Beets, the beautifully colored root vegetable, are often thought of a controversial menu item. There is a lot to love about beets, but not everyone enjoys them. Some people are wild about their sweet flavor and vivid red color. Others think only of the slimy, canned aberrations you find marinating under the lights of a low-cost salad bar. Though beets are not for everyone, beet lovers can feel good about indulging themselves, because the health benefits of beets are impressive.
Health Benefits of Beets
- Beets are known for their intense red hue, which is caused by betacyanin. This compound is a powerful antioxidant that may reduce inflammation and fight against cancer cells. The betacyanin in beets works with the other antioxidants betanin and vulgaxanthin to fight the signs of aging by neutralizing free radicals in the body.
- The large amount of potassium in beets can aid in relieving dehydration. Potassium is an electrolyte, a substance in the body that facilitates electrical impulses, and plays an important role in heart function and digestion. Electrolytes are lost through sweating caused by warm weather or strenuous activity. When the body becomes low in potassium, then it may exhibit signs of weakness, muscles cramps, and low energy.
- Beets are low in calories, have no fat, and are high in fiber, which makes them an ideal food to eat if you are trying to lose weight. The high fiber content also supports healthy bowel function and can help lower cholesterol levels. Popular preparation methods for beets, like boiling, are typically healthy and don’t add much additional fat.
- Even the roots of beets are healthy. Beetroot is a rich source of folate, an important B vitamin. Folate plays an important part in the production of DNA and red blood cells. Pregnant women need plenty of folate to ward off neural tube defects.
- “There’s No Beating The Beet”, WebMD