There’s no denying that most people usually have some pretty strong feelings when it comes to beets. There are those who absolutely love the superfood, and others who avoid beets at all costs due to their earthy flavor (and sometimes metallic taste). However, one thing that no one can debate are all of the benefits that beets have to offer. In fact, beets are so good for you that they’ve made it onto The World’s Healthiest Foods list. So, regardless of whether you’re a fan of beets or not, let’s take some time to really familiarize ourselves with this superfood and truly get to know beets.
Beetroot (Beta vulgaris), or any of the other names that this root vegetable goes by – red beet, table beet, garden beet, or just ‘beet’ – is a superfood that’s packed with nutrients and fiber. Beets are also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.
There are many different types of beets, such as red beets (also called table beets or garden beets), Chioggia or Candy Cane beets, golden beets, white beets, Formanova or Cylindra beets, beet greens, and sugar beets. A 3/4 cup of raw beets (100 grams) mainly consist of water (88%), and also provides 9.6 grams of carbohydrates, 6.8 grams of sugar, 2.8 grams of fiber, and 1.6 grams of protein. The carbs in raw or cooked beets are mostly simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose.
The main plant compounds in beets are betanin, vulgaxanthin, and inorganic nitrate. Betanin, also known as beetroot red, is a betalain pigment that’s responsible for the red color of beets, while vulgaxanthin is the yellow or orange pigment found in beets and yellow beets.
Inorganic nitrate is found in leafy green vegetables like spinach, beetroots, and beetroot juice. Your body can convert inorganic nitrate into nitric oxide (NO).
When it comes to consuming beets, you can either roast, steam, boil, pickle, or eat beets raw. And if you’re someone who doesn’t necessarily love the way that beets taste, you can make beetroot juice by peeling beetroot and blending it with a combination of different ingredients like apples, lemons, and ginger. Another way you can get more beets into your day (with minimal beet flavor and effort) is to make a superfood smoothie with beet powder.
Tough To Beet Benefits
May Enhance Athletic Performance: Studies suggest that dietary nitrates may enhance athletic performance by improving oxygen use and time to exhaustion. A randomized controlled trial suggests that dietary nitrates affect physical performance by improving the efficiency of mitochondria, which produce energy in your cells. For peak athletic performance, a systematic review concluded that intake of beetroot juice should be initiated within 90 minutes before athletic performance since blood nitrate levels peak within two to three hours.
Featuring red spinach extract, shown to support nitric oxide production, this super-clean, gluten-free formula has no artificial flavors or colors and is non-GMO.