Beets: Benefits And Harms

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Beetroot is so common in our latitudes, an indispensable attribute of borscht and vinaigrette, Ukrainians simply cannot imagine their lives without this product. Our ancestors have been eating beets for a long time, and for good reason, modern research confirms the enormous value of this root crop.

Nutritional value of beets

Per 100 grams of raw beets contains:

  • Protein – 1.5 g.
  • Fat – 0.1 g.
  • Carbohydrates – 8.8 g.

The caloric content of beets is 40 kcal per 100 grams.

Beets contain vitamins B, P, PP, folic acid, fiber, magnesium, potassium, iodine, manganese, iron, sulfur, rubidium, cesium, and a whole list of other nutrients. The amount of each element is quite significant, which allows you to replenish the body’s reserves well.

This vegetable also contains amino acids such as arginine, betaine, histidine, and others.

It is an indispensable product in cooking, a source of energy, and a natural dye. Beets get their purple color from betaine.

Useful properties of beets

Beets are good for chronic constipation. Thanks to fiber, organic acids, and other elements, it regulates metabolic processes and enhances intestinal motility. Beetroot is the No. 1 “cleaner” of the body, sanitizing the intestines, among other things, by destroying putrefactive bacteria, and not only by the mechanical effect of fiber.

Beetroot is useful because it contains the lipotropic substance betaine, which regulates fat metabolism, and prevents fatty infiltration of the liver and high blood pressure. Beetroot betaine performs its function equally well in freshly squeezed juice and in hot borscht. It is used for obesity and liver diseases.

Magnesium, which is abundant in beets, helps treat atherosclerosis and hypertension.
Beets are good for healthy blood formation. It contains trace elements responsible for these processes. People whose diet includes beets rarely suffer from anemia.

Beets are essential for pregnant women. Folic acid, which is part of it, is vital at the stage of child planning and at the beginning of pregnancy, as without it, a healthy fetal nervous system will not form.

As for iodine content, which is the highest among root vegetables, its presence makes beets especially useful for iodine-deficient thyroid diseases and for the elderly suffering from atherosclerosis.

Harm and contraindications of beets

It is probably more correct to talk not about the dangers of beets, but about the limitations in their use. They are also due to the chemical composition of beets.

  • Osteoporosis, predisposition to it. This is due to the fact that beets interfere with the absorption of calcium.
  • Diabetes mellitus. Because it is a sweet vegetable with fairly high sugar content.
  • Urolithiasis (oxaluria, first of all). Beets are contraindicated in this case because they contain oxalic acid. On the Internet, you can find many folk recipes for the treatment of kidney and bladder stones with beet juice. This should not be done under any circumstances!
  • Chronic diarrhea. Beets have a pronounced laxative effect.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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