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Nutritious Beets Are Nature’s “Viagra,” While Cleansing the Body

Nutritious Beets Are Nature’s “Viagra,” While Cleansing the Body

Beets, our second-ranked worldwide source of sugar after sugar cane, and well-known for their nutritional value, have also been recognized throughout history as the equivalent of nature’s “Viagra.” Using beets as an “aphrodisiac” dates back to the ancient Romans, and the truth of the matter is backed by science, not legend. Beets are efficient in absorbing and storing high amounts of boron, which is an essential element for the production of human sex hormones.

This special tasty root crop also doubles as a delicious salad and cooked green (leaves) crop which results in total versatility, second only to the bottom line nutritional value. Beets are high in quite a number of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine, folic acid and Vitamins A, B and C. Beets are important in pregnancy diets, especially the Vitamin B which is beneficial to new growth cells for fetus development, and the iron to replenish that lost to the fetus from the mother’s blood supply.

Beets help cleanse the body, working to purify the blood and thus can help prevent certain cancers. They also contribute to improved mental health, since they contain betaine, which is used to treat depression, and tryptophan, that relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being (similar to chocolate). Other medicinal benefits include lowering blood pressure and use as a treatment and indicator for high stomach acid levels.

Even though beets are high in sugar content, they are still low in calories, because the sugar is digested and released gradually, unlike the sugar in chocolate. This ranks beets very high on the energy source list, and very few foods are more efficient. Cookbooks are filled with beet recipes, as roots are easily boiled, baked or sautéed and the green leaves boiled, steamed and stir-fried.

Growing beets in the garden is as simple as preparing your beds as soon as your soil can be worked in the spring and planting the seeds 1-inch deep and spaced at 3 inches in rows 12-18 inches apart. Beet seeds in packets are actually clumps of 4-6 seeds, so plan to thin your crop, removing the extras as leaves when 3-4 inches tall to be used in salads or cooked as greens. Final plant spacing should be 3-4 inches in the row.

Beets grow poorly in acid soils, so use dolomitic lime to raise an acid low pH up to a level of 6.5 to 7.0. Since they are root crops, if your garden has heavy clay soils, you would get better results from growing in raised beds or containers. Like radishes and carrots, beets are fine for successive plantings about every 2-3 weeks until early summer. For a fall crop to harvest for winter storage, plant seeds about 10 weeks ahead of average first hard freeze date.

Seeds N Such offers 11 different varieties of this very nutritious and versatile vegetable, with both heirlooms and modern hybrids being well-represented. By now, you will likely be looking to order plenty of several varieties for successive crops almost all year long. For the salad lover, we also offer colorful “Bright Lights” Swiss chard, a close cousin to beets, whose brilliant colors will highlight presentation and add nutrition to any salad.

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