Benefits of beets - what are they?
Beet consumption brings important nutrients and benefits to your body. Will you include it in your regular diet? Discover its main benefits.
Are you familiar with the benefits of beets? Beta vulgaris is a tuber that has many culinary uses throughout the world. It’s also known as table beet and stands out for its nutritional quality and contributions to health mainly.
As data collected in SELF Nutrition Data, this is a low-calorie food that concentrates large amounts of B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc and copper. It also provides you with carotenes, that is sugars in the form of sucrose and protein.
Nutritional composition of a beet
- Calories: 43 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 9.6 g
- Protein: 1.6 g
- Fat: 2.8 g
- Fiber: 6.8 g
See also: 5 beet remedies to improve your health
Other nutrients and benefits of beets
According to information from research published in the journal Nutrients, let’s highlight other nutrients in beets, in addition to their benefits. Here it is in detail:
- The leaves from the beet contain lots of vitamin A and also the highest amount of vitamin C in the whole plant.
- This vegetable is rich in healthy sugars and has a good contribution of fiber.
- It has a high concentration of iron (three times higher than spinach) so it strengthens your immune system to stimulate the production of antibodies and white blood cells.
- It contains phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids, which make beets a great source of antioxidants.
Benefits of beets on your health
A high source of iron
Beets provide us with a considerable amount of iron. This is a very important mineral because it helps generate hemoglobin. According to a study published in the Journal of Nursing and Health Science, beet juice can support treatment for anemia, as it helps improve the levels of hemoglobin in our blood.
Read also: 5 ways to raise iron levels
It helps regulate blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Fortunately, foods like beets can help keep our levels stable to avoid complications.
According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, the concentration of nitrates in beets leads to a vasodilator effect, to which they attribute this benefit.
It has anti-inflammatory properties
Beets contain pigments known as betalains, to which some attribute anti-inflammatory effects. An investigation published in Nutrition and Dietary Supplements determined that betalain capsules made with beet extract reduce the pain and discomfort caused by osteoarthritis.
Similarly, another series of studies in rats determined that beets could prove beneficial in reducing kidney inflammation. However, some suggest more studies to determine if these effects also occur in humans.
One of the benefits of beets is they promote digestive health
There are estimates that one cup of beets can provide up to 3.4 grams of fiber. For this reason, people associate their intake with good digestive health. Some even suggest it as an ally to avoid conditions such as constipation.
Research published in Nutrients suggests that adequate consumption of dietary fiber regulates the digestive activity, prevents constipation and decreases the risk of inflammatory bowel disease.
How should you choose and store beets?
- It’s best to choose beets that are about the same size, this way they’ll cook at the same speed.
- It’s best to opt for smooth, firm, fleshy, round, and smooth beets without spots or bruises. The flesh should be an intensely red color with green leaves – this indicates that the root is young.
- Any long or scaly skin pieces will be hard, fibrous, and have a strong flavor – remove them.
- They can last two to three weeks when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
- You should store beet greens separately, in a plastic bag, where they can last for three to five days without refrigeration.
- Don’t freeze beets as it softens the pulp.
How should you consume beets?
- You can eat them in salads or cooked, although you can retain more of their properties when you eat them raw.
- Grate a raw beet and dress it with a little oil and lemon juice. You might find it easier to digest if you cook it first, however.
- To cook beets, simply add them to boiling salted water, without peeling them, so they don’t lose the color or flavor. They should boil for at least an hour.
- You can also make roasted beets: place them in a preheated oven and cook them until they are tender. This keeps almost all the beneficial properties intact.
How about incorporating them into your regular diet? They’re very healthy, as you can tell. However, consult your nutritionist before eating them often if you have any special conditions.