Friday, 5 November 2010


Beetroot/Rødbeder/甜菜根[tián cài gēn]

For babies from 8 months.

1. Wash and peel skin.

2. Steam for 15 minutes (Beets are cooked when you can easily insert a fork or the tip or knife into the beet).

3. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and puree with blender for younger babies or simply cut into cubes and give to older babies as finger food.

1. Cool down, pour into ice cube tray and freeze.

2. Once frozen, knock the cubes out and store them in freezer bags (makes 1 ice cube tray, can store up to 8 weeks)


1. Juice it raw in a jucier, see the earlier post.

Nutritional Value:
The blue pigment that tints beets (and other blue/purple fruits and vegetables) are also known as anthocyanin, is an anti-oxidant with cancer-fighting properties. It is also anti-inflammatory, and may help to prevent diabetes.

Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. The detox support provided by betalains includes support of some especially important Phase 2 detox steps involving glutathione. Although you can see these betalain pigments in other foods (like the stems of chard or rhubarb), the concentration of betalains in the peel and flesh of beets gives you an unexpectedly great opportunity for these health benefits.

Beets are also an excellent source of folate and a very good source of the antioxidant manganese and heart-healthy potassium. Beets are a good source of digestive-supportive dietary fiber, free radical scavenging vitamin C and copper, bone-healthy magnesium, and energy-producing iron and phosphorus.

In a recent study from Italy, beets were shown to be an especially important contributor of two carotenoids in the overall diet: lutein and zeaxanthin. Although much of the recent carotenoid research has focused on beta-carotene, both lutein and zeaxanthin are unique as health support molecules, particularly with respect to eye health and common age-related eye problems involving the macula and the retina. For eye health, beets may eventually turn out to require a category all their own.

Unlike some other food pigments, betalains undergo very steady loss from food as the length of cooking time is increased. For example, one recent study has shown the red betalain pigments in beets to be far less heat stable than red anthocyanin pigments in red cabbage. The difference between 15 minutes of steaming versus 25 minutes of steaming, or 60 minutes of roasting versus 90 minutes of roasting can be significant in terms of betalain damage. For these reasons, we recommend that you keep beet steaming times to 15 minutes or less, and roasting times under an hour.

An estimated 10-15% of all U.S. adults experience beeturia (a reddening of the urine) after consumption of beets in everyday amounts. While this phenomenon is not considered harmful in and of itself, it may be a possible indicator of the need for healthcare guidance in one particular set of circumstances involving problems with iron metabolism. Individuals with iron deficiency, iron excess, or specific problems with iron metabolism are much more likely to experience beeturia than individuals with healthy iron metabolism. For this reason, if you experience beeturia and have any reason to suspect iron-related problems, we recommend a healthcare consult to follow up on possible issues related to iron status.

In recent lab studies on human tumor cells, betanin pigments from beets have been shown to lessen tumor cell growth through a number of mechanisms, including inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes (specifically, cyclooxygenase enzymes). The tumor cell types tested in these studies include tumor cells from colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular tissue. While lab studies by themselves are not proof of beets' anti-cancer benefits, the results of these studies are encouraging researchers to look more closely than ever at the value of betanins and other betalains in beets for both prevention and treatment of certain cancer types.


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