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.
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.
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.
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Beets are high in blood building iron.
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
All fermented foods are considered tamastic in Ayurveda.
- uiukin, Eisja, 11-27-12
a traditional home remedy for
This information has not been validated by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.