Nutrients in Beets
Beets are highly nutritious and “cardiovascular health” friendly root vegetables. Certain unique pigment antioxidants in this root and its top greens have been found to offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke, lower cholesterol levels within the body, and have anti-aging effects.
- Botanically, this tuberous root vegetable belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, in the beta, Its scientific name is Beta vulgaris. Swiss chard is another member of the beta genus grown for its edible leaves.
- Garden beet is very low in calories (provide only 45 kcal/100 g), and contain zero cholesterol and a small amount of fat. Its nutrition benefits come particularly from fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant-derived anti-oxidants.
- The root is a rich source of the phytochemical compound, glycine betaine. Betaine has the property of lowering homocysteine levels within the blood. Homocysteine, one of the highly toxic metabolites, promotes platelet clots as well as atherosclerotic plaque formation, which, otherwise, can be harmful to blood vessels. High levels of homocysteine in the blood result in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and peripheral vascular diseases.
- Raw beets are an excellent source of It contains about 109 µg/100 g of this vitamin (Provides 27% of RDA). However, prolong cooking may significantly deplete its level in food. Folates are necessary for DNA synthesis within the cells. When given during the peri-conception period folates can prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
- Fresh tubers contain small amounts of vitamin-C; however, its top greens are rather excellent sources of this vitamin. 100 g of beet greens provide 30 mg or 50% of RDA. Vitamin C is one of the powerful natural antioxidants, which helps the human body scavenge harmful free radicals one of the reasons for cancer development.
- Additionally, its top greens are an excellent source of carotenoids, flavonoid anti-oxidants, and vitamin A; contain these compounds several times more than that of in the roots. Vitamin-A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural vegetables rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
The root is also a rich source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6), and minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
Further, the root composes of moderate levels of potassium. 100 g fresh root holds 325 mg or 7% of daily requirements. Potassium lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism in the cells by countering the detrimental effects of sodium.