by Life Enthusiast Staff
Beets are a source of magnesium, iron and potassium, they are also a source of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This anti-inflammatory activity may influence the development of asthma symptoms. They also contain insoluble fibers associated in the prevention of heart disease.
Beets contain an excellent source of folate, a Vitamin B complex that can reduce a woman's risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect (such as spina bifida) if consumed before conceiving and during early pregnancy. Folate may also reduce the risk of cervical and colon cancer. It may also contribute to a healthy heart.
Beets are an excellent source of fiber and phosphorus, calcium, fiber and riboflavin.
Whole beets can be made into Borscht, an Eastern European soup. In Australia, sliced beets are a popular topping on hamburgers.
One serving (100 g) of cooked beets contains only 44 calories and provides 36 per cent of the Daily Recommended Intake for folate.
A 72 gram serving of beet greens contains 20 calories and is an excellent source of beta carotene and high in potassium and Vitamin C.
The History of Beets
The cultivation of beets dates back to prehistoric times. Ancient civilizations grew them on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea for the medicinal quality of their leaves. Initially, the leaves were the only part of the plant used for food. Someone discovered that the sea beet had plump, fleshy roots and began cultivating them. Beet roots were not commonly used as a vegetable until hundreds of years later.
At the time of Charlemagne, the beet was becoming quite popular in France. Your garden was not considered "respectable" unless you had rows upon rows of this hearty vegetable. The beet traveled from France to Germany during the 16th Century, and eventually crossed the English Channel, to be enjoyed by the inhabitants of many other countries.
Legendary tonic food/health food in Germany, Switzerland, Italy & France. Uniquely rich in chromium for fat reduction, muscle strengthening, blood sugar moderation, even temperament, youthfulness & longevity. General tonic for energy, regularity and immune support.
Beets provide phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and potassium, as well as fiber, vitamins A and C, niacin, folic acid, and biotin. Nutrients derived from natural sources in organic form are much easier to assimilate than synthetic nutrients. The iron in beet juice, in particular, is noted for being much more easily assimilated than man-made forms of iron.
According to John Heinerman Ph.D., in the Encyclopedia of Healing Juices, beets (and beet juices) are a blood-building herb that detoxifies blood and renews it with minerals and natural sugars. The encyclopedia goes on to note that there may be substances in beets that aid circulation.
Other sources also speak highly of beets and beet juices. Dr. H.C.A. Vogel, in The Nature Doctor, states that beet juice contains betaine, which stimulates the function of liver cells and protects the liver and bile ducts. Norman Walker, D.Sc., in Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices, claims that beets build red corpuscles and add tone to blood.
Of course, many of these claims are not substantiated in a "traditional" sense, and one might wonder if there is any "scientific" evidence of the health benefits of beets. There is.
An article in the February 27, 1996, issue of Cancer Letters reports on an animal study that shows that beetroot has a significant tumor-inhibiting effect. The abstract for the study says, "The combined findings suggest that beetroot ingestion can be one of the useful means to prevent cancer."
More intriguing information centers around betaine, a substance found in a number of plants in the chenopodiaceae family. Sugar beets, broccoli, and spinach are particularly high in this substance. It is most often derived from sugar beets. Recent studies point to this substance as a contributor to the prevention of coronary and cerebral artery disease. This is because betaine is proving to be a methyl donor.
A methyl donor ensures that homocysteine, a breakdown product of the amino acid methionine, is converted back to methionine. Mildly elevated levels of homocysteine have been found in patients with coronary artery and cerebrovascular disease. This condition is known as mild hyperhomocysteinemia, and is recognized as a risk factor for premature arteriosclerotic disease (Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis. Vol. 14(3) March 1994).
Beet Root (Beta Vulgaris) has blood fat inhibiting and liver cell regeneration properties. Beets have high iron, potassium and magnesium content, soluble and insoluble fiber, sugar stabilizing effects, and essential for liver function and regeneration. We use red beet juice crystals, a naturally sweet tasting, instantly soluble product, a concentrate that is obtained from the juice of freshly harvested beet tubers. Quality and potency are fully maintained.
Beet Therapy for Cancer
One of the most remarkable and tremendously successful programs for treating many different kinds of cancer tumors was commenced in the late 1950's by Alexander Ferenczi, MD., at the Department for Internal Diseases at the district hospital at Csoma, Hungary, using nothing but raw, red beets.
Dr. Ferenczi's clinical report included methods of administering the beets and several very important case studies;
In D. S., a man of 50 years of age, a lung tumor was diagnosed by me and subsequently confirmed in a Budapest hospital, which corresponded clinically to lung cancer... I started the treatment with beetroot in the described manner. After 6 weeks of treatment the tumor had disappeared... After 4 months of treatment he gained 10kg. (22lbs.) in weight, the erythrocyte (mature red blood cell) sediment rate (e.s.r.) was reduced from 87 millimeters/h to 77mm/h. Thus, he represented the symptoms of a clinical recovery.
A side-by-side comparison of two cancer patients, one on beet therapy and the other not, further demonstrates the efficacy of this marvelous treatment. We received simultaneously two patients for treatment. One suffered from cancer of the prostate and the other from cancer of the uterus. The body weight of both was the same. The patient with cancer of the prostate was treated with beetroot. The patient with cancer of the uterus could not take it, but remained in our ward. The condition of the man started to improve. When admitted, he was bedridden with a permanent catheter. After one month, the catheter was removed. The patient walked around and put on weight, whereas the female patient lost weight. After 3 months, there was a difference in weight of 10.5kg (23.15lbs.) between the two.
