Healthy Blood, Strong Liver. The Nourishing Power Of Beets.

Red beet root remedies

I know it’s not everyone’s “go to” as a food on the dinner plate. You don’t have to limit your consumption of beets to just the vegetable. We routinely juice the roots and make half gallon batches at a time. From there we casually drink the juice with meals which I always recommend.

Deep red or yellow/golden beets are what you will typically find in the grocery store. You may rarely see anyone standing in the produce section looking at beets. I’m that guy clearing out the supply with a large reusable bag. Let’s take a deeper look into the coloring pigments for a moment and see what these colors are actually doing.

Nutritious Food Therapy

Sliced beet roots

Red and purple pigments in beets are indications that there are significant amounts of polyphenols. A polyphenol is an organic compound that contain things like flavonoids, the antioxidants that are going to be abundant in blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and others. Red beets owe their pigmentation to the natural compound betalain1.

Beets are a nutrient rich food plucked straight out of the Earth and all parts are edible. The greens themselves are an excellent source of folic acid which is anti-inflammatory and found in other dark leafy green vegetables.

Nutrient content

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Niacin
  • Copper
  • Vitamin C

All these nutrients make it an excellent food source. Very healing to the cardiovascular system and liver. Let’s shift the focus and see how we can use beets as a nutritional medicine.

Beets as medicine…

  • Varicose Veins
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hypertension
  • Constipation

Beet juice helps support healthy blood circulation, a healthy heart, liver, and the large intestine. Beet juice is actually a great way to get a lot of the good nutrients out of the plant and as a food therapy. Juice is a concentration of all these things except for fiber and allows us to more easily consume our medicine.

By increasing circulation and supporting a healthy liver, beet juice helps treat varicose veins and hemorrhoids. This can be contributed to the conversion of nitrates to nitrites and to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide levels are found in the blood and are believed to be responsible for blood vessel dilation and flow(2).

Increasing blood flow and dilation can have beneficial impacts on blood pressure helping to reduce hypertension. This can have positive benefits in other areas related to the cadiovascular system including reducing heart disease risk and stroke.

Transitioning to the elimination system we take a look at liver function. Constipation inhibits elimination function in many people making it difficult to eliminate food waste from the body after digestion. To increase elimination through the bowels, beet root juice feeds the liver and encourages bile production. Bile is used in the gut to break down fats in the gut to be utilized by the body.

Bile lubricates the colon, giving it that slippery action which helps to aid in bowel elimination. It benefits us all to have well functioning bowel habits. Beet roots may be just the right natural remedy for some people to aid healthy bowel habits.

All this information is great on paper. More importantly is how can we use these vibrant hunks of root practically in our diets?

How to use beets

Beet juice natural remedy
Red beet juice in a glass on a wooden table with fresh beets and lemons in the background

Cooking with beets really is not all that difficult. Getting into the habit of using them is the hard part. The more you cook with them the more you will find it easier to use. You may even find some creative ways of incorporating them in meals. Start small.

Beets are easily roasted with other dense vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and radish. In salads they can be finely grated and tossed with kale and mixed with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. The recipe at the end is a simple example of adding the dark greens into to a chana masala.

Cooking is one option or you can juice the roots. Beet root juice combines well with carrot and radish juice which greatly benefits the liver. The juice is sweet enough in my opinion. You may consider combining beet juice with fresh apple juice to sweeten it up to make it more palatable.

How to buy beets

  • Firm roots
  • Full, leafy greens
  • Rich, vibrant color

It may be obvious. To pick out good quality produce you should rely on your senses. Touch and squeeze the beet roots and make sure they are firm, not wrinkly, soft, or limp. Same goes for the beet greens. You wouldn’t eat a frail and brown leaf of lettuce. Your eyes are useful, be sure to use them. Colors should be intense and deep. You’re bound to see colors that look slightly pale, definitely avoid these.

You’ve assessed the color, texture, and vitality of your food. The next step is to figure out how you’re going to eat it. Cooking isn’t everyone’s strong suit. I found a recipe for a nice warming chana masala and made a modification or two for a simple way to use the greens in your meals.

Warming Chana Masala recipe with beet greens

Natural beet remedy meal
Chana Masala with a touch of beet greens

* Recipe modified from Maneet Chauhan

  • 3 Tbsp ghee, or butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 twelve ounce can of tomato puree
  • 1 Tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 Tsp garam masala
  • 1 c garbanzo beans
  • 1 c finely chopped beet greens
  • Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat the ghee in a large sauce pot. Add cumin seeds; when they sputter, add chopped onions and caramelize.
  2. When onions are caramelize,  add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté until the raw flavor disappears.
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder and garam masala, and sauté for a few minutes.
  4. Add the garbanzo beans and sauté and coat with the onion-tomato mix.
    • Here I added the chopped beet greens so not to overcook them to hold more of the nutritious value.
  5. Pour enough water to cover the garbanzos and cook until it has a stew-like consistency.
  6. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro and a wedge of lime on the side.


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