Beets are a superfood. I have to admit I dislike the taste and smell of beets but I find if I add them to my morning shake that I can’t taste them at all and I get amazing nutrients from them everyday. Here is the 411 on the much loved and much hated Beetroot and why you should incorporate them into your daily diet.
Beets are highly nutritious and “cardiovascular health” friendly root vegetables. Certain unique pigment antioxidants in this root as well as in its top-greens have found to offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke; lower cholesterol levels within the body, and have anti-aging effects. The deep crimson color in beets stems from betalain and other antioxidant phytonutrients. These vary from vegetable to vegetable, not only creating a beautiful array of colors, but a host of health benefits. So a colorful presentation of vegetables on the table translates into a cornucopia of nutrients as well.
Health Benefits Of Beets
- Garden beet is very low in calories (provide only 45 kcal/100 g), and contain zero cholesterol and small amount of fat. Its nutrition benefits come particularly from fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant derived anti-oxidants.
- The root is rich source of phytochemical compound, glycine betaine. Betaine has the property of lowering homocysteine levels within the blood. Homocysteine, one of highly toxic metabolite, promotes platelet clot as well as atherosclerotic-plaque formation, which, otherwise, can be harmful to blood vessels. High levels of homocysteine in the blood result in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and peripheral vascular diseases.
- Raw beets are an excellent source of folates. It contains about 109 µg/100 g of this vitamin (Provides 27% of RDA). However, extensive cooking may significantly deplete its level in food. Folates are necessary for DNA synthesis within the cells. When given during peri-conception period folates can prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
- Fresh tubers contain small amounts of vitamin-C; however, its top greens are rather excellent sources of this vitamin. 100 g of beet greens provide 30 mg or 50% of RDA. Vitamin C is one of the powerful natural antioxidants, which helps the human body scavenge deleterious free radicals one of the reasons for cancer development.
- Additionally, the top greens are an excellent source of carotenoids, flavonoid anti-oxidants, and vitamin A; contain these compounds several times more than that of in the roots. Vitamin A is required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural vegetables rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- The root is also rich source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6) and minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
- Further, the root compose of moderate levels of potassium. 100 g fresh root hold 325 mg or 7% of daily requirements. Potassium lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism inside the cells by countering detrimental effects of sodium.
|Principle||Nutrient value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.17 g||0.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.80 g||7%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.155 mg||3%|
|Vitamin A||33 IU||1%|
|Vitamin C||4.9 mg||8%|
|Vitamin E||0.04 mg||0.5%|
|Vitamin K||0.2 µg||0%|