Health Benefits of Beet Greens
What are the health benefits of beet greens? Everyone is familiar with the benefits of beetroot, which is a popular winter vegetable. However, very few have an idea that you can also eat its green part like beetroot tubes. Its green part is edible and comes with some of the most incredible health benefits. Therefore, don't throw away its green part. Beetroot is entirely edible from its leaf to root. Like its root, part beet greens are also rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. From the last few years, green vegetables like spinach, kale, and chard have gained popularity. However, beet greens still don't come under the limelight. Therefore, this article will focus on the health benefits of beet greens.
Almost everyone is familiar with the nutritional facts and nutrient content of the beet. However, most people have no idea about beet greens. But to your surprise, beet greens are also rich in nutrients.
Let’s have a look at the nutritional facts of beet greens:
1 cup or 144 grams of Beet Greens, contains 38.88 calories
Has 87% water percentage
Source of 3.70 g of protein
7.86 grams of carbs
Contains 0.29 g fat
0.86 grams of sugar
4.18 grams of fiber
Vitamins and Minerals:
As we have mentioned in the table, beet greens have high nutritional value. Moreover, they are also rich in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals.
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Health Benefits of Beet Greens
Below are the health benefits of beet greens:
Beet greens contain vitamin C in high amounts, which plays a critical role in boosting immunity. Vitamin C can improve your immune system and thus fight off with cold and flu viruses. There is almost 60 percent of your daily nutritional value on just one cup of cooked beet green with little or no sugar. However, you have to keep in mind that beet greens are low in fat and calories.
Lower Blood Pressure:
Just like beets, beet greens are also high in nitrates that can help to lower blood pressure. Moreover, it can also help to improve blood health. Nitrates can help to increase the level of oxygen in the blood, thus improving overall heart health. According to research, people who consume foods and supplements with natural nitrates have better energy and heart health. Moreover, it can also reduce the risk of various heart diseases.
Improve Heart Health:
You can find vitamin A in a rich amount of beet green. Moreover, beet greens are also rich in lutein, which is an essential element for eye health. Vitamin A plays a critical role in eyesight and eye health. A study shows that when people consume supplements with beta-carotene can lower the risk of macular degeneration. Besides, lutein also has anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent any age-related macular disease.
From a very young age, we all have heard about the role of calcium in stronger bones. Calcium, in addition to magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K, plays a significant role in bone health. Beet greens are rich in calcium due to which they play a significant role in strengthening bones and warding off osteoporosis. Moreover, beet greens are also rich in vitamin K. Therefore, it can play a vital role in maintaining your bones.
Improve Mental Health:
Studies show that beet greens can boost your mood and improve your mental health. The presence of vitamin B6 in beet green is responsible for improving mood and reducing depression. Research done in Integrative Medicine Insights shows the importance of dietary nutrients in mental illness. The primary cause of the mental illness is the deficiency of vitamin B. But the good news is beet greens contain vitamin B in high amounts. Therefore, it can reduce the chances of mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease.
Improve Digestive Health:
Another benefit of using beet greens is the improvement in digestive health. They are high in fiber and are, therefore, great for treating digestion and improving chronic constipation. Apart from soluble fiber, beet green is high in insoluble fibers as well. It can help your gut bacteria by encouraging their growth in the digestive tract. To simply state, beet greens are like superhero prebiotics; therefore, they can naturally stimulate good bacteria.
Promote Teeth Health:
As we have mentioned above, beet greens are high in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. And just like bones; health beet greens can also help to promote teeth health. Therefore, any food high in calcium and magnesium can play a great role in strengthening teeth. Because they can help to build strong enamel and prevent cavities. Thus, when you eat food rich in calcium and minerals like beet, greens play a significant role in promoting teeth health.
Recommended Daily Intake
There is no exact recommendation on how much beet greens you can consume. However, it is always better to consume in moderation. Because you can eat it in excess, it can result in discomfort and unpleasant symptoms like kidney stones. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot add it to your diet. It contains numerous nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and thus provides various health benefits.
Best Way to Consume
There are various ways to enjoy delicious and crispy beet greens. Let's have a look at some of the best ways to consume beet greens:
- Enjoy by adding beet green layer to your lasagna recipe
- Add pine nuts in cooked beet greens
- You can also add beet greens in a salad, soup, stew, sandwiches, omelet, pasta, pizza, or stuffed bread.
- You can also drink young beet green juice
- Sautee or cook mature beet greens
- Beet greens also pair quite well with walnut, hazelnut, or feta cheese
- It is also used in the making of Korean side dish kimchi.
Selection and Storage Tips:
Here are few selection and storage tips related to the beet greens:
- Choose the beet greens that come with a smaller beetroot over the larger and tougher ones.
- Never but beetroot that has a cracked, soft, bruised, and faded appearance.
- Besides, beets that are elongated and have round and scaly areas should also be avoided.
But the one that appears fresh attached to the root looks crisp and is not wilted with lively green color.
For storing, put the unwashed beet greens in a plastic bag and then refrigerate them. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for four days.
Preparation and Cooking Tips:
Below are some of the most effective tips for preparation and cooking beet greens:
- Always cut the beet greens till the point where the green leafy part generally ends because the part between stem and leaf is too difficult to enjoy.
- Before cooking, rinse the leaf under running water and cut into ½ slices.
- Keep in mind that never soaks leaves in water as it can remove all the water-soluble nutrients from the leaf.
- Before cooking, quickly boil them to free up acid and remove the boiling water.
- Always use minimal heat exposure and minimal cooking time.
- Never cover the pot with a lid when cooking beet greens. It can help to release more acids.
Beet Greens Recipes:
Some of the popular beet green recipes are:
- Roasted beet salad with beet greens and feta
- Pink greens
- Swiss chard salad
- Creamy fennel and green soup
- Grilled flank steak with sautéed beet greens and creamy horseradish beets
- Chicken, grated beets, and beet greens with orange butter
- Beet and beet green risotto
- Sautéed greens with toasted walnuts
- Pan-seared sea bass with beet sauce and beet greens
- French peasant beets
Although beet greens are rich in nutritional value, however, it shows certain side effects when consumed in large amounts. These include:
Beet greens contain oxalic acid or commonly known as oxalate, in high concentration. There is almost 916 mg of oxalate in cooked beet greens in a half-cup. Oxalate is present in a wide range of plant food, and the human body also synthesizes it from amino acids, vitamin C, and glyoxal. However, for people with dietary problems, excess of oxalate can lead to kidney problems.
Interaction with Warfarin and Other Blood Thinners:
Beet greens are an excellent source of vitamin K, and it can fulfill almost 333 percent of its daily intake. Vitamin K can act as a cofactor in the production of carboxyglutamate, which helps in blood coagulation. However, those who are taking anti-coagulation properties can react with beet greens. Due to these reasons, it is advised to limit the food intake high in vitamin K when using these drugs.
Like beets, beet greens are also rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibers. Don't waste beet greens and throw them but consume them to take advantage of its benefits. However, you have to be careful not to consume it in a high amount because the high percentage of oxalates can lead to kidney stones.