Beetroot (Beta vulgaris) is a root vegetable also known as red beet, table beet, garden beet, or just beet.
Packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.
Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.
Many of these benefits are due to their high content of inorganic nitrates.
Beetroots are delicious raw but more frequently cooked or pickled. Their leaves — known as beet greens — can also be eaten.
There are numerous types of beetroot, many of which are distinguished by their color — yellow, white, pink, or dark purple.
Beets mainly consist of water (87%), carbs (8%), and fiber (2–3%).
One cup (136 grams) of boiled beetroot contains fewer than 60 calories, while 3/4 cup (100 grams) of raw beets boasts the following nutrients :
- Calories: 43
- Water: 88%
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Carbs: 9.6 grams
- Sugar: 6.8 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
Raw or cooked beetroot offers about 8–10% carbs.
Simple sugars — such as glucose and fructose — make up 70% and 80% of the carbs in raw and cooked beetroots, respectively.
Beetroots are also a source of fructans — short-chain carbs classified as FODMAPs. Some people cannot digest FODMAPs, causing unpleasant digestive symptoms.
Beetroots have a glycemic index (GI) score of 61, which is considered medium. The GI is a measure of how fast blood sugar levels rise after a meal.
On the other hand, the glycemic load of beetroots is only 5, which is very low.
This means that beetroots should not have a major effect on blood sugar levels because the total carb amount in each serving is low.
Beetroots are high in fiber, providing about 2–3 grams in each 3/4-cup (100-gram) raw serving.
Dietary fiber is important as part of a healthy diet and linked to a reduced risk of various diseases.
Vitamins and Minerals
Beetroots are a great source of many essential vitamins and minerals.
- Folate (vitamin B9). One of the B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue growth and cell function. It’s particularly necessary for pregnant women.
- Manganese. An essential trace element, manganese is found in high amounts in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
- Potassium. A diet high in potassium can lead to reduced blood pressure levels and positive effects on heart health.
- Iron. An essential mineral, iron has many important functions in your body. It’s necessary for the transport of oxygen in red blood cells.
- Vitamin C. This well-known vitamin is an antioxidant that is important for immune function and skin health.