One cup of raw beets contains 58 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 4 grams of fiber) and 2 grams of protein. It provides 1% of daily vitamin A needs, 2% of calcium, 11% of vitamin C and 6% of iron.
Beetroot is a rich source of folate and manganese and also contains thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium.
Beets are high in dietary nitrate, which is believed to be the reason why many of the potential health benefits of beetroot are being studied.
Diabetes: Beets contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes. Studies on alpha-lipoic acid have also shown decreases in peripheral neuropathy and/or autonomic neuropathy in diabetics.
Heart health and blood pressure: Researchers hypothesized this was likely due to the high nitrate levels contained in beet juice and that the high nitrate vegetables could prove to be a low cost and effective way to treat cardiovascular conditions and blood pressure.
Digestion and regularity: Because of its high fiber content, beetroot helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
How to incorporate more beetroot into your diet
- Make your own beetroot juice by peeling beetroot and blending with a combination of fresh orange, mint and pineapple or apples, lemon and ginger. Blend and strain
- Grate raw beets and add them to coleslaw or your favorite salad.
- Slice raw beets and serve them with lemon juice and a sprinkle of chili powder.