Contrary to what some might assume, beets nutrition facts contain much more than simple sugars. Though these sweet root vegetables are colloquially known as “nature’s candy”, they have much more going for them nutritionally than a typical Snickers bar. Because they serve as a storage container of nutrients for the beet plant, beets themselves are full of a variety of micronutrients that some human populations tend to have a deficiency in. Below are a few of the most important beets nutrition facts to remember the next time you’re on a lookout for a less conventional vegetable to munch on.
- Among other vegetables, beets are relatively high in carbohydrates. A cup of beets contains roughly 75 calories. While this isn’t much compared to non-vegetable foods, it is significantly higher than a cup of broccoli or celery. These carbohydrates are a blend of natural sugars – which give beets their signature sweet taste – and dietary fiber. In fact, that one cup serving of beets contains about 13% of the dietary fiber an average person needs daily. So, though they may be a little denser calorically, the high dietary fiber content of beets is both filling and has positive implications for the digestive system. This includes a decrease in colon cancer risk.
- The two micronutrients most strongly present in beets are folic acid and manganese. Folic acid, or Vitamin B9 if you’re a nutritionist, is an integral part of the body’s natural processes. It is believed to be a positive force in heart health when consumed at recommended levels. Beets nutrition facts state that a one cup serving has 34% of the folic acid you need in a day. Manganese, meanwhile, is a trace mineral that also serves an important role in the human diet. It serves as an essential element in many enzymes that control biological reactions. A single serving of beets has 27% of the manganese one needs daily.
- In addition to micronutrients, beets nutrition research also points to high levels of antioxidants. Like most vegetables, beets are high in dietary antioxidants that slow down the oxidation reaction in cells. This, in turn, helps to prevent cell damage and even mutation. In beets, the most prevalent antioxidant is beta carotene – which is found in everything from broccoli to carrots. In the body, this antioxidant works to help the absorption of Vitamin A, which is of course an essential facet of a healthy, balanced diet.