It's time to officially meet the beet: a savory, earthy, slightly-sweet piece of produce packed with color and supercharged with nutrients.
This seasonal vegetable is well known for its ruby-red appearance, and it is praised for its medicinal properties, which have been used to treat a variety of illness including vitamin deficiencies, inflammation and tummy trouble.
If your grandmother’s borscht hasn't already traumatized you, at least give this root a try.
And, if you have been traumatized, there may still be hope to make you a believer. Here are a few facts to keep in mind that may — or may not — influence your decision:
1. It doesn’t exactly taste like candy, but it sure looks a lot like it
During the holidays, most of us enjoy munching on a peppermint stick or two (or three. Anything goes during the season of indulgence.)
But oddly enough, you can actually buy a variation of beets that somewhat resemble these Christmas candies.
Candy Cane Beets are slightly pink on the outside, with an incredible swirl of red and white in the center.
Wait, what? Is this a real thing? The answer is yes, this term actually exists. Eating beets are great for colon health and support a healthy digestion, so if you’re feeling a bit backed up, eating one or two may give you some relief.
Just don’t be alarmed if you get a little more relief than you were expecting. As long as you go, right?
And when you do, don't be alarmed by the unexpected color, either. The color is completely natural. Just be ready to see some pink.
3. You've got a hangover and can’t find the Advil or the Bloody Mary mix
That’s right. If your head is pounding, your body is aching and none of your go-to remedies are in sight, reach for a glass of beet juice.
Belatin, the pigment responsible for giving beets their red appearance, has been shown to support the body’s natural detoxification process.
These feisty little guys act like first responders to our livers, quickly working to stop alcoholic toxins in their tracks. Consider them eliminated.
4. Healthy Heart"beet”
The types decisions we constantly make — whether they are related to work, working out or specific relationships — can all affect the amount of stress we feel and pull at our heartstrings.
But here’s some good news: Beets are loaded with phytonutrients that play a key role in maintaining good cardiovascular health.
In other words, essential minerals, like potassium and betaine, work together to support muscle contraction, fight off inflammation and keep temperamental blood pressure levels in check.
5. Say goodbye to that love potion
For centuries, beets have been viewed as a pretty powerful aphrodisiac. Just ask the ancient Romans!
The reason for this is due, in part, to the high, naturally-occurring levels of boron. This element is linked to the production of sex hormones and the sustenance of sex drive.
So, is it any wonder that the innate color of the beetroot directly correlates to the color of love? Perhaps not.
If you’re looking to kick-start your libido, a glass of beet juice can definitely give you an added boost.