Beetroot (Betaine, OPCs)

Beetroot (Betaine, OPCs)

"The Hungarian Professor Bakay of the University of Budapest carried out experiments in 1939 (long before Dr Ferencz) on 72 patients suffering from cancer or leukemia in his clinic in the Hungarian capital. He observed regression of the tumors, increases in weight and improvement in the general condition of his patients." "Dr. Ferenczi's clinical report included methods of administering the beets and several very important case studies: 'I diagnosed a man of 50 years of age, with a lung tumour. And subsequently confirmed in a Budapest hospital and also in a country hospital, which corresponded clinically to lung cancer. I started treatment with beetroot in the described manner. After 6 weeks of treatment the tumor had disappeared ... after 4 months of treatment he gained 10 kg. In weight, the erythrocyte [mature red blood cell] sediment rate [e.s.r] was reduced drastically. Thus he represented the symptoms of a clinical recovery'". See also: Raw Foods

can't beet it!


The Romans were among the first to cultivate and recognize the nutritional superpowers of the beetroot. In addition to its place on gourmet menus in ancient Rome, the beet (Beta vulgaris) was used to treat fevers and constipation, and beet juice was considered a delightful and potent aphrodisiac. In the Middle Ages, beets were in every physician's bag of tricks for illnesses relating to digestion and the blood.

The Beet of Life The betacyanin pigments that give beets their regal colors provide antiaging and cancer-preventing benefits — especially against colon cancer. Potassium and vitamin C abound. Beets also contain a high level of folate, a B vitamin that contributes to healthy fetal development in pregnant women and promotes a vigorous cardiovascular system. The beet's reputation as an aphrodisiac stems from the presence of boron, which plays an important role in the production of human sex hormones.

Select beets that are firm, with fresh crisp tops, and no larger than 2½ inches in diameter (bigger than that and they get woody in the center). Avoid soft, bruised or shriveled beets. Store in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week.
Cooking and Enjoying the Tasty Tuber Beets can be baked, boiled or steamed. Baking is the preferred method, as it retains the most nutrition, white roasting seems to enhance the sweet flavor. To roast, cut off tops and a small bit from stem end. Rinse well, pat dry, toss with olive oil and place on foil-covered baking sheet. Cover loosely with another piece of foil, and bake 45 to 60 minutes at 375F, or until small knife slides easily into center of largest beet. Cool and refrigerate. Peel before using.

You can enjoy cooked beets in a variety of ways. Diced, warmed and drizzled with a little olive oil, they make a superb side dish for grilled chicken or fish; shredded into broth with a handful of fresh herbs, they fill out a quick and satisfying soup; or with some nourishing greens, they can star in a salad.

Beet & Arugula Salad Serves 4

This beet salad is delightful as an elegant first course or as a perfect fall luncheon.
3 medium to large beets, cooked and peeled, preferably
3 different varieties
4 oz. arugula (or 1 prepackaged bag)
4 oz. mixed dark baby greens (or 1 prepackaged bag)
2 oz. crumbled or cubed feta cheese
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
Cut each beet into four slices.
Toss together arugula and greens, and divide among 4 plates.
Arrange 3 beet slices on each plate.

Sprinkle feta and pine nuts over salads, and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

season's harvest: Beets
Why Are They So Nutritious?

Beets are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folate and beta-carotene, plus fiber. A serving of boiled beets (½ cup) has only 37 calories, 8.5g carbohydrate and 0.2g fat.
When Are They Best?
While beets are available year-round, their peak season is June-October.

What's the Best Way to Store Beets?

Refrigerate, trimmed and unwashed, for up to 4 weeks.
By Neil Zevnik
Photography by Tim Hawley, Jupiter Images

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