Beets. You either love ’em or hate ’em. I know people on both sides of that coin. I remember eating them as a kid right out of the jar. Mmmmm, pickled beets. It was something I just did…I think I really loved the sweet vinegary taste.
Once I became a raw chef, I saw the possibilities of these beauties…and recently I’ve learned why they captured my heart. They contain a nutrient by the name of Betaine which, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “The physiologic function of betaine is either as an organic osmolyte to protect cells under stress or as a catabolic source of methyl groups via transmethylation for use in many biochemical pathways.”
David Wolfe did a great job explaining it at his conference if you want to read about it. Essentially, beets along with spinach contain this neutral “zwitterion” called betaine that participates in a methylionic cycle in the liver and kidneys, ultimately protecting the cells from stress (from environmental pollution).