Beets or beetroots, as they are called, belong to the Chenopodiaceous family. Health benefits of beet roots can be attributed to their richness in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They are a source of carotenoids and lutein/zeaxanthin. Beets are also rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. Beet is a source of beneficial flavonoids called anthycyanins. They are very low in calories but have the highest sugar content of all vegetables. It is also used to make refined sugar.
Beetroot is also added as an ingredient to salads, soups and pickles and also used as a natural coloring agent. Even though beets are available throughout the year they are still seasonal vegetables.
Health Benefits of Beetroots
- Beet is good for pregnant women since it is a source of B vitamin folate which helps in the development of infant’s spinal column.
- Beetroot is a source of vitamin C which helps to prevent asthma symptoms. The natural beta-carotene in beetroot also helps to prevent lungs cancer.
- The presence of beta-carotene (vitamin A) helps to prevent age related blindness called cataract.
- Low level of potassium in body increases the risk of stroke. So potassium-rich beetroot is recommended in that aspect.
- Beet fiber helps to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing the level of HDL. High level of triglycerides increases the risk for heart related problems. The presence of the nutrient betaine lowers the levels of homocysteine in the body which can be harmful to the blood vessels.
- Beet leaves are also good for curing wounds.
- One half cup of beets, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt contains 1.7 grams dietary fiber.
Protein - 1.43 grams
Calories - 37
- Potassium - 259 mg
- Phosphorus - 32 mg
- Magnesium - 20 mg
- Calcium - 14 mg
- Iron - 0.67 mg
- Sodium - 65 mg
- Zinc - 0.3 mg
- Copper - 0.063 mg
- Manganese - 0.277 mg
- Selenium - 0.6 mcg
- Also contains small amounts of other minerals.
- Vitamin A - 30 iu
- Vitamin C - 3.1 mg
- Niacin - 0.281 mg
- Folate - 68 mcg
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) - 0.023 mg
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - 0.034 mg
- Pantothenic Acid - 0.123 mg
- Vitamin B6 - 0.057 mg
- Vitamin K - 0.2 mcg
- Vitamin E - 0.03 mg
- Contains some other vitamins in small amounts.