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Today inflammation has become a buzz word in our  sedentary, stressed out lives thanks to its relationship to heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and autoimmune conditions. However, there is another, lesser-known process called methylation that is linked to the body’s ability to deal with inflammation. Problems with methylation, either over or under, are implicated in various kinds of illnesses. Without getting too technical, methylation is a complex biochemical process that involves many of our body’s functions including: detoxification, antioxidant recycling, immune regulation, and our stress response.

Proper methylation is important for everyone and even more so when there is an autoimmune condition. There are numerous ways to support the methylation process including lifestyle changes and supplementation with key nutrients, but one of the safest and effective ways to do this is with foods dense with methylation-related nutrients. Beets are a good example of such a food. They are high in trimethylglycine which is an anti-inflammatory substance that functions as an anti-oxidant, energy booster and methyl donor. Beets are also heart protective and high in fiber, which  helps keep the colon clean.

Now that weather is cooling down, enjoy this methylation supportive beet soup recipe!

Borscht (Beetroot Soup)

Servings: 4

Cook time: 60 minutes

1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
6 cups beets, peeled and cubed
1.5 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup cashews
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh chives for garnish, chopped

In a large saucepan, heat the garlic and onions in the oil for about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaf, beets, carrots, cashews and stock. Bring to a simmer and stir. Add more liquid if needed to keep the vegetables covered. Allow to cook on low, covered, for 30 minutes, until the beets and carrots are soft. Add the lemon, salt and pepper.Remove the bay leaf, then puree the soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a high- speed blender. Garnish, and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Dr. Kara Fitzgerald.

Written by Dr. Carla Vidor – to schedule an appointment, call 424-744-8366.