Health Benefits of Beets
Beet is a common vegetable in our daily life and it regular consumption can bring great benefits to our health. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and chemical constituents which are essential for our daily needs. Its leaves and roots are edible, and they are low calories vegetables although they are rich in fiber and protein.
The roots and leaves of beet are good sources of folic acid which is usually crucial for some special group of people. Pregnant women should ensure adequate intake of folic acid to help lower the risk of infant neural tube birth defects. According to scientific report from Oregon State University, folic acid also plays an crucial role in cancer prevention. Half a cup of cooked beets is able to provide 68 micrograms folic acid, which is far adequate for the recommended daily intake (400µg) for adult men and non-pregnant women. For pregnant women, the RDI of folic acid is about is 600 micrograms per day, and several cups of beetroots can satisfy their needs as well.
Potassium is an essential material for maintaining the functionality of heart, muscles and nervous system. Studies showed that increased dietary potassium intake can reduce the risk of stroke and osteoporosis for elder people. It is estimated that half a cup of beets contains 260 milligrams of potassium and its leaves can provide up to 654 mg of potassium. Another important material contained in beetroots is magnesium which is crucial for healthy bones. Β-carotene is a powerful antioxidant and it is always combined with vitamin a. As with other leafy vegetables, beets are rich sources of beta-carotene with about 18µg beta-carotene per cup. In addition, beets also contain β-anthocyanin, an type of plant chemicals having the anti-cancer properties.
Image provided By Miansari66 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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