Experience gained up to now points to the fact the beetroot contains a tumor inhibiting (anti-cancerous) active ingredient. However, for the present no clue has been found as to the nature of this active substance. One thing is certain, that it is not very unstable because it also acts when taken orally; therefore digestion does not harm it.
The very apparent red color may suggest that the active substance is the coloring matter. Treatment with beetroot presents several advantages over cancer. Firstly, because it is non-toxic and one can administer red beetroot in unlimited quantities. Also there are unlimited supplies of beetroot at our disposal. We have therefore endeavored to administer to the patient this active substance in the most concentrated form and in the largest quantities possible, because the beetroot or rather the JUICE could not be given in large quantities.
One has to be careful with the amount of beets consumed at any one time. Certainly not because they're harmful, but rather due to their incredibly strong ability to quickly break up cancer in the body. A woman in her thirties who was treated with beetroot for breast cancer, contracted a fever of 104 degrees F., due to the rapid breakdown of the wastes dumped into it at any one time. Consequently, the internal administration of beetroot needs to be staggered out somewhat, and closer attention given to DETOXIFYING the liver and colon at the same time the beetroot therapy is commenced.
Dr. Ferenczi concludes his medical report with this undeniable fact: "The results achieved with beetroot are no worse than those with well-known chemical preparations, such as those with Tetramin (an experimental anti-neoplastic)." He attributes the anti-cancer strength in beets to their natural red coloring agent, BETAINE.
Since ancient times beet juice has been associated with human blood due to its dark crimson pigment, potent enough to color a liter of water with just a few drops. Medieval herbalists wrote about the beneficial properties of beet juice. Modern research has since explored much of this ancient science and folk medicine through chemistry and nutritional analysis. Beets contain an abundance of Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Sulfur, Iodine, Iron and Copper, as well as traces of the rare metals Rubidium and Caesium. Along with Carbohydrates, some Protein and Fat, one finds Vitamins B1, B2, niacin, B6, B12, and C in beets.
Beet juice supports blood function and, as a result, helps support the immune system. Juice from healthy, organically grown beets, can help obtain the full benefits of beets:
- Contains easily-assimilated iron
- Assists in maintaining cellular health
- Helps maintain whole body health
- Helps provide an easy assimilation of a wide spectrum of nutrients
- Supports the blood with beneficial minerals and natural sugars
- Contains Betaine, which helps maintain liver function
- Supports cell respiration in the body
- Supports cardiovascular health
Beet root juice contains important trace elements, minerals and natural vitamins, as well as the natural red coloring Anthocyanin and the yellow coloring Erythrine, which help support the immune system year-round.
Beets are of great therapeutic value. They have properties to clean the kidneys and gall bladder. Being rich in alkaline elements, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron, they are useful in combating acidosis. Red beet juice is associated with human blood and blood forming qualities. Due to its higher content of iron, it regenerates and reactivates the red blood cells, supplies fresh oxygen to the body and helps the normal function of vesicular breathing i.e. normal breath sound. It is thus extremely useful in the treatment of anemia. The juice of the red beet strengthens the body's powers of resistance and has proved to be an excellent remedy for anaemia.
Beet juice is beneficial in the treatment of jaundice, hepatitis, nausea and vomiting due to biliousness, diarrhea and dysentery. Adding a teaspoonful of lime juice to this juice increases its medicinal value and can be given as a liquid food in these conditions. Fresh beet juice mixed with a tablespoonful of honey taken every morning before breakfast helps the healing of gastric ulcer.
The beet juice is an excellent solvent for inorganic calcium deposits. It is, therefore, valuable in the treatment of hypertension, arteriosclerosis, heart trouble and varicose veins.
According to John Heinerman, in the Encyclopedia of Healing Juices, beets (and beet juices) are a blood-building herb that detoxifies blood and renews it with minerals and natural sugars.
Dr. H.C.A. Vogel, in The Nature Doctor, states that beet juice contains betaine, which stimulates the function of liver cells and protects the liver and bile ducts. Recent studies point to betaine as contributing to the prevention of coronary and cerebral artery diseases. This is because betaine is proving to be a methyl donor.
A methyl doner ensures that homocysteine, a breakdown product of the amino acid methionine, is converted back to methionine. Mildly elevated levels of homocysteine have been found in patients with coronary artery and cerebrovascular diseases. This condition is known as mild hyperhomocysteinemia, and is recognized as a risk factor for premature arteriosclerotic disease (Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis. Vol. 14(3) March 1994). Folic acid, which beets contain, also helps combat homocysteine.
Early research in Hungary indicated that beet juice and its powdered form slowed the development of tumors. Heinerman reports that Alexander Ferenczi, M.D., observed beets aiding cancer patients and performed studies that indicated that beets may help animals fight cancer.
More recent research supports this. An article in the February 25, 1996, issue of Cancer Letters reports on an animal study that shows that beetroot has a significant tumor-inhibiting effect. The abstract for the study says, "The combined findings suggest that beetroot ingestion can be one of the useful means to prevent cancer."
The beet juice, in combination with the juice of carrot and cucumber, is one of the finest cleansing material for kidneys and gall bladder. It is highly beneficial in all disorders relating to these two organs.
Beet juice is very concentrated. Do not drink it alone. Dilute with a milder juice such as carrot or apple. Beet juice has been proven therapeutic in the treatment of leukaemia and cancer. In a clinical trial, twenty-two patients with advanced inoperable cancers were given 10 oz. of beet juice daily for 3 to 4 months. Twenty-one of these patients showed marked improvement in health.
Beets cause the stool to turn red and may give the urine a reddish tinge. When juicing beets, alternate between pieces of beets and pieces of carrots otherwise the beet pulp tends to build up on the side of the spinning extraction basket and causes the juicer to vibrate.