Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Beets, a vegetable high in antioxidant content with many health and medical benefits. Regular intake of Red Beet helps against oxidative stress disorders, are a rich source of nutrients and low in fat and calorie content.

Calories in Beets

On an average one hundred grams of fresh raw red beet contains around thirty seven calories.

The content of calories in beets of the garden variety is very low but the high content of vitamins, fiber and minerals compensate for this deficiency.

Nonetheless, method of preparing the beet determines the amount of calories and there are variations in the calorie levels which differ from one dish to another.

Nutrition Facts

Beet roots are packed with vitamins A, B1, B2 and C. Red beet is an excellent source of copper, magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphorus.

It also contains healthy amounts of folic acid, potassium, iodine, Soluble fiber, protein, powerful antioxidantsand natural digestible sugars in the form of carbohydrates.

The iron content is considered to be of good quality, effective in treating disease like anemia.

Raw beetroot (100 g) provides

                           Per 100 g             GDA*
Energy                162 kJ / 38 kcal              2%
Protein                    1.7 g              4%
Total Carbohydrate            9.6 g              3%
Sugars                    7.0 g              8%
Dietary Fiber            2.6 g             11%
Total Fat                    0.17 g             0%
Saturates fat            0.027 g             0%
Polyunsaturated Fat    0.061 g  
Monounsaturated Fat   0.033 g
Fibre                    1.9 g              8%
Sodium                    0.1 g
Equivalent as salt                    0.17 g              3%

Vitamin A  1%
Vitamin C 8%
Folic Acid (Folate)         75%
Potassium (K) 11%
Iron (fe)         7%
Zinc (Zn) 3%
Magnesium (Mg) 4%

*Guideline Daily Amounts

Amazing Health Benefits Of Beetroot

Reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks and strokes

Research has shown that beetroot can help reduce blood pressure as well as its associated risks such as heart attacks and strokes. This is because the high content of nitrates in beetroot produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. A daily dose of 250ml of beetroot juice or 1 to 2 cooked beetroot (approx. 100g) can help dramatically reduce blood pressure and its associated risks.Another important effect of beetroot was that on consumption, the higher the person’s blood pressure the greater the drop.

Powerful Antioxidant Properties

Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are believed to help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, in turn protecting artery walls and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Folic Acid Crucial for Expecting Women

Beetroot contains folic acid which is essential for normal tissue growth. It is a known medical fact that folic acid is beneficial and is specially recommended for all women during their pregnancy periods. Beetroot is a great source of folic acid which ensures a proper development of the spinal cord for the unborn baby inside the mother’s fetus. Lack of folic acid is said to increase the possibility of a spinal disorder called spina bifida for the child. Folic acid is crucial to the development of a baby’s spinal cord during the first three months of pregnancy and can help prevent spinal cord defects such as spina bifida. Beetroot also contains iron so is a fab pick-me-up for mums-to-be suffering from fatigue during pregnancy. Expectant mums must remember though that cooked beetroot has lower levels of folic acid than raw beetroot.

Reduces Risk Of Osteoporosis

Beetroot is packed with mineral silica, an important component for the body to use calcium efficiently.Silica is one element that has been found highly effective in controlling or restricting osteoporosis since this element helps the body in absorbing calcium optimally which is the prime nutrient for the formation of healthy bones. Beetroot are proved to have a high content of silica, therefore consuming beetroot everyday as whole or in the form of juice could help keep conditions such as osteoporosis and brittle bone disease at bay.

Lowers Cholesterol

Beetroot contains large amount of soluble fibre, which has also been shown to have cholesterol lowering capabilities. It also contains carotenoids and flavonoids, which help prevent LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol from being oxidised and deposited in the arteries.This protects the heart from potential heart attacks and stroke reducing the need for medication.

Stabilises Blood Sugar

Since Roman times, beetroot has been viewed as an aphrodisiac. Beetroot is virtually fat free and low in calories. Although it has a 'medium' GI (Glycaemic Index) of 64, It has an extremely low GL (Glycaemic Load) of 2.9 which means it’s converted into sugars very slowly and therefore helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. 

Beetroot could be a great and a safe alternative for sugar for diabetic patients, since the sugar inside beetroots have the property of releasing slowly inside the users blood due to their low glycaemic index. The slow release of sugar in the blood ensures optimal absorption without triggering the diabetic problems. This feature keeps the sugar craving inside the patient in control by satiating it in a gradual manner and for a longer period of time. Since beetroot does not have any bit of fat content in it, also ensures zero calorie rise and provides the perfect diet ingredient for the diabetic patients.

Combat Anemia

Beetroot is known for its excellent properties specifically beneficial in controlling anemia. Anemia is a blood disorder wherein the patient suffers from reduced red blood corpuscles or RBCs. Beetroots have a rich content of iron which becomes responsible for the production of hemoglobin in the blood and which in turn effectively circulates oxygen inside blood capillaries enhancing the RBC production and controlling anemia.

Helps Relieve Fatigue

A study presented at the American Diabetics association’s conference stated that beetroot helps boost a person’s energy. They said that due to its nitrate content it helped dilate the arteries thereby helping in the proper transportation of oxygen to various parts of the body, increasing a person’s energy. Another theory was that because the root is a rich source of iron, it helps in improving a person’s stamina. Whatever the source, a pick-me-up at the end of a tiring day can be just what one needs.

Boosts Brain Power & Helps Slow Progression Of Dementia

A recent study by Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA has shown that the high content of nitrates in beetroot may also help fight the progression of dementia, as nitric oxide in the blood (produced by the nitrates in beetroot) also helps increase blood flow to the brain. Beetroot’s folic acid may also play a part as studies suggest it can help protect against Alzheimer’s and and beat the onset of dementia.It has also been seen that nitrate when converted to nitrite helps in the better transmission of neural impulses, making the brain work better.

Improves Sexual Health & Stamina

Also known as ‘natural Viagra’, beetroot has been commonly used in a number of ancient customs to boost one’s sexual health.  Since the vegetable is a rich source of nitrates it helps release nitric oxide into the body, widening the blood vessels, and increasing blood flow to the genitals – a mechanism that medicines like Viagra seek to replicate. Another factor is that beetroot contains a lot of boron, a chemical compound that is important for the production of the human sex hormone.

Regulate Constipation Problems

The high soluble fiber content found in beetroot works wonders in regulating constipation issues and acts like a natural laxative. The fibers enhance bowel contractions, and cleansing of the colon which results in a relaxed bowel release.

Protects From Cancer

The betacyanin content in beetroot has another very important function. A research conducted at the Howard University, Washington DC, it was found that betacyanin helped slow the growth of tumours by 12.5 percent in patients with breast and prostate cancer. This effect not only helps in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers but it also helps cancer survivors remain cancer-free longer.

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