Folk lore has placed beets into many Eastern cultures as an excellent liver tonic and blood purifier. Beets contain a very powerful red color from a compound called betacyanin and according to some, claim it is potent cancer fighter. This pigment turns your urine red if enough is consumed – don’t panic -you are not bleeding internally. What are the health benefits of beets and how do they stack up nutritionally?
Beets are good sources of potassium, a vitally important mineral for heart health. We used to consume diets higher in potassium in a potassium-sodium ratio conducive to human health; now this ratio has reversed – and tilted to too much sodium and too little potassium. Potassium is also found in bananas and other fruits,vegetables like potatoes (white and sweet), winter squash, white beans and low-fat yogurt.
Beets are somewhat high in sugar, but not significantly. Besides they provide us with other needed nutrients. However. diabetics should limit their intake of beets based on their doctor’s advice.
They can be baked or roasted, boiled, steamed, shredded raw and added to salads. The leaves are also nutritious and contain fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. Beets can be used in juicing and are best mixed with some combination of carrots, apples, spinach, and ginger.
What is in a serving?
Cooked Beetroot (0.5 cup, cooked, drained, sliced) USDA National Nutrient Database
- Calories 37
- Protein 1.4 g.
- Carbohydrates 8.4 g.
- Fiber 1.7 g.
- Potassium 259 mg.
- Sodium 65 mg.
- Magnesium 20 mg.
- Folate 68 DFE
Recently, an advertisement appeared for a product called “Super Beets”: the Circulation Superfood
From their Website, their claims were somewhat vague:
- Promote Improved Natural Energy
- Support Healthy Blood Pressure Levels
- Promoted Improved Stamina
They infer heart health due to its nitrate composition. Dietary nitrates are converted to nitric oxide which may have some cardiovascular benefits. As far as the Super Beets supplement, the claim is that 1 shot of Super Beets = 3 Non GMO beets. One canister is $ 39.95.
As with all supplements, there is no FDA approval. However, there is some evidence that beets may be heart healthy and enhance athletic performance due to its nitrate content. For an excellent review of this topic, click HERE.