The beet has been cultivated for its roots and leaves since the third or fourth century B.C. It spread from the area of the Mediterranean to the Near East. In ancient times it was used only for medicinal purposes-the edible beet root we know today was unknown before the Christian era.
In the fourth century beet recipes were recorded in England, and in 1810 the beet began to be cultivated for sugar in France and Germany. It is not known when the beet was first introduced to the United States, but it is known that there was one variety grown here in 1806.
Sugar beets are usually yellowish-white, and are cultivated extensively in this country. The garden beet ranges from dark purplish-red to a bright vermillion to white, but the most popular commercial variety is red.
Beets are available in the markets all year. Their peak season is May through October. They are primarily grown in the southern United States, the Northeast, and the west coast states.
When selecting beets, do not just look at the condition of the leaves. Beets that remain in the ground too long become tough and woody, and can be identified by a short neck, deep scars, or several circles of leaf scars around the top of the beet.
Benefits of BeetBeets are wonderful for adding needed minerals. They can be used to eliminate pocket acid material in the bowel and for ailments in the gall bladder and liver. Their vitamin A content is quite high, so they are not only good for the eliminative system, but also benefit the digestive and lymphatic systems.
Nutrients in one pound (without tops)
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