Monday, May 7, 2012

Plant of the Month: Beets

Beets are considered root crops and they are very easy to grow. In Texas they grow very well during cooler seasons like most root vegetables. Beets are a very productive crop because you can eat, and use both the beet tops (beet greens/leaves) and the actual beet (the root). Before the root is large enough for harvest, you can snap off the beet greens/leaves to eat. The beet leaves will reproduce while the beet (root) continues to grow. Therefore, you can eat from each beet more than once.

Since beets are a cool season crop, we will be picking our remaining beets throughout the month of May in order to prepare for other summer crops such as sweet potatoes. 

The nutritional benefits of beets are astounding! Beets have been proven to protect against cancer and prevent birth defects in newborns. In some countries beet juice alone is used as a treatment for cancer. Beets are also a natural source of a high amount of Vitamin B (Folate). Folates are beneficial to pregnant women because it is necessary for the critical development of the fetus. The deep colors of beets come from a compound named betacyanin, which has been noted by scientists as a tumor-fighting agent.  In comparison to lean beef, beets can provide similar amounts of iron and can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Raw beets are high in carbohydrates and low in calories, which mean they are a natural energy boost. Beets also contain high volumes of phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and biotin. Biotin (commonly referred to as Vitamin H) helps to convert food into fuel. It is also recommended to help strengthen hair, nails, and skin.
If beets are this beneficial, shouldn’t you be eating more of them??? Come by The Living Grocery Store (MGLG) for your fresh beets during the month of May to improve your health and satisfy your taste buds. The Living Grocery Store is open every Sunday at 11am – 2pm., 5317 M. L. King Blvd. Houston, TX 77021.

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