Beets to Eat.

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Beets to Eat

Beets to Eat

Beets are an incredibly versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways. Whether you prefer them raw, roasted, juiced, or pickled, beets offer a plethora of health benefits and a unique flavor profile. In this article, we will explore the nutritional value of beets, different cooking methods, and some delicious recipes to incorporate beets into your meals.

Key Takeaways

  • Beets are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • There are numerous health benefits associated with consuming beets, including improved cardiovascular health and enhanced exercise performance.
  • Beets can be prepared in various ways, such as roasting, steaming, or pickling.
  • Incorporating beets into your diet can add color, flavor, and nutritional value to your meals.

Why Beets Are Worth Eating

Beets are a nutritional powerhouse, offering an array of vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall health and well-being. They are high in vitamin C, fiber, and folate. Not to mention, their vibrant red color comes from betalains, a type of potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. *Beets can even provide a natural source of nitrates, which have been shown to enhance exercise performance and lower blood pressure.*

Preparing Beets

There are multiple ways to prepare beets, depending on your taste preferences and desired texture. Here are a few common methods:

  1. Roasting: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Scrub the beets, toss them in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 45-60 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Steaming: Peel and slice the beets, then place them in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Pickling: Slice the beets and pack them tightly into a jar. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then pour over the beets. Allow them to cool before refrigerating.

The Many Uses of Beets

Beets can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, both sweet and savory. Here are some creative ways to incorporate beets into your meals:

  • Make a colorful beet and goat cheese salad with arugula, walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Whip up a refreshing beet and cucumber smoothie with a dash of ginger for added zing.
  • Prepare a hearty beet and chickpea burger for a delicious and nutritious vegetarian option.


Nutrient Amount per 100g
Calories 43
Fiber 2.8g
Folate 109 mcg
Vitamin C 8 mg
Health Benefits
Improved cardiovascular health Eating beets may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Enhanced exercise performance The natural nitrates in beets can boost stamina and improve endurance during physical activity.
Anti-inflammatory properties Betalains in beets have been studied for their potential to reduce inflammation in the body.
Beet Recipes
1. Beet Hummus
2. Roasted Beet Salad
3. Beet and Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Incorporate Beets into Your Diet Today

With their exceptional nutritional value and versatility, beets deserve a prominent place in your culinary repertoire. Explore different cooking methods, experiment with recipes, and enjoy the many health benefits these delightful vegetables have to offer.

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Common Misconceptions

Beets are too high in sugar and are unhealthy

One common misconception about beets is that they are too high in sugar and therefore unhealthy. While it is true that beets do contain natural sugars, they are also packed with important nutrients and have a low glycemic index. In fact, beets are rich in folate, vitamin C, and fiber, which are all essential for maintaining a healthy diet.

  • Beets have a low glycemic index, meaning they won’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.
  • The natural sugars found in beets are different from added sugars found in processed foods and beverages.
  • Beets can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, without negatively impacting overall health or weight management.

Beets taste bland and unpleasant

Another misconception is that beets have a bland and unpleasant taste. While some people may find the flavor of beets to be earthy or slightly sweet, they can be prepared in various ways to enhance their taste. Roasting or steaming beets can bring out their natural sweetness, and they can also be used in salads, soups, or even made into delicious beet-based smoothies.

  • Pairing beets with citrus fruits, like oranges or lemons, can help balance their earthy flavor.
  • Adding spices, such as cinnamon or cumin, can give beets an extra kick and enhance their taste.
  • Exploring different cooking methods and recipes can help discover new and enjoyable ways to consume beets.

Beets stain everything they come in contact with

One misconception that often deters people from enjoying beets is their reputed tendency to stain everything they come in contact with. While beets can indeed leave a strong color behind, there are simple ways to handle and prevent staining. Wearing gloves while handling beets and using a separate cutting board can minimize the risk of stains.

  • Soaking beet-stained utensils in a solution of white vinegar and water can help remove stains.
  • Wrapping beets in foil while roasting can prevent direct contact with oven surfaces and minimize staining.
  • Using lemon juice or bleach can also remove beet stains from clothing or countertops.

Only the roots of beets are edible

Many people think that only the roots of beets are edible and discard the leafy greens. However, beet greens are not only edible but also highly nutritious. They are packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like potassium and iron. The leafy greens can be used in salads, sautéed, or added to soups and stews.

  • Beet greens are a great source of antioxidants, which can help protect against diseases.
  • Including beet greens in meals can add extra fiber and contribute to a healthy digestive system.
  • By utilizing the entire beet plant, you can minimize food waste and get the most nutritional value out of your purchase.

