Beetroots 101: 11 Health Benefits and their Nutritional Value

Overview

Beets belong to the botanical family Beta vulgaris and were first cultivated by the Romans. ‘Table beet,’ ‘red beet,’ ‘golden beet’, or even ‘garden beet’ is all names that can be used to refer to this veggie. They have retained their commercial value for use as sugar dating back to the early 19th century. There is the extensive cultivation of beets in Central America, North America, Russia, France, Germany, and Poland.

Even though the most common cultivated variety of beets is the ones that have a deep purple color appeal to them, there are also golden and white varieties of beets. Both the beets’ leaves and roots are edible with the leaves reserving a bitter taste whereas the roots are sweet. All in all, beets hold a mouth-watering and distinctive flavor with a high nutritious capacity.

Over the years, beets have become popular because of their aphrodisiac aspects, as well as their use as ingredients in soups, salads, and pickles. Recent research depicts beets to be advantageous in the increase of blood flow, lowering of blood pressure, as well as boosting one’s athletic performance and endurance.

Beetroots nutrition

Beetroot Health Benefits

  • Aphrodisiac aspects

Over the past millennia, beets are known to be a sexual booster. Some parts of the beets’ stems constitute significant mineral boron levels that boost sexual hormones production. An increase in the production of the sexual hormones may lead to;

  • Increased fertility
  • Improved sperm mobility
  • Improved libido levels
  • A decrease in frigidity in a bedroom environment

Incorporate beets into your diet to give your sexual life a legitimate and time-tested shift in the right direction.

  • Boosts heart health

Beets are rich in fiber content that helps reduce triglycerides and cholesterol through increasing the ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol levels. High triglyceride levels increase your exposure to heart-related problems. Increased HDL cholesterol levels wards off your exposure to heart problems.

The fiber content strips down the excess LDL cholesterol from the walls and oversees its elimination from the body. Also, a nutrient base in beets (betaine) lowers the body’s homocysteine levels which are harmful to the blood vessels.

Therefore, incorporating beets into your diet, or even recipes, will reduce your exposure to heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis.

  • Helps build the capillaries’ structure

Beetroots contain flavonoids and vitamin C essential for supporting the capillaries’ structure.

  • Significant reduction of birth defects

Beets are a good source of vitamin B12 | folate for pregnant women. Folate boots the development of the spinal column of the infant. A deficiency of folate may result in neural tube defects. Beets avail extra energy vital during the pregnancy period and iron necessary for the mother and fetus.  Iron is vital in the production of red blood cells and protects our bodies from excessive fatigue. Note, cooked beets have 25% lower folic acid as compared to the raw beets.

  • Helps curb cataracts

Beetroots constitute a form of vitamin A, beta-carotene, which aids in curbing age-related blindness (cataracts), as well as ward off age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant used in the major body activities.

  • Slows macular degeneration

Beets constitute beta-carotene, a powerful form of vitamin A, which is vital for slowing down macular degeneration in the eyes. Often, macular degeneration associates an increase in free radicals which have adverse effects on the premature aging process of most people. Beta-carotene has antioxidant aspects and plays a protective role against the damaging effects of the free radicals to the eyes.

  • Improves respiratory health

Beets are a good source of vitamin C which is vital in preventing asthma symptoms. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system’s health.  Also, vitamin C stimulates the activities of the white blood cells which guard the body against viral, fungal, bacterial, and protozoan toxic that bring about infections and illnesses. Beets also contain beta-carotene necessary for warding off lung cancers.

  • Cancer aspects

Studies conducted show that beets are a good option to prevent lung, skin, and colon cancers and that they contain a pigment that counteracts the growth of cancerous cells. In meat preservation, the nitrate compounds used can boost nitrosamine production which increases your exposure to cancer.

Beet juice inhibits cell mutations (which may result from the nitrate compounds) and just as beets in their powdered form; they slow down tumor development. You can ward off cancer problems through incorporating beets into your diet.

  • Boosts liver health

Beet juice contains betaines that stimulate the liver’s functions. Beets work as a tonic for the liver and purifier for the blood. Also, they help ward off liver cancer as well as help in the liver’s detoxification process through an enzyme beta-cyanine. The enzyme helps in the elimination of harmful toxins from the body and prevents the build-up of fatty deposits.

  • Improved energy levels

Beets constitute a significant carbohydrate amount to provide the fuel necessary for energy and other prolonged body activities. The carbohydrate content in beets is the building blocks for energy metabolism. Unlike other carbohydrate-rich foods, beets provide their carbohydrate content without any negative side effects. When the body has a steady and sufficient supply of carbohydrate content, it’s in a position oversee the functions of the body, as well as metabolic reactions, efficiently.

In a similar research, researchers found that people who have a higher beet juice intake have an increased oxygen uptake of 16% because of the high nitrate content in beets. This increase in oxygen uptake is quite unusual and is more than a person can improve on when intensively training. Beet juice has become a sports drink that most people wouldn’t consider because it increases the stamina necessary for participating in exercises and sports.

  • Wards off strokes

A deficiency in potassium in the body increases your exposure to strokes. Therefore, indulge a high potassium beetroot diet to boost your heart health.

