With Valentines Day just around the corner, I couldn’t help but think about heart-healthy foods that help support the cardiovascular system. One of the top heart-healthy choices that I always seem to effortlessly incorporate into my diet is beets, as they are a great addition to any meal and are loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals.
If you want to take a break from the usual beet/goat cheese combination, check out my refreshing Beet Gazpacho recipe below! This recipe contains the classic gazpacho ingredients with a twist of added beetroot. Enjoy!
(Scroll below for Beet Gazpacho Recipe)
Maintain a Healthy Heart Beet
Did you know that strokes are the second leading cause of death in the entire world? Avoid being a victim by incorporating an adequate amount of B-Vitamins into your diet, as recommended by the American Heart Association.
Beets are rich in Folate (Vitamin B9), the natural version of “Folic Acid” which has been shown to prevent the rise of homocysteine (commonly associated with heart disease and stroke).
So, whether you suffer from elevated levels or not, it surely doesn’t hurt to incorporate B-Vitamin rich foods like beets into your diet, for constant heart support.
It turns out, there may be more to beets than their “bloody” kitchen reputation.
Beets are actually rich in blood-healthy compounds like nitrates, which act as anti-inflammatory agents. Studies have even shown that nitrates have the ability to inhibit the production of inflammatory enzymes.
Because of this, blood vessels can then relax and expand allowing for increased oxygen flow to the heart and other organs in the body. This fluidity is crucial in maintaining healthy arteries, as the presence of nitrates has even been shown to lower blood pressure.
Beets are also great for detoxifying the blood as they contain fiber and a rich amount of antioxidants like betalaine which help bind and flush toxins right out of the body, efficiently.
Serve up this naturally detoxifying, heart-healthy refreshing soup for your loved one this Valentine’s Day!
Beet Gazpacho Recipe
1 lb Beets, Peeled & Trimmed
1 lb Tomatoes, Cored & Diced
1 Small Cucumber, Diced
1 Small Green Bell Pepper, Cored, Seeded & Diced
1 Small Garlic Clove
1/4 Cup Spanish Sherry Vinegar
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Himalayan Sea Salt
2 Oranges, Supremed
Fresh Mint & Pomegranate Seeds
Boil Beets in a large pot for approximately 45 mins to 1 hour until soft, then drain and place into a bowl of cold water for one minute. After this, the skin should come right off.
Combine beets, tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, garlic, vinegar, oil, and salt into a food processor and puree until smooth.
Refrigerate for at least an hour prior to serving.
Serve chilled with garnishes of choice & Enjoy!
For more information regarding the topics discussed in this article, feel free to visit the following resources:
Toxicologic studies with lambs fed sugar beets grown on municipal sludge-amended soil: lowered relative hemoglobin in red blood cells and mutagens in blood and excreta.
Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) and naturally fermented beetroot juices from organic and conventional production: metabolomics, antioxidant levels and anticancer activity.
The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease.
Betanin, a beetroot component, induces nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2-mediated expression of detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes in human liver cell lines.
Blood pressure-lowering effects of beetroot juice and novel beetroot-enriched bread products in normotensive male subjects.
Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.