Ayurvedic Diet

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About the Author: John Immel, Asheville, NC

Beets

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

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, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

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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Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

What is Ayurveda?

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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