Beets are undoubtedly one of the most vibrant veggies in the plant kingdom. Their natural red and purple hues make them hard to ignore when added to any recipe. Although they are used in various forms in cuisines worldwide, their pickled form is a part of several traditional recipes.
Pickled beets are one of the best vegetables for human consumption because their health benefits get maximized on fermentation. This is because the bacteria digest all the sugar in it and intensify the other nutrients. Here are 4 ways including fermented beets in your diet can be beneficial to you:
1. Strengthens The Immune System
Beets are loaded with carotenoids, vitamins B, and C, manganese, and potassium. These are crucial nutrients to enhance your immunity against disease-causing microbes and toxins. Fermentation process makes these minerals and vitamins further concentrated in content.
2. Improves Digestive Health
One cup of sliced and pickled beets provide about 6 g of dietary fiber. Therefore, adding it to your diet will leave you feeling full for longer, regulate bowel functioning and prevents spikes in blood sugar levels. Raw beets are not recommended for diabetics but fermented beets are low in sugar which makes them suitable for consumption.
3. Prevents Muscle Cramps
Munching on pickled beets right before or after a session of physical activity will do wonders for your muscles. This is due to the high levels of potassium in it that quintessential for smooth functioning nerve impulses and muscle contraction. If you suffer from fatigue and spontaneous leg cramps frequently, having fermented beets daily can raise your potassium levels. Low potassium levels are the cause of weakness and muscle cramps.12
4. Protects Against Chronic Diseases
Several long-term studies have found that the high inorganic nitrate content in beetroots gets converted to nitric oxide (NO) which is especially beneficial in enhancing the functioning of blood vessels. Daily intake of beets in any form is indeed great for the prevention of hypertension and stiffening of blood vessels which can lead to several cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Beets also contain ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids, flavonoids and a group of highly bioactive pigments called betalains. These give beets their deep orange and red colors. Studies have revealed that all these plant compounds are capable of fighting free radicals and pro-inflammatory agents in the body. Thereby prevents chronic conditions like arthritis, cancer, and aging-related effects.3
Recipe For Homemade Fermented Beets
You don’t have to rely on store-bought pickled beets because you are left in the dark about the authenticity of ingredients used. This simple yet delicious homemade recipe is free form any chemicals and will stay upto 2 months if refrigerated.
- 6 medium-sized beets
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup of white or apple cider vinegar based on your preference
- 1 teaspoon of cloves (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of peppercorns (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- Clean mason jars
- Wash and boil your beets until a knife can pierce them easily.
- Remove them from the water and cool them by dipping them in cold water.
- Peel the skin away from the beets.
- Chop them up and keep them aside.
- Make a brine by boiling the water and vinegar with salt and spices for 10 minutes.
- Place the beet slices into the mason jar carefully without crushing them.
- Pour the brine over the beets so that the liquid is 1.5 inches from the mouth of the jar.
- All beet pieces should be submerged in the brine.
- Let it stay out for 3 days at room temperature for the fermentation to happen
- Keep them refrigerated after the first 3 days.
Keep the jars properly sealed jars to prevent contamination by harmful bacteria. Don’t eat more than 3 or 4 pieces of pickled beets in a day. If you already have high blood pressure, limit the intake of other salty foods whenever you have pickled beets. Excessive intake of beets can cause reddening of the urine, just cut back on your consumption. Despite its amazing goodness, remember to consume pickled beets in moderation.
|↑1||Bailey, Stephen J., Paul Winyard, Anni Vanhatalo, Jamie R. Blackwell, Fred J. DiMenna, Daryl P. Wilkerson, Joanna Tarr, Nigel Benjamin, and Andrew M. Jones. “Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O 2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans.” Journal of applied physiology 107, no. 4 (2009): 1144-1155.|
|↑2||Clifford, Tom, Bram Berntzen, Gareth W. Davison, Daniel J. West, Glyn Howatson, and Emma J. Stevenson. “Effects of beetroot juice on recovery of muscle function and performance between bouts of repeated sprint exercise.” Nutrients 8, no. 8 (2016): 506.|
|↑3||Clifford, Tom, Glyn Howatson, Daniel J. West, and Emma J. Stevenson. “The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease.” Nutrients 7, no. 4 (2015): 2801-2822.|