Beets or beetroot- proven health benefits, nutrition, uses and recipes

The scientific name of beets or beetroot is Beta vulgaris. Beets are very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.

Beetroot nutritional value

According to the USDA nutrient database, 100g of beet contains the following values:


9.6g Carbs (3% RDI)

2.8g Fiber (11% RDI)

.2g Fat (neg)

1.6g Protein (3% RDI)

33IU Vitamin A (1% RDI)

4.9mg Vitamin C (8% RDI)

.2mcg Vitamin K (neg)

Thiamin (2% RDI)

Riboflavin (2% RDI)

.3mg Niacin (2% RDI)

.1mg Vitamin B6 (3% RDI)

109mcg Folate (27% RDI)

.2mg Pantothenic Acid (2% RDI)

6mg Choline

129mg Betaine

16mg Calcium (2% RDI)

.8mg Iron (4% RDI)

23mg Magnesium (6% RDI)

40mg Phosphorous (4% RDI)

325mg Potassium (9% RDI)

78mg Sodium (3% RDI)

.4mg Zinc (2% RDI)

.1mg Copper (4% RDI)

.3mg Manganese (16% RDI)

.7mcg Selenium (1% RDI)




Health benefits of beetroot or beets

Heart health

Intake of food high in nitrate content is beneficial in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

In a study, Beetroot’s high nitrate content is responsible for its vasoprotective effects. Intake of just 500 ml beetroot juice has shown to reduce blood pressure,  prevent endothelial dysfunction and reduces the risk of dangerous blood clot formation.

Improve Athletic Performance

Eating fruits rich in nitrate improves endurance exercise performance and speed up recovery or heals muscle soreness.

In a study, consuming baked whole beetroot (200 g with ≥500 mg nitrate) has shown to improves running performance in healthy adults.

Another study has shown that dietary nitrate supplementation via beetroot juice enhances muscle contractile efficiency during knee-extensor exercise in humans.

In another study, dietary nitrate through beetjuice root reduces the 02 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans.

Another study, dietary supplementation with beetroot juice speeds up oxygen uptake kinetics and enhances exercise tolerance during severe intensity exercise.

Lower blood pressure

Studies has shown that single dose of beetroot juice helps to reduce blood pressure

In a study, 250 ml of dietary nitrate daily, as beetroot juice helps to reduce blood pressure, improve endothelial function by ≈20%, reduces arterial stiffness.

These findings suggest a role for dietary nitrate via beetroot juice as an affordable, readily-available, adjunctive treatment in the management of patients with hypertension.


Beet root is helpful in treatment and prevention of various viral infection including herpes, Influenza A and H1N1 Infection.

A study has shown that beet extract protects against experimental influenza infection.

Detoxification and prevent DNA damage

Red beetroot contains a specific class of antioxidants collectively named betalains. According to a study, beetroot juice induced the level of glutathione S-transferase pi, enzyme involved in active metabolites of DMBA detoxification. It helps to prevents adverse changes associated with carcinogens or other toxins,  prevent DNA damage and liver injury.

Protect liver

Including beetroot in diet benefit liver health. It helps to protect liver against toxicity, reduces the risk of liver damage or other liver related diseases.

In a study, beetroot protects the liver against chemical toxicity.

A study has shown that beetroot juice protects against N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced liver injury.

These results confirm the protective effect of beetroot juice against oxidative damage and indicate that metabolic alterations induced by beetroot feeding may protect against liver damage.

Antioxidants and Protects from radiations

A study has shown that red beets rich in antioxidants like betalains and contain compounds with radioprotective properties.

Consuming beetroot provide protection against radiation induced illness.


Beetroots are rich in phenolics, flavonoids and betalains. It helps to fight free radicals, provide protection against oxidative stress, many bacterial infection and are toxic to cancer cells. According to a study, beetroot has shown antiradical, antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities.

Anticancer and anti-tumor

Study has shown that beetroot extract has 10 times lower toxicity than the chemo-agent doxorubicin; it has anti-cancer properties against breast and prostate cancer cells.

In another study, beet root has anticancer activity and kills cancer cells.

Another study has shown that red beet has anti-tumor promoting activity. It is found effective against lung and skin cancer.

In another study beet eating beetroot act synergistically with anticancer drug doxorubicin in treating human pancreatic, breast and prostate cancer cell lines.


According to a study, red beet, apple, and citrus pectins inhibit the production of staphylococcal enterotoxins type A and B. It act as an anti-bacterial agent.

Lower cholesterol and improve colon health

A study has shown that Red Beet fiber significantly reduces LDL cholesterol and increases HDL.

Red beet fiber diet caused a reduction of serum cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels (by 30 and 40%, respectively) and a significant increase in the fraction of cholesterol carried in HDL. It also a significant decrease (almost by 30%) of cholesterol content in aorta. The red beet fiber in the diet significantly reduced the incidence of precancerous lesions–aberrant crypt foci–in the colon and may reduces the risk of colon tumor by reduced by 30%.

How to boil beet root?

Simmer beetroot for 15 minutes in a covered pan. Boiled beet root is ready when the core is till hard but easily pierced with a fork or knife. Drain and rinse will cool water.

How to steam beetroot?

To steam beets, add two inches of water to the pot, place the beets in the steamer, and cover. Leave the beats to steam for roughly 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the quantity.

How to bake or roast beetroot?

To bake or roast beets, set the oven at 375 F, and rest them directly atop the oven grate or wrap in aluminum foil. Or, add sliced beets to a lightly oiled baking sheet. It’s possible to add other seasoning to the tray, such as chopped onions, olive oil, lemon juice, potatoes, and turnips.

Beetroot healthy recipe ideas and uses

Make healthy beetroot juice with orange, carrot, apple, and a fresh lemon juice.

Try beets smoothie with grapes and dark leafy greens.

Add beet root to the salads.

Add steamed beetroot to baking dishes.

Use beetroot juice as natural coloring agent.

Try this beet yogurt soup recipe.

Make beetroot dip by  blending roasted beets with garlic, chili powder, honey, olive oil, and a spice mix of thyme, sesame seeds, oregano, salt, dill and black pepper.

Make low calorie hummus by substituting roasted beets for chickpea into any hummus recipe to adds color, sweetness and flavor.

Make healthy beetroot soup. First roast beets, potatoes, and carrots tossed in olive oil and balsamic. Separately, sautee onions until golden brown, and then add garlic, ginger, chili powder, and vegetable broth. Once the vegetables have finished roasting, add to soup pot and then blend.

Cut beetroot into thin slices and dehydrate them to get beetroot chips.

Make chutney or sauce by sautéing cubes of cooked (boiled or steamed) beets with the coconut, shallots, garlic, and tamarind. Dry roast the coconut, coriander and red chilies, and then blend until smooth.