Did you know that when fermented, beets are one of the healthiest veggies out there? They are usually recommended in limited amounts because of their high sugar content, but the fermentation process basically swallows up the sugar, leaving the healthy ingredients intact.
Fermented foods are packed with probiotics or good bacteria. Many studies have shown how the ideal balance of bacteria in the gut creates the formation for physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Raw Beets Boost Heart Health
Raw beets have been found to lower blood pressure levels on an average of 4-5 points in a matter of a few hours. This effect is a result of the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are turned into nitric oxide in the body.
Nitric oxide helps dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure levels. As a matter of fact, nitrates are medicinally used to treat congestive heart failure and angina, and research shows that a glass of beetroot juice has the same effect as prescribed nitrates.
In one study, 9 patients with heart failure who experienced reduced ability to exercise and loss of muscle strength were found to benefit from beet juice. They were given milliliters (mL) — about two-thirds of a cup — of concentrated beet juice, followed by testing, which showed an increase in their muscle capacity by 13%.
Beets Have Powerful Immune-Boosting and Anti-Cancer Properties
They phytonutrients in beets have potent anti-cancer properties. It has been scientifically shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in animal models when given with water. Beetroot extract is also being analyzed for use in treating human breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.
Beets have traditionally been valued for their ability to purify your blood and liver. In addition, raw beets boost immunity and support the body`s detoxification process.
Why Ferment Your Beets?
Fermenting your beets rather than consuming them raw gives you all the benefits of raw beets — whose bioavailability is even more increased bioavailable through fermentation — plus the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that result from fermentation.
Beet kvass has quite a long tradition of use in Ukraine, Russia, and other eastern European countries, where it’s consumed as a health tonic. It is also commonly added to vinaigrettes, soups, and sauces. It has been long used to boost immunity, treat kidney stones, cleanse the blood, fight fatigue, and treat digestive problems and allergies.
Simple Beet Kvass Recipe
- 2 large raw organic beets, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons of sauerkraut juice or pickle juice
- Filtered water, spring water or distilled water, freshly squeezed beet juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of natural unrefined salt, such as sea salt
Put the beets in a large mason jar. Add the sauerkraut or pickle juice, water/ beet juice, and salt, leaving two inches of space between the lid and the top of the liquid. Cover and shake well to dissolve the salt.
Keep at room temperature for a few days. The fermentation process may take up more days in winter months due to the colder room temperatures.