By Ray Foucher
We live in a world that is becoming increasingly toxic. Toxins, when absorbed into our body, mess with many bodily functions and contribute to ill health and premature aging. If we can find ways to reduce our load of toxins we can slow the aging process and maintain a state of health to an older age.
One role of our livers is to detoxify the body. In many cases, it uses methyl groups (-CH3) to do this. A very good source of methyl groups is trimethylglycine (with three methyl groups) also known as betaine.
The process (called methylation) of adding a methyl group to a compound, in a sense, marks these compounds as toxins and alters them for easier removal from the body.
Methyl donors also help to convert homocysteine which is linked to coronary artery and cerebrovascular disease back to methionine. An elevated level of homocysteine is recognized as a risk factor for premature arteriosclerotic disease (Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis, Vol. 14(3) March 1994).
Having a good source of methyl groups can help combat toxins, which lead to accelerated aging and fight some of the risk factors that contribute to killer diseases. So where does one get a good supply? In many cases of nutrient shortages, there are supplements that isolate and package just what it seems we need but it is usually the case that the closer we can get to a natural source the better. It turns out that a very good source of methyl groups and the best one in nature is the common garden beet.
Beets are easy to grow and not hard to store. It turns out that they are also very healthy in a number of other ways. The wonderful benefits of beets were recognized by Dr. Norman Walker who was also a big advocate of juicing and natural living. He established the Norwalk Laboratory of Nutritional Chemistry and Scientific Research in New York, and died in 1985 at the age of 99.
It is well recognized that heart disease is a major killer. Many people will have heard of the benefits of nitric oxide in maintaining cardiovascular health. A study from Queen Mary University of London, found that beet juice increased the levels of nitric oxide in the blood.
The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, showed that drinking beet juice lowered blood pressure within 24 hours.
I have known of the benefits of beets for a while and grew a good supply in my garden last summer. In one form or another, I try to eat some most days. I also use a very high quality dried beet juice product. This provides a highly-absorbable iron source and has helped many people who struggled with low iron levels to replenish them and gain more energy in the process. If you are not in a position to grow your own and do not have access to fresh beets, this is a very good alternative. It is also very convenient to just mix some powder in water and enjoy its good taste. It’s a big time saving compared to juicing and you don’t even have to buy a juicer.
Beets have many other health benefits as well. Recent research (Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC) has found that increased blood flow to the brain due to beet supplementation improved brain health and helped lower the risk of dementia.
Read more about the many benefits of beets at www.natural-pain-relief-guide.com/beets. If you are near the Greenwood area and are interested in this you may contact me directly (250-445-6352) for more information.
If you can grow your own beets I would encourage doing that as your heart and even your mind will benefit from being out in the garden. Beets or a good beet juice product are a great way to “beet” the toxins and to keep your heart “beeting” for years to come. Maybe that is why they call it a “heart beet.”