Have you ever heard about the health benefits of beets?
Beets are a vegetable that is especially rich in vitamin C, with a high content of antioxidants and fiber. The health benefits of beets are countless: B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, and B6) and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, and copper).
They also have carotenes and sugars, in the form of sucrose.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the amazing health benefits of beets.
What is the nutritional composition of a beet?
Beets are made up of around 60% water. For every 100 grams, you get the following nutrients from this vegetable:
- Calories: 43 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 9.56 g
- Protein: 1.61 g
- Fat: 0.17 g
- Fiber: 2.8 g
Properties of beets
- The leaves from the beet contain lots of vitamin A and also the highest amount of vitamin C in the whole plant.
- This vegetable is rich in healthy sugars and has a good contribution of fiber.
- It has a high concentration of iron (three times higher than spinach) so it strengthens your immune system to stimulate the production of antibodies and white blood cells.
- It contains phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids, which makes beets a great source of antioxidants.
- In fact, beets contain three times the phenolic compounds of broccoli.
6 Stellar Health Benefits of Beets
1. Treats anemia
The iron that gives this vegetable its brilliant color is easily absorbed by your body, which doesn’t happen with other vegetables.
Beets help your body form hemoglobin, which transport oxygen and nutrients to other parts of the body.
For people with anemia or very heavy periods and might lack this mineral, regular consumption of beets can alleviate your problems.
2. Powerful diuretic
Because beets are rich in potassium, they help prevent fluid retention and control high blood pressure.
Natural nitrates in beets help dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow.
3. Fights osteoporosis
Beets contain a mineral called silicon, which is very important for your body to be able to use calcium efficiently.
As you know, calcium is essential for bones and teeth. Just having a cup of beet juice a day will help fight diseases like osteoporosis and brittle bones.
4. Controls diabetes
The beet has a low glycemic index, which helps release sugar more slowly in the bloodstream.
This vegetable is low in calories and fat-free, making it perfect for diabetics who can add it to their diet and satisfy a craving for sweets.
5. Cleansing properties
Beets stimulate your intestinal and kidney functions by speeding up your elimination of toxins and wastes.
They also have laxative properties that help fight constipation.
6. A thyroid regulator
Thanks to the iodine content, beets balance this mineral in your body and help regulate your thyroid.
People with thyroid problems need a lot of iodine.
How should you choose and store beets?
- It’s best to choose beets that are about the same size, meaning they’ll all cook at the same speed.
- It’s best to opt for smooth, firm, fleshy, round, and smooth beets without spots or bruises.
- The flesh should be an intensely red color with green leaves – this indicates that the root is young.
- Any long or scaly skin pieces will be hard, fibrous, and have a strong flavor – remove these.
- Stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator they can last two to three weeks.
- Beet greens should be stored separately, in a plastic bag, where they can last for three to five days without refrigeration.
- Freezing beets is not recommended, as it softens the vegetable.
How should you consume beets?
- You can eat them in salads or cooked, but more of their properties are retained when they’re eaten raw.
- Grate a raw beet and dress it with a little oil and lemon juice. You might find it easier to digest if you cook it first, however.
- To cook beets, simply add them to boiling salted water, without peeling them, so they don’t lose the color or flavor.
- They should be boiled for at least an hour.
- You can also make roasted beets: place them in a preheated oven and cook them until they are tender. This keeps almost all the beneficial properties intact.
- It’s not recommended to buy packaged beets, as many of their healing properties have already been lost.