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Beet greens: a super health-promoting food
Beet greens are as nutritious as spinach
In the days of the earlier Roman Empire the Romans only used the beet greens for foods while keeping the roots for healing, or medicinal purposes.
The beet roots can be pickled or eaten in other ways. The green are usually sautéed or used in salads. I like to use beet green in my stir-fried dishes as well.
I have Doctor friends who enjoy juicing their beet greens and the roots.
Beet greens are especially rich in vitamins A and K. Cells and tissues of the whole body, most significantly, the brain, the blood and the eyes benefit from beet greens.
There are many interesting facts about beets (the botanical name: Beta vulgaris).
People living in Mediterranean areas long ago, even back to 2,000 B.C.E. grew beets. Later growing beets spread to Babylon (by the eighth century) and then on to China (850 C.E. or so).
Beet greens and their roots (a Goosefoot family plant known as Chenopodiaceae). Spinach, Swiss chard, quinoa, lamb's quarter, and a number of other wild plants are used the same way that beet greens are used, for the most part. Notice that these plants have dark green leaves.
I find that, beets do very well in cool weather, and can survive in very cool weather. However, if you put beet green into your refrigerator, use them within 2 or 3 days for best taste. You can eat the beet greens in a salad or with other greens. You can saute them in olive oil or balsamic vinegar and salt, to taste.
You may find yourself with too many beet greens. If so, you can freeze them for later use in soup stocks.
Just to review the benefits to your health, a bit, beets contain in their substance, protein, phosphorus, zinc and fiber. Most importantly, the antioxidants that we need in good supply, are contained in the beet greens. Substances such as vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. It is good to know that beet greens are low in fat and cholesterol. Your standard daily diet of beet greens will contain 220% of vitamin A, 60% of vitamin C, 16% of calcium and 15% of iron (a basic 2,000 diet).
Just to a bit more information, vitamin K that is contained in the beet greens contains blood clotting properties. Beet greens helps to slow down osteoporosis and contains some calcium to help increase bone strength. Some doctors believe that beet greens can slow down the process of impending Alzheimer's disease. The iron content of beet greens is greater than that of spinach. The greens contain a greater nutritional content than the beef root its self.
Our immune systems (I do active research in immune system related issues) need the extra vitamin in our meals that stimulates the production of antibodies and white blood cells. Vitamin A contains the beta-carotene that has antioxidant properties that help to fight off the effects of free radicals in the body, helping to prevent cancer and heart disease. Night blindness is a concern in some patients causing doctors to recommend vitamin A. Be sure to let your doctor know what you are doing with vitamins however. Fat-soluble vitamins can be dangerous when used in "mega-dosages" by none medical professionals. Your doctor needs to know what you are doing.
In closing, allow me to leave you with a couple of recipes:
(1)Roasted beets and (2) Sauteed Beet Greens
-One bunch beets with greens
-1/4 cup of olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
--2 Tbsp. chopped onions
-1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
-Sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Wash beets thoroughly, leaving skins on.
(It's easier to peel the beets once they've been roasted.) Remove the greens and rinse, removing any large stems and set aside.
3. Place beets in a small baking dish and roasting pan, toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cover and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Serve with red wine vinegar or butter and salt and pepper.
4. For the greens: heat remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for one minute. Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces, and add to skillet, stirring until wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Okay. There you have it. My prayers are with you for a healthy, long life. Bless you.