Beetroot is the purple-ish taproot part of a beet plant, also known as beets in Canada and the USA as beets, while referred to as beetroot in British English. Other names referring to beets include: table beet, garden beet, red beet, dinner beet, or golden beet.
When choosing between eating beets, you might ask, can you eat beets raw? Fortunately, yes! Raw beets deliver more dietary nitrate since cooking them will decrease dietary nitrate’s bioavailability from the food. To acquire the cardio health benefits of consuming dietary nitrate, you can eat raw beets and achieve this from other green leafy vegetables such as lettuce and kale.
Is Eating Raw Beets Bad for Me?
In case you are wondering whether eating raw beets is bad for you, no need to worry since they are more advantageous than cooked ones. Beets are high in Vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium. Therefore, they are crucial for healthy brain function and contain manganese, good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
Moreover, they contain Vitamin B folate, which helps reduce the risk of congenital disabilities. Whether grated or thinly shaved, beets are lovely to eat raw since you get more of the sweet flavor than cooked. Also, eating them raw ensures that they retain their nutrients and help preserve their natural taste. When cooked, they become softer and slightly sweeter.
However, drinking beet juice may cause your urine or stool to appear pink or red. Do not be alarmed, for it is not blood, and it is harmless since it is the beet pigment resulting from consuming lots of beets. Other side effects of beets’ consumption may occur, such as; kidney disorders, gout or arthritis, bone-related illnesses, liver and pancreas problems, allergic reactions, and bloating and indigestion.
Therefore, you should not shy away from those delicious beets unless you have an underlying condition that limits your consumption.
What is the Nutritional Value of Beets?
Have you noticed that you are consuming beetroot and you do not know the nutritional facts? Beets contain essential nutrients such as fiber, manganese, and potassium. Such nutrients contribute positively to your health, either to prevent high blood pressure, improve blood flow, and increase your exercise performance. They mainly consist of water, which accounts for 87%, fiber 3%, and carbohydrates 8%. In 136 grams serving of boiled beetroot, you will get less than 60 calories.
100 grams of raw beets contain the following nutrients:
- Calories 43
- Water 88%
- Protein 1.6 grams
- Carbohydrates 9.6 grams
- Sugar 6.8 grams
- Fiber 2.8 grams
- Fat 0.2 grams.
Carbohydrates take up to 10% in raw or cooked beetroot. It contains simple sugars such as glucose and fructose, which make up to 80% of the carbohydrates. Beets are also a source of fructans- short-chain carbohydrates known as FODMAPs, which can cause unpleasant symptoms in people who cannot digest them.
Fiber 2-3 grams in 100 grams of raw beets contains dietary fiber that is important as it is part of a healthy diet and linked to a reduced risk of certain diseases.
Beetroots act as a great source of various vitamins and minerals such as;
- Folate (vitamin B9) is essential for normal tissue growth and cell function, especially in pregnant women.
- Potassium reduces blood pressure levels and Vitamin C, an antioxidant that improves your immune function and skin health.
What are the Health Benefits of Eating Beets?
You might enjoy eating your beets but do not know their importance on your health. Well, you should know this. Beetroots have several health benefits, which are achieved by drinking the beetroot juice or eating it whole. The benefits are significantly associated with heart health and exercise performance. Moreover, they associate with beet leaves, which contain antioxidants and phytonutrients.
The following are some of the benefits:
Benefit #1: Beets Provide a High Source of Vitamin C
They help in boosting your overall immune system. Regular consumption of beets improves digestion and overall blood quality. Also, consuming beetroot juice might lower your blood pressure because of the nitrates present in the beetroot. Therefore, the body converts these nitrates to nitric oxide, and in the process, the blood vessels expand.
Consequently, it helps lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart diseases or stroke.
Benefit #2: Beets Help Flush out Toxins
The fiber and antioxidants present in beetroots help to flush out toxins from the body, keeping digestive health optimal. They also help the process of digestion.
Benefit #3: Beets Help with Bone Development and Metabolism
Minerals found in beets such as copper, boron, and magnesium help bone development and boost bone metabolism. Besides, they are rich in iron, which is an essential component of red blood cells. Since beetroots are rich in iron, the risk of suffering from iron deficiency anemia can reduce.
Can You Eat Beetroot Leaves?
When buying your beets from the grocery store, make sure to pick those with leaves.
Yes, you can eat beetroot leaves. In case you are wondering whether you can eat your beetroot leaves, no worries, for you should consider making a dish out of your beet greens instead of tossing them out. You can use them raw for salads, sauté them for a side dish or simmer in soups.
They contain no cholesterol and no fat making them nutritious as they are rich in copper, manganese, calcium, and vitamin K. They make it easy to lose weight since they contain zero saturated fats and cholesterol.
- You can eat raw beets, which are more nutritious than cooked ones since they contain Vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals that help prevent several health issues.
- Since beets contain fewer fats and more water and contain numerous nutrients, they help maintain weight and prevent high blood pressure.
- Beets help with various health benefits, such as flushing out toxic substances and improving bone development and metabolism.
- Beet leaves, also known as beet greens, are suitable for consumption since they are a high antioxidant source and contain zero cholesterol or fats. Therefore, they help to maintain and lose weight.