Beets – Bright Red Nutrition

Beets are part of the Amarathaceae family. There are several varieties and colors, from the common bright red beet to less common yellow beets. Both the beet root and the beet greens are edible and nutritious – beneficial for anti-aging, lowering cholesterol and protection against heart disease.

basket of beets

Beet root: Seven nutritional facts:

  1. Raw beets are high in folates, which are necessary for healthy cell DNA. Cooking the beets will greatly deplete the folate levels.
  2. Contains a small amount of vitamin C
  3. A good source of B-complex vitamins, such as B-3, B-5, and B-6
  4. Contains iron, manganese, copper, magnesium and potassium.  Potassium is beneficial for cell metabolism and helps lower heart rate.
  5. Contains fiber – very beneficial for digestion and elimination.
  6. Although high in natural sugar, beets still have a low glycemic load, which will not cause the body to produce excess insulin.
  7. Contain a variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients:
  • Betalains – antioxidants that have also been known to reduce inflammation 
  • Betaine – a phytonutrient that lowers homocysteine levels in the blood, which helps protect the body from arterial inflammation and heart disease.

Beet greens: Five nutritional facts:

  1. Contain high level of vitamin C, one of the antioxidants that neutralizes free radicals
  2. A rich source of other antioxidants: carotenoids and flavonoids which protect the body against cancers
  3. Contain vitamin A, another antioxidant which is also beneficial for skin, eyes and mucous membranes
  4. Contain oxalic acid, which can interfere with absorption of some minerals. This acid is broken down during cooking.
  5. Lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoid phytonutrients beneficial for eye health, are found in beet greens.

Yes – the bright red color itself means nutrition!

The deep, red-purple color of beets is from the powerful antioxidants, specifically betacyanin, one type of betalain. Several studies have shown this natural plant compound to help fight and prevent various types of cancer, especially colon cancer.

So, let’s sum it all up. Beets and beet greens together are good for digestion, eyes, heart, skin, and cell DNA.  They also help protect us against cancer and heart disease. Now that’s powerful nutrition!

Are you interested in finding out which highly nutritious foods can help you reach your unique health goals?  Contact me, and let’s chat!

 

Informational Resources:

World’s Healthiest Foods – Beets

Wikipedia.org – Beetroot

Wikipedia – Homocysteine

Dr. Andrew Weil – Vegetables with Oxalic Acid

Wikipedia.org – Amaranthaceae Family

 

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