to optimal athletic performance. Our new course, Foundations of Plant Based Nutrition, led by Kayleen, covers essential plant-centric professional cooking techniques, health-focused topics including allergens and inflammation, and how to separate nutrition fact and fiction in a vegan and veg diet.