Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tip: Beets

A beet's beautiful, deep red color isn't just for looks. It's caused by the potent cancer-fighting agents betanin (a phytochemical) and betacyanin (a pigment). Plus, beets contain fiber, which can help keep cholesterol levels in check. One small study found that people who drank a serving of beet juice dropped their blood pressure just one hour later. More research is needed, but it may help.

Runners may want to flock to these crimson bulbs. In one study, runners were about 3% faster after eating beets. Researchers credit the nitrates found in beets, which can also help support healthy blood pressure levels.

What Do Experts Say?
"Beets are a wonderful vegetable to include in your anti-inflammatory diet, "says functional medicine specialist Elizabeth W. Boham, MD, MS, RD, of The UltraWellness Center. "They're rich in phytonutrients, including betanin. Phytonutrients have many health benefits, including helping the body detoxify and lowering inflammation. Beets are also full of vitamins and minerals."

How Should You Eat Them?
You're probably used to seeing beets on a salad bar. But roasting brings out a whole new dimension and skips the need for peeling, since the skins just slide off after coming out of the oven. They're great in soups and juices, too. If you've got a need for speed, try eating beets about an hour before exercise.

Try this Roasted Sliced Beets Recipe

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