detoxifying beet salad

Beets have been getting a bad reputation for some time. Because of their high sugar content (highest of all vegetables) beets have been used in the production of refined beet sugar. This way of processing beets completely strips them of all nutrients. Evaporated cane juice is also used in a variety of processed foods. Those are not the beets I'm talking about. Real beets come in whole form, leafy greens and all.

Nutrients in beets: 

These are based on 100% Daily Value

  • folate 34%
  • manganese 28%
  • potassium 15% 
  • copper 14%
  • fiber 14%
  • magnesium 10%
  • phosphorus 9%
  • vitamin C 8%
  • iron 7%
  • vitamin B6 6%

Why beets are good for you: 

  • High in antioxidants: The fact that beets are high in antioxidants is well known but what is a lesser known fact revolves around the combination of antioxidants contained in beets. "Beets demonstrate their antioxidant uniqueness by getting their red color primarily from betalain antioxidant pigments (and not primarily from anthocyanins). Coupled with their status as a very good source of the antioxidant manganese and a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C, the unique phytonutrients in beets provide antioxidant support in a different way than other antioxidant-rich vegetables"
  • Heart healthy: Consuming beets on a regular basis impacts heart health by increasing HDL cholesterol (the good one). The presence of the amino acid betaine found in beets helps to combat heart related issues such as hardening of the arteries, strokes and even heart attacks. 
  • Cancer protective: As mentioned above, beets contain phytonutrients called betalains which studies have shown to protect from certain types of cancers, in particular lung, colon and breast cancer. The pigment of the vegetable is a good indicator for the antioxidants contained, similar to berries. 
  • Natural detoxifier: Beets help to detoxify the blood of pollutants, commonly resulting from environmental toxins and heavy metals. The fiber in beets, cleans the intestinal tract taking with it any unwanted intruders pushing it out in the form of waste. 
  • Improved sex drive: Beets improve blood flow to organs and those include reproductive organs. Beets are naturally high in nitrates which convert to nitric oxide in the body. This expands blood vessel walls, allowing for better oxygen flow. 

If you don't love beets as much as I do, but would like to benefit from their goodness, there's hope. Dr. Cowan's Garden makes this amazing three beet powder that can be sprinkled on anything form salads to eggs, soup, incorporated in sauces and more. If you would like to look into it, you can purchase it here along with other wonderful veggie powders

Simple Beet Salad Recipe: 

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: none
  • Serves 2-4


  • 2 large beets
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds (to roast raw seeds, place in the oven on lined cookie sheet with either foil or parchment paper and roast on 350 for 8-10 minutes tossing halfway through)

Equipment Needed:

  • large opening grater 
  • mixing bowl
  • peeler
  • kitchen gloves (optional)


I suggest wearing kitchen gloves for this part, though the red die does wash off if you do so right away if you don't have gloves.

 Peel beets and grate on the largest grater option and add to a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients aside from sunflower seeds and combine. Add to plate and top with sunflower seeds. 

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