Beets for Weight Loss
Did you know? Beets are a wonderful weight loss food! They contain essential vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin c, and iron that boost immunity. Beets also help to flush water from the system to effectively prevent and reduce water retention, which is often a cause for excess weight. These nutritious vegetables contain about 50 calories per cup and no cholesterol, making them a healthy choice for someone on a weight loss diet.
Low Calorie Content
The primary advantage of beets for weight loss is the low calorie content of this vegetable. A 1/2-cup serving of sliced beets provides 37 calories, which is considerably less than other side dishes; for example, a 1/2-cup serving of mashed potatoes contains 160 calories. If you switched from eating 1 cup of mashed potatoes to 1 cup of sliced beets each day, you’d save 1,722 calories in one week, enough to lose nearly 1/2 lb!
Fresh beets naturally contain phytonutrients called betalains that include betanin and vulgaxanthin, according to Juicing-for-Health.com. These betalains are effective in reducing inflammation and supplying the body with antioxidants. The most important effect of these betalains are their detoxification support, which helps contribute to weight loss due to toxin reduction in the body.
According to Juicing-for-Health, many of the phytonutrients found in beets naturally function as anti-inflammatory compounds that not only help maintain a healthy weight, but can also protect against certain types of heart disease, including atherosclerosis. In addition, reducing unwanted inflammation through proper diet and care help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, which is also associated with weight problems. (source)
Beets are rich in magnesium, a mineral that supports optimal nerve and muscle functioning. In addition, some research suggests that magnesium could be beneficial for weight loss. A study from the April 2011 issue of “Biological Trace Element Research” found that increased magnesium intake led to higher levels of testosterone, a hormone that can promote the loss of fat tissue and increases in muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so retaining or building muscle when dieting can aid in weight loss.
Beets contain varying levels of amino acids, including high levels of leucine. Leucine is often included in sports nutrition supplements to promote endurance, which can aid weight loss, as you may exercise longer and burn more calories. Additionally, research published in the January 2003 issue of “The Journal of Nutrition” indicates that leucine is involved in numerous physiological processes that promote reduced weight and body fat. (source)
If you would like to start incorporating beets into your lifestyle, a great place to start is with baked beets
Another great way to enjoy your beets is in a delicious salad like this one:
Baked Beet Salad with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese
- 3 medium sized beets
- 1 sweet onion, sliced in to strips
- mixed greens: I used a mix of arugula and baby swiss chard
- chevre style goat cheese
- slices of yellow bell pepper
- vinaigrette dressing: I used Garlic Expressions
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- sea salt & pepper
Place whole beets (no need to peel or chop – you can use the whole thing, even the root) on a baking sheet and bake at 400 deg for about an hour or until soft all the way through. You should be able to pierce easily with a knife. The longer you cook them, the sweeter and tastier they get.
While the beets are cooking, you can prepare the caramelized onions. In a large skillet, add olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan frequently, until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. If the pad gets too dry simply add a splash of water to keep the onions from sticking.
Put a generous amount of greens in a large bowl and top with slices of yellow bell pepper, caramelized onions, beets, and goat cheese. Drizzle with a bit of vinaigrette dressing and you’re all set! A yummy, warm, healthy salad that will get you on the fast track to weight loss!
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