Beets are only available in red/purple varieties

While the most common variety of beets is the red or purple kind, there are actually several different types and colors of beets available. Beyond the red beets, there are golden beets with a milder and sweeter flavor, as well as white beets that have a slightly earthy taste. There are even striped or multicolored varieties, each with unique flavors and appearances.

  • Golden beets have a milder and less earthy taste compared to red beets, making them a good option for those who find red beets too strong.
  • White beets have a slightly earthy flavor but can be used in the same way as red beets in various dishes.
  • Exploring different beet varieties can add visual interest and diversity to meals, while also introducing new flavors.
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10 Ways Beets Can Improve Your Health

Beets are more than just a colorful addition to your plate. They are packed with essential nutrients and have numerous health benefits. Below are ten incredible ways that beets can improve your overall well-being.

Manganese Content in Beets

Beets are a rich source of manganese, a mineral that plays a vital role in supporting bone health and regulating metabolism. The following table shows the manganese content in 100g of beets compared to other common foods:

Food Manganese Content (mg)
Beets 0.33
Spinach 0.21
Bananas 0.27
Broccoli 0.21
Carrots 0.07

Vitamin C Content in Beets

Vitamin C is essential for boosting the immune system and promoting collagen production. Beets are an excellent source of this powerful antioxidant. The table below shows the vitamin C content in 100g of beets and some other fruits:

Fruit Vitamin C Content (mg)
Beets 4.9
Oranges 53.2
Pineapples 47.8
Strawberries 58.8
Apples 0.5

Beets and Blood Pressure Regulation

Eating beets can have a positive impact on blood pressure due to their high nitrate content. Here is a comparison of the nitrate content in 100g of various foods:

Food Nitrate Content (mg)
Beets 110
Spinach 200
Celery 250
Radishes 270
Lettuce 50

Betanin Antioxidant Levels in Beets

The bright red color of beets is due to a powerful antioxidant called betanin. The table below compares the betanin content in 100g of select vegetables:

Vegetable Betanin Content (mg)
Beets 280
Red Cabbage 22
Red Peppers 65
Tomatoes 1
Carrots 0

Beets and Brain Health

Consuming beets can have a positive impact on brain health. The table below compares the folate content in 100g of select foods:

Food Folate Content (mcg)
Beets 109
Asparagus 52
Avocado 81
Lentils 181
Spinach 194

Beets and Weight Loss

Beets can be a great addition to your weight loss journey due to their low-calorie content. The table below compares the calories in 100g of various vegetables:

Vegetable Calories (kcal)
Beets 43
Carrots 41
Cucumbers 15
Peas 81
Tomatoes 18

Beets and Athletic Performance

Beet juice consumption is commonly associated with enhanced athletic performance. The following table shows the nitrate levels in various juices:

Juice Nitrate Content (mg)
Beet Juice 279
Pomegranate Juice 13
Apple Juice 1
Orange Juice 1
Carrot Juice 0

Beets and Digestion

Beets are natural sources of dietary fiber, which is vital for promoting healthy digestion. The table below compares the fiber content in 100g of select vegetables:

Vegetable Fiber Content (g)
Beets 2.8
Broccoli 2.6
Carrots 2.8
Spinach 2.2
Cucumbers 0.5

Concluding Thoughts

As illustrated through the tables above, beets are a nutrient-dense vegetable that offers a plethora of health benefits. From supporting heart health and digestion to boosting brain function and athletic performance, beets are truly nature’s powerhouse. Incorporating beets into your diet can be a delicious and exciting way to improve your overall well-being.

Beets to Eat – Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Are beets root vegetables?

Yes, beets are root vegetables. They belong to the same family as radishes and turnips.

What are the different types of beets available?

There are several varieties of beets, including the red beet, golden beet, and Chioggia beet (also known as candy cane beet).

Are beets high in nutrients?

Yes, beets are nutritious and are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are particularly rich in folate, manganese, and potassium.

Are beets good for digestion?

Yes, beets contain fiber which aids in digestion and promotes regular bowel movements. They are also known to have detoxifying properties.

How can beets be prepared for consumption?

Beets can be eaten raw, roasted, boiled, or pickled. You can slice, grate, or julienne them for use in salads, or cook them as a side dish or main course.

Do beets have any health benefits?

Yes, beets have many health benefits. They are known to support heart health, lower blood pressure, improve athletic performance, and enhance brain function.

Can beets be included in a weight loss diet?

Yes, beets can be part of a weight loss diet as they are low in calories and high in fiber, which can help keep you full and satisfied.

Are there any potential side effects of consuming beets?

While beets are generally safe for consumption, excessive intake may cause temporary discoloration of urine or stool. Some individuals may also be allergic to beets.

How can beets be stored?

Beets can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Remove the beet greens and store them separately wrapped in a plastic bag.

Can beets be frozen?

Yes, beets can be frozen. You can blanch them before freezing to retain their color and texture.