Potassium is referred to as a vasodilator because of it is responsible for relaxing the blood vessels as well as reducing blood pressure all over the body. When the blood pressure is reduced, and the blood vessels are relaxed, blood clot formation is more or less reduced, and there is less build up of plaques along the walls of the blood vessels. Eventually, clots result in heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, beets have a high potassium content which is a major health booster.

In a study conducted, beets were found to have beneficial aspects in the reduction of blood pressure but with a delayed effect, rather than just having the blood pressure plummeted at dangerous speeds.

How to Choose Beets

Opt for the beets that are firm, smooth, and free of blemish dark red or golden yellow skins. In the case that you wish to incorporate any attached leaves in your recipe, ensure that the leaves are bright green.

How to store beets

Before refrigerating, ensure that you cut off the beets’ leaves. Ensure that you store the beets and leaves in separate plastic bags dry and unwashed in the veggie drawer.

Beets’ Shelf Life

Beets’ leaves can only last for 2-3 days whereas the beets can keep fresh to fresh for 2-3 weeks.

Quick Serve Tips

  • Small and young beets are tasty when grated raw in salads
  • Steam or boil beets to serve as they are
  • Roast beets at 400degrees for about 45 minutes to serve as a tasty delicacy
  • Slice beets and top with goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.

Recommended Recipes

  • Roasted Veggies with Vinaigrette
  • Chilled Beets with Sour Cream

Beetroots’ Nutritional Profile

Over time, beets have become an acquired taste for some because they offer a texture so dense, as well as a strong flavor. Though the most common type of beetroots at your local grocery store may be the one covered in red flesh, you may also find a couple of white, orange, and yellow varieties at the farmer’s markets, as well as in specialty shops.

  • Basic Nutrition

A ½ -cup of boiled beets constitutes 37 calories. Beets are a root veggie low in fat (0.15g per serving cup) and protein (1g of the total 56g/ day essential to meet daily nutritional needs).

Carbohydrates are the major source of calories. Each serving of this veggie constitutes 8g of the total 225-325g of the required daily carbohydrate intake. Also, you get 2g of fiber, a nutrient that helps prevent constipation and diarrhea, with each serving of this veggie.

  • Vitamins

Beets are a good source of folate (vitamin B12). Each serving of this veggie constitutes 17% of the recommended daily intake of the vitamin. Beets are a good source of vitamin B12 and a good choice for women planning to conceive. Folate helps prevent spinal defects during birth. Additionally, you get to have an increase of 5% of the required daily intake of vitamin C, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, and smaller amounts of vitamin A.

  • Minerals

You can boost your manganese intake by incorporating beets into your diet. Each serving of this veggie provides a 14% of the required daily intake of manganese. Manganese upholds the brain and nerve functions, contributes to the body’ ability to produce certain hormones, and connective tissues. You can easily source 7% of the required daily intake of potassium, and 5% of the required daily intake of magnesium.

Other Minerals: – iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and copper.

In-depth Nutritional Profile on Beetroots

For an in-depth analysis of the beets’ nutrients, consider the table below;

Amount:          100grams

Calories:          43

 % Daily Value *
Total Fat (0.2g)

Saturated fat (0g)

Polyunsaturated fat (0.1g)

Monounsaturated fat (0g)

0%

0%

Cholesterol (0mg)0%
Sodium (78mg)3%
Potassium (325mg)9%
Total Carbohydrate (10g)

           Dietary fiber (2.8g)

Sugar (7g)

3%

11%

 

Protein (1.6g)3%
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C8%
Calcium1%
Iron4%
Vitamin D0%
Vitamin B-65%
Vitamin B-120%
Magnesium5%

Possible Beetroot Concerns

  • Kidney stones

Avoid eating beets in the case that you suffer from kidney stones, or even plaques formed from acids and salts. In essence, kidney stones comprise oxalates, which the beets are rich in, calcium and uric acid. Kidney stones are painful when passed from the body and though you can seek treatment, having beets removed from your diet is the best preventive choice.

  • Beets on Pregnancy

Pregnant women ought to be wary when incorporating diets rich in betaine. Foods containing betaine are rated ‘C’ for use over the pregnancy period, and beets are no exception. The rating ‘C’ is an indication that the food is safe for consumption during the pregnancy, or lactation, a period when incorporated in regular amounts. Nonetheless, it still is a mystery whether beets are safe when incorporated in large amounts or not. Related researches conducted on pregnant animals depict beets to have adverse effects when incorporated in large amounts.

  • Copper and Iron-related health conditions

People that suffer from copper and iron-related health conditions, such as Wilson disease (occurs when there are excessive copper levels in the body) and Hemochromatosis (occur when there are excessive iron levels in the body), ought to limit their beet’s intake. Beets are a rich source of these two nutrients.

  • Pigmentation

According to research conducted the British Dietetic Association, beets constitute some flavonoids (Anthocyanins) which oversee the formation of deep pigments all over the body.

  • Beeturia

Beets have an interesting side effect, turns the urine pinkish red, in 10 to 15% of people. The reddening of the urine known as beeturia, and though it can be confused with blood, it is not blood. Ideally, it may not be harmful, but it can pinpoint an underlying problem; mostly linked to problems in iron metabolism. Persons with iron deficiencies or elevated levels of iron are most susceptible in this regard as compared to the healthy individuals. Thus, in the case that you experience the beeturia condition, it is in accord to suspect iron-related problems and you ought to consult your practitioner.

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