Health benefits of beets

Very rarely do you come across a person (or find yourself) enjoying beets. More likely, the word that you’ll encounter is “yuck!” Fortunately, this vegetable has a whole pocketbook of healthiness to offer that may make you change your mind, or at least think about changing your mind. In addition to the numerous vitamins and minerals present in this deep reddish-colored vegetable, it does anything from providing cancer-fighting properties to relieving constipation. Having hardly any calories and zero grams of fat is a major plus. This article will lay it all out for you, so now all you need to do is go buy the darn thing and eat it!

Vitamin, Mineral, and Nutrient Galore
Serving size: 1 beet

  • Calories 42
  • Protein    1.6 g
  • Fat (Saturated Fat) 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates 9.6 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Dietary Fiber 2 g
  • Sodium 77 mg
  • Folic Acid 80 mcg
  • Calcium    27 mg
  • Iron 1.0 mg
  • Potassium 305 mg
  • Vitamin A 20 IU
  • Thiamine 0.02 mg
  • Riboflavin 0.05 mg
  • Vitamin C 10 mg
  • Magnesium 23 mg
  • Phosphorous 43 mg

Rake in the Health Benefits

  • Fiber, both soluble and insoluble, is beneficial in fighting against fat and aiding in digestion; this is where that constipation fighting magic comes in. The fiber in beets has also been proven to lower cholesterol levels, particularly LDL cholesterol, which is the bad kind.
  • Beets are low in calories and fat, making them an ideal satisfying snack, and not causing weight gain if eaten in a well-balanced diet. Also, they are kind of sweet to make good on that sweet tooth that may seem nagging at times.
  • They are a good source of unprocessed carbohydrates, making them an ideal body fuel.
  • The folic acid in beets makes them perfect to eat instead of taking a supplement for this nutrient. Folic acid is necessary for making new healthy cells in the body. In pregnant women, it prevents neural birth defects in infants.
  • Including beets in the diet can help protect against some cancers, particularly colon cancer, and heart disease. Betacyanin, the pigment responsible for the deep red color, is what lends the property of fighting against cancer.
  • Beets have been used to help with blood diseases and leukemia because they have been shown to help cleanse the blood and colon, and strengthen the liver and gallbladder.
  • Beets are a source of choline and betaine, which are known to reduce the effects of inflammation.
  • The alkalinity of beet juice makes it good for treating acidosis.
  • Beets have also been shown to help in problems including: headaches, toothaches, skin problems, and menstrual problems.
  • Blood pressure can be reduced from the nitrites that are mixed with saliva in the digestive process.
  • Beets have significant amounts of magnesium, which is an essential component for healthy bone production and maintenance. Calcium requires the presence of magnesium for it to be used efficiently. In this way, beets can help prevent osteoporosis.

Cooking Techniques
There are many ways that beets can be cooked for full enjoyment. They can be eaten raw, boiled, steam roasted, or sautéed. Beet juice can also be a source of the vegetable; the juice is said to be very powerful, so drink with caution. It can be used as a salad topping or in soups. The leaves are also edible, and they are said to get rid of garlic breath. An important thing to remember when cooking beats is to not do so for a long amount of time because this will destroy the important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that provide the above-listed health benefits. Also, the color of beets can stain the skin so prepare with care or while wearing gloves.

Last updated on Jun 28th, 2010 and filed under Healthy Eating. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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