Beetroot 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

If you are not sufficiently motivated to put some of that deep red potatoe-like vegetable in your mouth, read on to learn about the nutritional value of beets. You will want to go out and buy some as soon as you finish reading this post.

Everyone knows beetroots are healthy. They are mentioned in just about every super food article you read; but few people know exactly why they are so highly recommended. As a nutritionist I often spend a lot of time explaining to people why beets are so good for you.

nutritional benefits of beets

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Nutritional Content of Beets

Beets feature prominently in any nutritionist’s list of super foods. They are densely packed with nutrients and are a favorite for salads and garnishes. Their deep red color helps to add visual appeal to food. These are the main nutrients contained in this vegetable.

Vitamin C. Itis important for development and maintenance of a strong immune system and helps keep your skin healthy. It is also a powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin B9 (Folate) is essential for normal cell functioning and normal tissue growth. It is especially important for pregnant women to ensure normal tissue formation in the fetus.

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Potassiumis one of the four most abundant minerals in the body. Others are sodium, sulphur and magnesium. It helps to reduce blood pressure, water retention and helps prevent kidney dysfunction.

Manganese is an important trace element which helps activate antioxidant enzymes, ensure proper cartilage and bone formation and convert fats and proteins into energy.

Iron is essential because it is the primary mineral used in production of blood. 70% of iron in the body is in the red blood cells called hemoglobin and muscle cells known as myoglobin. Hemoglobin is important because it is responsible for transferring blood oxygen from the lungs to body tissues.

Carbohydrates

8% to 10% of beets are made of carbohydrate material. These are simple sugars and fructans.

Simple sugars: Beets contain 70% glucose and 80% fructose.

Fructans: These are short-chain carbohydrates which are classified as FODMAPs. Just like lactose intolerant people cannot digest lactose, some people cannot digest FODMAPs. Beets cause minor and sometimes severe digestive symptoms like stomach pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea and in these people.

Fiber

High fiber content in beets makes them a go-to food for relief from constipation. 100 grams of raw beet contains about 3 grams of fiber.

Nutritional Benefits of Beet Juice

Juicing is not any healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables. It helps when you want to quickly take in larger quantities of the vegetable. It is also convenient because you can easily sip on juice while on the move. Here are some benefits of juiced beets.

Helps Manage Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that drinking one glass of beet juice a day significantly reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension. Some users have reported a drop in blood pressure as soon as an hour after drinking a glass of beet juice. The magic of beetroot where hypertension is concerned is nitric oxide. This compound is a vasodilator in that it relaxes the inner muscles of blood vessels making them widen enough to allow easy flow of blood. Wider vessels means more efficient blood flow without the heart having to work harder to pump blood around the body. This is how nitric oxide also helps to reduce chances of heart conditions.

Natural Detoxification Drink

Detox juices are a part of any weight loss regiment you come across, and beetroots are often one of the ingredients required. Beets contains betalains, a phytonutrient with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxification properties. It cleanses the liver and helps to flush out toxins. It also prevents the buildup of fatty acids which is very useful in weight management.

Energy Booster

Beet juice helps widen and open up blood vessels which improves flow of oxygen in the body. This makes you feel active and energetic soon after drinking a glass of this juice. This is why it is recommended as a work out drink and is best drunk in the morning before eating any other food.

Beet Powder Nutrition

The nutritional value of beets does not change much when it is in powder form. Experts recommend a daily nitrate intake of 0.06 millimoles per liter (mmol) per kilogram of body weight. This means the average adult would need to eat two cups of sliced beets every day to meet their daily nitrate requirements. That is a lot of beet, even for someone who loves them. That is where beet powder comes in. You can use a small amount of powder in a glass of water to get all your nutrient requirements for the day. One teaspoon of beet powder is equivalent to about 3 beetroots. This way you can drink all the nitrates you need in one quick glass of beet water. Beet powder can also be used to smoothies and juices.

Final Word

The nutritional value of beets places them high on the list of most beneficial foods you could have. Whether you choose to eat them raw, cooked, juiced or powdered, you simply cannot go wrong with them. When you go out to buy beets, look out for those that are still attached to the leaves as this is a sign that they are fresh. Beet leaves are also very nutritious and can be cooked and eaten like any other green leafy vegetable.

 FAQ

Are raw beets more nutritious than cooked ones?

Just like other vegetables, eating beetroot raw ensures you get 100% of nutrients and flavor is retained. That is not to say you shouldn’t cook beets. Cooked beets are softer and slightly sweeter than raw ones.

Is beet juice more nutritious than whole beets?

Juicing is great when you want to get some concentrated goodness into your system. On the flip side, juicing destroys almost all the fibre in beets so you lose out on this part of the beets’ goodness.

How many calories do I get from beets?

You will get about 43 calories from every 100g of beet. If you prefer to measure using cups, one cup of beets carries about 58 calories.

100 grams of beetroot contains 43 calories. This is significantly low compared to potatoes which have 77 calories, bananas which have 89 and apples which have 52 calories in every 100 grams

Does pickling make beets lose nutrients?

Heating of pickled beets before canning makes them lose vitamin C, while light destroys riboflavin. If pickled beets are put in a glass jar, you will probably not get much riboflavin from them.

How long can beet juice last in the fridge?

Freshly made beet juice should be refrigerated as soon as it is made. It generally stays fresh for 2 to 3 days.

About Tim 198 Articles
A diet guru by day and an avid reader by night, Tim is a nutritionist based in the beautiful city of Ottawa, Canada. He loves everything to do with health and believes going the natural and organic way is a necessity. When not busy disapproving of people’s diet choices, you can find him taking online classes for this and that while waiting for his cheat day. Tim also loves white sandy beaches, swimming (anything aquatic, really), long drives to the countryside, and travels to new cities and states. He also loves DIY projects and checking out new restaurants with his girlfriend.

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