Beets nutrition facts
 
Beets are highly nutritious and “cardiovascular health” friendly root vegetables. Certain unique pigment antioxidants in the root as well as in its top greens have found to offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke; lower cholesterol levels within the body, and have anti-aging effects.
 
Botanically, the tuberous root vegetable belongs in the Amarathaceae family, in the beta genus. Its scientific name is Beta vulgaris. Swiss chard is another member in the beta genus grown for its edible leaves.
 
Health benefits of beets
  • Garden beet is very low in calories (provide only 45 kcal/100 g), and contain zero cholesterol and small amount of fat. Its nutrition benefits come particularly from fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant derived anti-oxidants.
  • The root is rich source of phytochemical compound, glycine betaine. Betaine has the property of lowering homocysteine levels within the blood. Homocysteine, one of highly toxic metabolite, promotes platelet clot 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 folates. It contains about 109 µg/100 g of this vitamin (Provides 27% of RDA). However, extensive cooking may significantly deplete its level in food. Folates are necessary for DNA synthesis within the cells. When given during 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 deleterious free radicals one of the reasons for cancer development.
  • Additionally, the 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 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 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 indeed has very good levels of potassium. 100 g fresh root has 325 mg of potassium or 7% of daily requirements. Potassium lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism inside the cells by countering detrimental effects of sodium.
 
See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients: Beets (Beta vulgaris), fresh, raw, Nutrition value per 100 g (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 43 Kcal 2%
Carbohydrates 9.56 g 7%
Protein 1.61 g 1%
Total Fat 0.17 g 0.5%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 2.80 g 7%
Vitamins
Folates 109 µg 27%
Niacin 0.334 mg 2%
Pantothenic acid 0.155 mg 3%
Pyridoxine 0.067 mg 5%
Riboflavin 0.057 mg 4%
Thiamin 0.031 mg 2.5%
Vitamin A 33 IU 1%
Vitamin C 4.9 mg 8%
Vitamin E 0.04 mg 0.5%
Vitamin K 0.2 µg 0%
Electrolytes
Sodium 78 mg 5%
Potassium 325 mg 7%
Minerals
Calcium 16 mg 1.5%
Copper 0.075 mg 8%
Iron 0.80 mg 10%
Magnesium 23 mg 6%
Manganese 0.329 mg 14%
Zinc 0.35 mg 3%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-ß 20 µg --
Betaine 128.7 mg --
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg --