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You can call a typical beet that occurs in almost every garden and is one of the most useful vegetables. And it's not just about the benefits that burgundy sweet roots carry, but also in the juicy, elegant tops of this plant.
Unlike the foliage of related species, the beet leaves collected in the rosette are smooth, without hard hairs, but with a powerful fleshy petiole.
Appearing when there are no salads or early cabbage on the garden beds, beet tops can easily replace these crops and replenish the human diet with high-quality vitamin dishes.
The elongated leaf plate of young tops has a bright color, lack of coarse fibers and excellent taste. In addition, the appearance of one kind of foliage causes aesthetic pleasure and promotes appetite. Depending on the variety, the leaf plate can be not only green, but also purple, and the petiole and veinlets are always rich dark red burgundy.
The benefits of beet tops and how to use it in Russia have long been known. No wonder among the traditional dishes of Russian cuisine - cold botvinia and hot rich soup with beetroot leaves.
Composition of beet tops
If our ancestors had only superficial ideas about the beneficial properties of beet leaves, but were based on observation, today the biochemical composition of the tops is well studied.
The first thing to note is the low calorie content of the product. In 100 grams of beet tops only 28 kcal.
Greens contain 1.2% of proteins, 0.1% of fats and 6% of carbohydrates, represented as mono- and disaccharides. Beet tops are an excellent source of fiber, a variety of minerals, vitamins and organic acids.
Calcium, aluminum and molybdenum, boron and potassium, sodium, magnesium and cobalt are present in the macro- and microelement composition of fresh beet tops. In addition, tops are quite rich in fluorine, manganese and iron, zinc and copper. In beet foliage there is iodine, sulfur and phosphorus. It is not surprising that the beneficial properties of beet tops and recipes from it do not lose their relevance today.
The composition of vitamins in the leaves of beet will be envied by many modern drugs. Here, besides carotene and ascorbic acid, there is vitamin K, B9 and B6, B2, B1, PP and vitamin U.
Parts of the haulm with a rich red-violet or burgundy color are rich in anthocyanins - natural antioxidants.
Benefits and Harm of Beet Leaves
Judging by the composition of beet tops, such a product can rightly be considered dietary and can be used as a natural therapeutic and prophylactic agent for people suffering from disorders in various organs and systems of the body.
First of all, beet tops are useful for those diagnosed with problems with the cardiovascular and endocrine systems, as well as diabetic patients.
With the inclusion of dishes from the leaves of table beet in the daily diet can significantly improve metabolism, facilitate the course of gastrointestinal diseases, such as gastritis and peptic ulcer. Fiber together with pectins of beet tops effectively cleanse the intestines and prevent the development of pathogenic flora that interferes with normal digestive processes and leads to serious diseases.
As part of salads, side dishes and soups, fresh beet tops are useful as an excellent prophylactic against atherosclerosis, as well as helping the body in blood formation. The leaves will help and with violations of the endocrine system.
Useful properties of beet leaves, namely choline contained in greens, can protect the liver from fat deposition and tissue regeneration.
The presence of powerful antioxidants and a large amount of fiber provides a high efficacy of haulm as an antitumor, cleansing and protective agent.
As in many vegetables with a rich dark green color, beet has a lot of calcium, magnesium and vitamin K, which have a beneficial effect on the condition of the bone system, teeth and cartilage. Dishes with beet foliage can be recommended for older people as prevention of osteoporosis.
The same vitamin K, but together with carotene and iron, supports and normalizes blood-forming ability. This useful property of beet leaves provides significant assistance to the heart and the vascular system, has a serious opposition to the development of anemia. Under the action of vitamins K, PP and U, the elasticity of the blood vessels is improved, the risks of internal bleeding are reduced, and blood clotting is normalized.
Doctors found out that the tops of ordinary beetroot and leaf beet greens, chard, help diabetics to control blood sugar.
Flavonoids present in beetroot is a defense of the heart, and anthocyanins in juicy petioles are a powerful anti-inflammatory, cleansing and rejuvenating agent.
It is noted that in the leaf there are substances that are beneficial for the health of the eyes, hair and skin. Vitamin C perfectly supplies the body with energy, vitamins of group B support the work of the brain and nervous system. With such a large-scale benefit of beet leaves, they cannot cause harm, unless they abuse this product.
Culinary use of beet tops
To fully feel the benefits of beet leaves, you do not need to buy expensive drugs.
The medicine grows in the garden, and from it you can make very tasty and original dishes.
With what recipes are the beneficial properties of beet tops preserved to the full? Since the leaves of beetroot do not contain substances that are toxic to humans, they can be consumed fresh. And this means that salads with bright juicy foliage should occupy a decent place on the table.
Sweet tomatoes, cucumbers and juicy pumpkin varieties, all kinds of greens, nuts and berries, radishes and bell peppers are becoming more common in fresh snacks. You can fill this treat with vegetable oils, sour cream or mayonnaise sauce. The juicy taste of tops will emphasize lemon juice or aromatic balsamic vinegar.
Vinegar and salt will help to save beet foliage for the winter. Although in salted and pickled form, the use of beet leaves is less, and the harm is noticeable in diseases of the digestive system and kidneys.
In addition to salads, beet leaves are used as part of side dishes for various meat dishes and poultry. Elastic leaves can be served with pasta and potatoes, legumes and rice.
In stuffed cabbage, as in borsch, tops perfectly replace white cabbage. Sheet beets and table tops are a very light, tasty filling for homemade cakes, casseroles and rolls.
If you want to cook a healthy soup with beet tops, you do not have to make beetroot soup. Undoubtedly, loved ones will enjoy hearty bean or pea soup with tops, mushroom soup, or vegetarian soup with summer vegetables.