Beets are a major source of betalains, shown to provide anti- inflammatory, detoxification and antioxidant support.
Betalain pigments in beets are found to be less heat stable than some other food pigments such as the red pigment in red cabbage. That is why beet steaming time is recommended to be 15 minutes or less and the roasting time better does not exceed an hour.
Some adults would experience a reddening of urine after consumption of beets, and this is not considered harmful, but it can be an indicator of a problem with iron metabolism because individuals with iron excess or iron deficiency are more likely to experience that than other individuals with normal iron metabolism.
In recent study on human tumor cells, it is found that betanin pigments in beets can lessen tumor cell growth through the inhibition of pro- inflammatory enzymes, and these results encourage researchers to search more closely at the value of beets for prevention and treatment of specific cancer types.
Foods of the chenopod family- including chard, spinach and beets- show increasing health benefits not available in other food families. The yellow and red betalain pigments in this food family have a special connection with our nervous system health- including our nervous system organs like the eye- as they prove their unique health value. Based on this data, WHFoods recommend that your diet should contain foods from chenopod family 1- 2 times/ week.
The healthiest and easiest way to cook beets is to cut them into quarters without removing the skin and to steam for not more than 15 minutes then serve as a great addition to your salad or as a wonderful vegetable side dish. You will find it difficult to believe how crunchy and hardy raw beets can become soft and buttery once cooked.