Even as a young child, I loved beets. Call me crazy or weird but the texture and slight pickled flavor added to a salad was one of my very favorites! Now that I am an adult I always add beets at the salad bar, or choose an item off the menu containing beets at any restaurant. Not only do they taste good, they pack a ton of health benefits, too. See if you think these bonuses will help you make an effort to add more beets to your diet!
The health benefits of beets for people with diabetes
There are so many good reasons to make sure you are getting enough fiber in your diet. It helps keep you satisfied longer, removing the need for in-between-meal snacks. Fiber also helps keep your digestive tract healthy by moving things along and keeping things clean. Beets are loaded with fiber at almost four grams per one cup serving.
Antioxidants are an important part of our diet because they help to remove free radicals in our body, which have the potential to cause health issues such as cancer. Eating foods rich in antioxidants may also promote a healthy heart. Foods that are rich in antioxidants include blueberries, tomatoes, beets and many more. “(Beets) have more antioxidant properties than all other common vegetables in the grocery store except for artichokes, red cabbage, kale, and bell peppers.”1 They are a good source of vitamin C. “Plus they’re a great source of the antioxidant lipoic acid, which recent research as shown can be helpful in healing nerve damage in people with diabetes.”2
Beets get their red color from betalains, which have been shown to have great health benefits. “A dietary survey revealed that people who eat beets on a regular basis have a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and diseases of the digestive tract than people who don’t eat beets.” 1 Even drinking beet juice has been shown to be valuable. Studies have shown that athletes or even sedentary people who drank beet juice before exercise were able to do so for 12-15% longer than with a placebo juice.1
Tips for buying beets
When buying beets at the store, there are lots of great options that will give you awesome nutritional value. As opposed to some vegetables that lose their nutritional value during the canning process, beets actually have more antioxidant value. Buying them fresh is a great choice, too, as you can then also use their stalks as an addition to salad. These greens rank up with kale in the nutrition class.
Cooking beets for a diabetes-friendly diet
To cook them you can boil them in water until tender or even roast them, which increases their nutritional value. If you aren’t sure you like the flavor of beets, consider adding mustard or balsamic vinegar to give it a different taste.
Sometimes trying new or different foods can be hard. But when a food packs this many benefits it may be worth looking into a few different ways to incorporate it into your weekly meals!
Did you know that diabetes is a risk factor for developing chronic kidney disease?