Popularly known as beets or garden beet, this root has a lot of health benefits. It is being cultivated since the second millennium BC, however, its consumption declined with the cultivation of spinach. Around the nineteenth century, it became a widely cultivated commercial crop and the main source of sucrose extraction for producing table sugar. Nutritional benefits of beet can not only be derived from its root, but also its chard.
Nutritional Value of Red Beets
Red beets are favored over white beets for their juicy, edible qualities and medicinal properties. Beets are a rich source of energy as they are full of nutrients and fiber. Given below is the nutritional information on beets, in whole, not juice form.
• Potassium: One cup of beets contains 518.50mg of potassium. Potassium is essential for normal functioning of the kidneys. It aids in muscle contraction, and a good level of potassium will ensure that muscles do not weaken. It is also necessary to maintain correct balance of water and electrolytes in the human body.
• Iron: One cup of beets provides the body with 1.34mg of iron. Iron is essential for smooth functioning of almost all body parts. The most common problem associated with iron deficiency is anemia. Beet juice is recommended to increase the blood count in anemic individuals as well as for those who have lost a lot of blood due to accidents, menstruation, etc. The leaves of beet plant have much higher content of iron as compared to spinach.
• Manganese: Our body needs about 12 to 20mg of manganese for normal bone development, and for production of thyroxine, which is the main hormone of the thyroid gland. It is useful to build protein such as nucleic acid. Manganese is a trace mineral concentrated mainly in the kidney, liver, pancreas, skin, muscles, and bones. It helps in active absorption of biotin, vitamin B1 and vitamin C. One cup of beets provides 0.55mg of manganese for the body.
• Magnesium: Magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines and excreted through the kidneys. It is essential for normal muscle and nerve function, and boosting the immune system. It is known to prevent hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A proper level of magnesium is needed to ensure a healthy regulation of blood sugar levels and blood pressure. One can get 39.10mg of magnesium by consuming one cup of beets.
• Phosphorus: Phosphorus is extremely essential for the formation of strong bones and teeth. It aids in speedy development and repair of connective tissues and cells, and for the production of the genetic building blocks; RNA and DNA. It plays an important role in maintaining a normal pH balance, and balances and metabolizes many important vitamins and minerals. One cup of beets provides the body with 64.60mg of phosphorus.
Beside the above, beets contains vitamin C, folate, and betaine in large quantities, whereas copper, calcium, selenium, sodium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin are present in small amounts. Important traces of beta carotene are also found in beets. Garden beets are extremely low in calories, and provide a merger 45 kcal for every 100g consumed.
Canned and pickled beets are also available in the market, but these have altered nutritional value as compared to raw red beets. Following table shares nutrition facts about canned and pickled beets.
The nutritional value of canned and pickled beets varies depending upon the ingredients used for canning and pickling. Beets are healthy. Incorporating them in the diet will definitely boost the immune system and aid in better production of folate. Beets also contain anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties such as betaine and betacyanin. These can be grown easily, and are available round the year. So you never have to worry about not getting enough nutrition each day. The vital nutrients of beets will make sure you get the right nutrition!