By Summer Banks FNS, SPT on Dec 02, 2018

Beetroot, also known as beta vulgaris, is a type of root vegetable with huge benefits for your health. Beets are powerful sources of essential nutrients. Beets contain fiber, manganese, potassium, and vitamins C and B9 (also known as folate). Few foods offer you such a diverse nutrient content in a single serving!

Because of this, eating beets provides you with many significant health benefits. Beetroot has been shown to have a positive effect on your blood flow, and even your physical performance. The immense benefit of beetroot is partly due to the high amount of inorganic nitrates found in this vegetable.

Plus, beets are fun to eat! Although beets taste great when simply eaten raw, you can also enjoy them pickled and cooked. Even the leaves can be prepared like spinach. There are different kinds of beetroots, but the most common varieties are red, dark purple, white, pink, and yellow.

Benefits of Beetroot

Nutrition Facts

Beets Nutrition Facts

There’s a reason beetroots fill you up without provoking weight gain: They’re mostly water. You know what’s interesting? The composition of beets is 87% water, 8% carbohydrates, and about 3% fiber. You can munch on a full cup of beets and consume only 60 calories! The vegetable is a good source of both fiber and protein; these are beets nutrition facts seldom talked about. They also contain small amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Carbohydrates

Looking at the nutritional value of beets, one must take a closer look at carbohydrates. Raw and cooked beets have a carb content of 8-10%. About 70% of the carbs in raw beetroots are simple sugars, like glucose and fructose. This number increases to 80% when the beets are cooked. Beetroots are also an excellent way to nourish your body with short-chain carbs known as FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols). For some people, these carbs cause digestive issues.

Beets Fiber Content

Need more fiber in your diet? Beets are a great source! According to Health.com, there is 2-3 grams of fiber in beets per, 100 g.  Fiber is essential for maintaining good health. It protects your body against many diseases and disorders.

Final thoughts: Most of the carbs in beets are simple sugars. The most notable are fructose and glucose. Beets give you plenty of fiber. Just a word of caution: Beetroots contain a type of carb known as FODMAPs, which can cause digestive problems in rare cases.

Beetroot benefits

Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins and Minerals in Beets

Looking for more reasons to eat beets? There are essential vitamins and minerals in beets.

Iron

According to WebMD, body needs iron to perform many essential functions, such as transporting oxygen in red blood cells.

Potassium

According to MedicalNewsToday, consuming the right amount of potassium helps you lower your blood sugar levels. It’s also great for cardiovascular health.

Folate (B9)

This B-vitamin helps in the growth of your tissues. Pregnant women, especially, need a higher dose of folate to provide their growing baby with the proper amount of the nutrients.

Vitamin C

According to NCBI, it’s critical that you get enough vitamin C. It serves important functions for your skin and immune system.

Manganese

According to NCBI, this trace element is usually found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Beetroots are a rich source of the compound.

Final Thoughts: Beets are an excellent source of many important vitamins and minerals, including potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and folate.

Ingredients

Beetroot Ingredients

You can reap many health benefits from eating certain plant compounds.

Beetroots contain some of the best for your body:

Betanin

Betanin is the substance that gives beets their distinctive red color. It’s the most common pigment in beetroot.

Vulgaxanthin

This is yellow or orange pigment is found in yellow beets and beetroots.

Inorganic Nitrate in Beets

According to NCBI, once consumed, inorganic nitrate can turn into nitric oxide, which has many important functions throughout your body. In addition to beets, it’s found abundantly in several leafy vegetables.

Final Thoughts: NCBI reports that beetroots have high levels of plant compounds, such as vulgaxanthin, inorganic nitrates, and betanin.

Nitrates

What About Nitrates in Beets?

The phrase “inorganic nitrates in beets” encompasses nitrites, nitrates, and nitric oxide. Beets and their juice are rich in nitrates.

According to NCBI, about 80-95% of dietary nitrates are derived from vegetables and fruits. This differs from dietary nitrite, which is usually found in cured meats, food additives, cereals, and baked goods. According to studies, diets rich in nitrite and nitrate can have significant benefits on your health, inlcuding lowering your blood sugar and decreasing your risk for illness, NCBI reports.

Dietary nitrates from beetroots are converted to nitric oxide, a biological “messenger.” Nitric oxide travels through the walls of your arteries and sends signals to the outer-lining cells, causing them to relax. The relaxation of these muscle cells allows your blood vessels to dilate.

beet juice exercise performance

Health Benefits

Beets Health Benefits

Beets health benefits your heart and improves physical performance.

Beets and Athletic Performance

Beets provide you with nitrates, which improve your performance during exercise. Dietary nitrates reduce the oxygen you use during exercise by improving the efficiency of your mitochondria, or the cell organs in charge or producing energy. The high inorganic nitrate content of beets improves oxygen use, increases stamina, and makes for better athletic performance.

Final Thoughts: Eating beets makes for more efficient use of oxygen, better endurance, and increased physical performance. Eating them regularly over the long-term helps protect against heart issues and other illnesses.

Side Effects

Beetroot Side Effects

Most people react positively to beets. However, there are some individuals that experience beetroot side effects. One of the more common effects is when urine turns pink or red. This transitory side effect is entirely harmless.

FODMAPs

Beetroots are known to contain FODMAPs in the form of fructans. These are short-chain carbohydrates that are eaten up by the bacteria in your gut. In some people, FODMAPs cause slight digestive problems.

Oxalates

According to NCBI, beetroots have oxalates, which can lead to the formation of a kidney stone in people who are prone to them. In some cases, oxalates can become an antinutrient. That is, they interfere with your body’s absorption of micronutrients. While the entire beet has oxalates, it’s the leaves that contain the highest levels.

Final Thoughts: Most people tolerate beets extremely well. However, due to the FODMAPs and oxalate content, some people experience adverse effects.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line on Beetroot

Beets are rich in many nutrients. They’re full of fiber, plant compounds, vitamins, and minerals. Studies show that eating beetroot can improve your health.

The benefits of beetroot are a stronger heart, and greater exercise performance. These advantages are due to high inorganic nitrate levels.

Beets have a sweet taste and can be adapted to a variety of delicious meals.

You can eat beets raw or prepare them with ease. Incorporating beets into a healthy diet is easy and great for your body!

About the Author:

Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.

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