To the “Beet” of My Heart

By CHN Nutritionist: Karin Arias RDN, CDN

Often known as the month of love-related matters, February is also American Heart Month. There are many things we can do to help with heart health. One superstar veggie that can help with that is the beet.

 

Why Beets are Good for You:

  • Beets are a great source of potassium, a mineral that helps your muscles work. A potassium-rich diet can help lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Potassium also helps flush out sodium (salt) from our body. Salt attracts water in the body. When there is too much salt, our bodies tend to hold onto more water. This can cause our blood pressure to go up. Getting rid of that extra salt helps our blood pressure go back to healthy ranges.
  • Beets are also high in natural nitrates. Natural nitrates help widen our blood vessels. It increases blood flow, lowers our blood pressure, and gives more oxygen to our bloodstream.

 

How to Enjoy Beets:

Beet greens:

Both the beet root and the beet leaves can be eaten. This means less waste and more food to enjoy. The leaves are similar to spinach. They are also full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Beet greens can be eaten raw, in a salad, added to a smoothie, or sautéed with some garlic.

Beet root:

  • Raw: Beets can be grated and then added to a salad. They can also be spiralized and used in place of noodles.
  • Roasted: Once scrubbed and chopped, toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast in 425 degree oven for 10-20 minutes or until tender. Roasted beets can be eaten as a side or added as a topping to a salad.
  • Pureed: Cook the beet until soft. Add beet to hummus. Blend until smooth.

 

Beet & Berry Smoothie:

(Makes 2 servings)                                              

You’ll need:

½ cup Raw or Roasted Beets, diced
1 cup   Berries, frozen
2 tablespoons Oatmeal
½ cup Orange Juice
¼ cup Coconut Milk
1 tsp  Honey

 

 

 

To make:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend for 1 minute.
  2. Pour into a glass & add ice if desired.