And the beet goes on

By Dan Wilson - Contributing columnist

I was listening to a commercial the other day and I was caught off guard when the announcer started talking about a new supplement that is good sources of folate, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, as well as nitrates….boost stamina to help you exercise longer, improve blood flow, and help lower blood pressure. Yes my fellow Americans – BEET JUICE. (Oh Yum)

Here to find out the juice from the beetroot has been a long time source of healing properties used for centuries.(k)

Prior to these new fangled supplements, the usually deep purple roots of beetroot are eaten either boiled, or roasted as a cooked vegetable, cold as a salad after cooking and adding oil and vinegar, or raw and shredded, either alone or combined with any salad vegetable.

Its Betanin, that is obtained from the roots, which is used industrially as red food colorant, to improve the color and flavor of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, sweets, and breakfast cereals. (yes, ice cream…..k)

Farmers are using beets as a cover crop – cover crops that can boost profits the first year you plant them. They can improve your bottom line even more over the years as their soil-improving effects accumulate. Other benefits reducing pollution, erosion and weed and insect pressure may be difficult to quantify or may not appear in your financial statements. Identifying these benefits, however, can help you make sound, long-term decisions for your whole farm.

Also known as blood turnips, garden beets or red beets, beets are low in sodium and fat and offer 37 calories per 1/2 cup. In addition, beets contain nutrients that promote good health.

Beets are a good source of folate, offering 68 micro-grams for a 1/2-cup serving of the cooked vegetable. This amount meets 17 percent of your daily recommended value of 400 micro-grams per day. Also called vitamin B-9, folate is important for optimal brain health. You need folate for good emotional and mental health. The vitamin also helps your body produce DNA and RNA, the genetic material. It works hand in hand with vitamin B-12 to help iron function properly in your body and help produce red blood cells.

A 1/2-cup serving of cooked beets provides you with 0.28 milligram of manganese, meeting 12 percent to 16 percent of your daily needs for the mineral. Your body needs manganese to make blood-clotting factors, sex hormones, bones and connective tissue. In addition, the mineral plays a pivotal role in calcium absorption, carbohydrate and fat metabolism and blood sugar regulation.

Eating manganese-rich foods such as beets ensures your brain and nerves function at optimal levels. Manganese is an integral part of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase, which helps combat free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that can destroy your DNA and cell membranes. They may play a role in aging and development of cancer and heart disease.

Once again beets are a rich source of the chemical Betaine. Also called trimethylglycine or betaine anhydrous, betaine plays a vital role in cellular reproduction and liver function and helps your body metabolize homocysteine, an amino acid. Elevated homocysteine has been linked with increased risk of stroke and heart disease, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. According to a study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in September 2004, betaine has been shown to improve performance, improve vascular risk factors and protect internal organs. Evidence also shows that the nutrient may help ward off numerous chronic diseases.


Beet juice is becoming a very popular snow and ice fighting tool. It is organic, reduces corrosion, melts to very low temperatures and reduces the amount of material needed for application.

A concoction of beet juice and salt that is kinder to concrete and metal is getting mostly favorable reviews from a growing number of states and cities looking for more effective ways to treat ice- and snow-covered roads.

Who would’ve thunk it?

I coming to get you beet.

Here’s seeing you, in Ohio Country!

By Dan Wilson

Contributing columnist

The writer is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years.

The writer is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years.