Beets are a great source of a variety of nutrients, fiber, and many plant compounds. Beetroot consumption has been linked to many health benefits.
Beetroot mainly consists of water at about 87%, 8% carbohydrates, and 2-3% fiber.
For every 100 grams of raw beetroot, there are 43 calories and 88% water. Beets also contains 1.6 grams of protein, 9.6 grams of sugar and 2.8 grams of fiber. It comprises of fat at 0.2 grams, 0.03 grams of saturated, 0.03 grams of monounsaturated and 0.06 grams of polyunsaturated. It has 0.01 grams of Omega-3 and 0.06 grams of Omega-6. Best thing, it does not contain any trans fat.
Raw or cooked beets contain about 8-10% carbohydrates. Simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose, make up 70% of the carbs in raw beetroots. And 80% in cooked beetroots.
Beets are also a source of fructans. Fructans are short-chain carbs which are classified as FODMAPs.
Some people cannot easily digest FODMAPs, causing unpleasant digestive symptoms. Beets have a glycemic index score of 61, which is in the middle range of the glycemic scale. The glycemic index is a measure of how fast blood sugar levels rise after a meal.
On the other hand, the glycemic load of beets is only 5, which is very low. This means that beets should not have a major effect on blood sugar levels, because the total carb amount in each serving is low.
Dietary fiber is important as part of a healthy diet. Beets are high in fiber. They provide about 2-3 grams in every 100-gram serving.
Vitamins and Minerals
Beets are a great source of many essential vitamins and minerals, containing the following vitamins and minerals.
1. Folate or Vitamin B9: It is important for normal tissue growth and cell function. And it is particularly important for pregnant women.
2. Manganese: It is an essential trace element. It can also be found in high amounts of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
3. Potassium: A diet high in potassium can lead to reduced blood pressure levels. And it can have positive effects on cardiovascular health.
4. Iron: It is an essential mineral, which has many important functions in the body. It is necessary for the transport of oxygen in red blood cells.
5. Vitamin C: It is an antioxidant that is important for immune function and skin health
Other Plant Compounds
Plant compounds are natural plant substances. Some of which have beneficial effects in humans.
These are the main plant compounds found in beetroots:
Betanin: Also called beetroot red, betanin is the most common pigment in beetroots. It is responsible for their strong red color. It is believed to have various health benefits.
Inorganic nitrates: It is found in generous amounts of green leafy vegetables, beetroots, and beetroot juice. In the body, it can transform into nitric oxide, which increases oxygen and blood flow to your brain, muscles, and organs.
Beets and beetroot juices are exceptionally high in nitrates. Most dietary nitrates around 80-95% come from fruits and vegetables.
Research shows that diets rich in nitrites and nitrates can have positive health effects, including lower blood pressure levels and decreased risk of many diseases. Dietary nitrates, such as those coming from beets, can get converted into a biological messenger molecule called nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide travels through the artery walls, sending signals to the tiny muscle cells around the arteries and telling them to relax. When these tiny muscle cells relax, our blood vessels dilate and blood pressure goes down.
3. Vulgaxanthin: It is a yellow or orange pigment found in beetroots and yellow beets.
Beets have been gaining popularity as a new superfood. Recent studies claim that beets and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure, and increase blood flow.
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