Sunday, October 3, 2010

Purple Food / Beets


 To my mom who has been diagnosed whit breast cancer before 6 months and she still fighting whit. I love you mom!

  The health benefits of beet are widely known for their ability to successfully fight with anaemia, digestion, constipation, piles, blood circulation, skin care, dandruff, gal bladder disorders, cancer, and heart diseases.

Beets or also called beetroots belong to the Chenopodiaceous family. Health benefits of beet roots are related to their high content of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They are source of carotenoids and lutein/zeaxanthin. Beet is also rich in dietary fibres, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus and it is a source of beneficial flavonoids called anthycyanins. Beet has very low calories but has the highest sugar content of all vegetables. It is also used to make refined sugar.
Beetroots are often added as an ingredient to salads, soups and pickles and also used as a natural coloring agent. Even though beet is available throughout the year it is considered seasonal vegetable.

The roots and leaves of the beet have been used in herbal medicine for:

  Alleviating cardiovascular problems - beet fibbers help reducing cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing the level of HDL. High level of triglycerides increases the risk for heart related problems. The presence of the nutrient betaine lowers the levels of homocysteine in the body which can be harmful to the blood vessels. Consumption of beetroot helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
  Avoiding birth defects - Beet is good for pregnant women since it is a source of B vitamin folic acid which helps in the development of infant’s spinal column. Deficiency of foliate could lead to the condition called neural tube defect.

  Reducing the risk of growth for certain types of cancer - Beet has also gained recognition for its reported anti-cancer properties. The pigment that gives beet its rich, purple-crimson color, betacyanin, is a powerful cancer-fighting agent. Studies revealed that beet is good in preventing colon cancer, as it contains the pigment betacyaninis. Nitrates used in meats as preservatives that causing production of nitrosamines compounds in the body resulting in cancer. Studies reveal that beet juice inhibits the cell mutations caused by those compounds.
Researchers in Hungary have also discovered that beet juice and its powdered form slows down tumour development. In animal studies, beet fibre has been shown to increase the level of the antioxidant enzymes, specifically glutathione peroxides and glutathione-S-transferees, as well as the number of special white blood cells responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells. . In a study of patients with stomach cancer, beet juice was found to be a potent inhibitor of the formation of nitrosamines (cancer-causing compounds derived primarily from the ingestion of nitrates from smoked or cured meats), as well as the cell mutations caused by these compounds.
  Helping the liver functions - Betaines contained in the beet juice stimulates the functions of liver, and liver's detoxification processes.
  Preventing respiratory problems - Beetroot is a source of vitamin C, which helps to prevent asthma symptoms. The natural beta-carotene in beetroots helps to prevent lungs cancer.
  Boosting energy - Beetroot contains a significant amount of carbohydrates that provides fuel for energy and prolonged sports activities.
  Preventing cataract - The presence of beta-carotene (vitamin A) in beet helps to prevent age related blindness called cataract.
  Decreasing capillary fragility - The flavonoids and vitamin C in beet help to support the structure of capillaries.
  Macular degeneration - The beta-carotene present in beetroots helps avoiding macular degeneration.
  Preventing stroke - Low level of potassium in body increases the risk of stroke.

 In ancient times beetroots were used to cure fever and constipation. In the middle Ages, beetroots were also used as remedy for digestive disorders.
Beet leaves are also good for healing wounds.

Precaution: Beets contain oxalates, which when in excess, can cause body fluid to crystallize. So people with kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid beetroots.

Borsht

This soup is a significant part of the local culinary heritage of many Eastern and Central European nations.
Borsht has made its way into North American cuisine by the Slavic and Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe. Alternative spellings for Borsht are Borshch and Borsch. In most of these countries, it is made form beetroots as the main ingredient, giving the soup deep reddish-purple color.

Colors and Color Healing
Acording to Suzy Chiazzari who writes in her book “Energy color healing”, everything is made from electromagnetic energy vibrating at different frequencies that correspond to sound, light, and color. We are attracted to the colors in a need to create balance in our lives. Colors attract certain clothing and accessories, colors in our homes, and even the food we eat.
 Purple is a general term for the range of shades of a color occurring between magenta and blue.
In the human color psychology, purple is associated with royalty, nobility, creativity, wisdom, spiritual, and magic.
In the metaphysics purple connects with the crown charka. The violet Flame is supposedly charged with the light of divine freedom. It is used to burn off karma from other lifetimes on all levels.

How to make Borsht:


There are many varieties of this soup, and here is one with red beets (4-5), potatoes (1-2), cabbage (1 cup), celery (stick), carrots (1), mushrooms (4-5), onion (1), and garlic (1-2 cloves).
Peel, rinse, and cut the vegetables. Boil them and add bay leaf, black pepper, cumin and coriander, few tablespoons of sunflower oil, and salt. You may use blender to make a smooth texture – cream soup. Before serving arrange whit sour cream, yogurt or whipping cream.


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