Ayurvedic Diet

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Beets

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Beets Ayurveda Medicinal Properties
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravatingDigestive Effects Help
Hot
SweetBitter
Type: Roots
Recommended for: Spring, Autumn-Winter
Color: Red
Nourishes: Red-Blood
Effect: Ojas, Rajasic, Sattvic, Alkalizing
Nutrient: Folate, Potassium, Soluble-fiber, Carbohydrate

Serving Size: 1/2 c
Species: Beta vulgaris
Family: Amaranthaceae
Pharmacological Effects
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
AlterativeBlood-TonicCholagogue
DetoxicantGeneral-LaxativeLivotonic
NutritiveOpthalmicSkin-Tonic
Stimulant-LaxativeStool-Softener
Is Beets Good for Me?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether Beets is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.

ayurvedic perspective

Beets are naturally sweet and Kapha provoking. Sugar beets, a cultivated variety of the beet we normally find in our grocery store, accounts for half of the world's refined sugar production.

Raw beets provoke Pitta but cooked beets are Pitta pacifying. Cooked beets transform the starches into sweeter sugars that are cooling. Beets cleanse and cool the blood, nourish the liver, and improve the eyesight. Beets are good for anemia. Beet juice increases stamina and was used as an aphrodisiac in Roman times.

Beets are high in flavonoids, known as 'nature's biological response modifiers'. Generally, bioflavonoids show anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-cancer activity. The body tries to get rid of bio-flavonoids soon after they are eaten. To eliminate them the body activates phase II enzymes that also help eliminate mutagens and carcinogens.
about
Beets come from the south of Europe. They are a member of the amaranth family. The beet has a long history of cultivation stretching back to the second millennium BC.
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buying & preparation
As beets age they become dehydrated and soft. I leave the skin on when I cook organic beets. Otherwise I peel with a potato peeler. Alternatively, after cooking the skins fall off easily by pulling on them without need of a knife or peeler. Beets take about 3 hours to cook properly.

Beet greens are Pitta provoking - if that's not a problem then I cook the greens in a separate pot.
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cooking
Beets are done once they are tender. Chopped beets can be difficult to digest for Vata. In that case, blend before cooking and add spices like cloves.

Beets can be juiced, pureed, boiled in soups, roasted, and pickled.

About the Author

John Immel is the founder of Joyful Belly, helping people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow through wisdom, personal growth and balance. John's approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, as if it were second nature. His articles, books, and Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week eCourse provides tools for gracefully healing your mind and body. John also directs Joyful Belly's Master of Ayurvedic Digestion & Nutrition 500 hour certification program, where practitioners learn advanced clinical skills for digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. He recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

Comments & Impressions of 'Beets'

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Beets are high in blood building iron.

- Ysha Oakes, Albuquerque, NM, 11-26-09 (Reply)
I have heard that the nutrients in beets are more bioavailable when fermented, so I often cut them up and use a lactobacillus brine. Does Ayurveda use pickled vegetables?
- Karen Vaughan, Brooklyn, NY, 01-20-10 (Reply)
All fermented foods are considered tamastic in Ayurveda.
- uiukin, Eisja, 11-27-12 (Reply)

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