Health Benefits of Beets (2024)

Beets are a hardy root vegetable grown all over the world. The most common type of beet sold in grocery stores is Beta vulgaris, but there are many different varieties. They generally have an earthy, sweet taste that many people enjoy and are packed with nutrition.

Beets come in many vivid colors, from deep red to bright purple. Research suggests that eating vegetables in a wide array of colors can be good for your health.Adding colorful beets to your diet can be a visually appealing way to pack some extra nutrition into your favorite dishes.

Health Benefits

From reducing inflammation to improving heart health, beets provide many health benefits.

Reduced Inflammation

The stark red color of beets comes from compounds called betalains. Betalains have powerful antioxidant effects and can help reduce inflammation. Beets are also rich in nitrates, which reduce inflammation by removing harmful compounds from your bloodstream. This combination of betalains and nitrates makes beets a great choice for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia.

Heart Protection

The nitrates in beets don't just reduce inflammation, they also improve heart health. Nitrates have been shown to reduce high blood pressure. Beets are also naturally low in cholesterol and fat, which makes them a good option for people concerned about heart disease or stroke.

Increased Energy

Mitochondria are responsible for producing the energy your cells need to function. Studies have shown that the nitrates in beets help these cellular powerhouses function better. Some athletes even drink beet juice before exercising to improve their performance.

Nutrition

Beets are a nutrient-dense root vegetable low in calories, fat, and cholesterol, making them a heart-healthy choice.

Nutrients per Serving

A single, half-cup serving of cooked beets contains:

  • Calories: 37
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 65 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 8 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram

With two grams of fiber per serving, beets are primed to help keep your digestive system regular. Additionally, they're an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron

Things to Watch Out For

One concern with eating beets is that eating a lot of beets may cause gout.

Gout is an extremely painful condition caused by an increased uric acid level in your blood. The oxalates found in beets can increase your uric acid level, meaning that too many beets can lead to gout. To avoid this, stick to no more than a single half-cup serving of beets per day. Other recommendations for avoiding gout include drinking lots of water, eating lean meats and poultries, and keeping to a healthy weight.

How to Prepare Beets

Every part of the beet—from the stem to the bulb—is edible. If you're using the whole beet, be sure to wash it well before cooking to get rid of any fertilizers or dirt. You can peel the beet before cooking or eat it with the skin on.

Beets have a distinctive, earthy flavor. If you've tried beets in the past and didn’t like them, you may need to experiment with different seasoning options to find your preferred way to eat them. They can be boiled, steamed, roasted, and prepared a variety of other ways. Beets can also be added to smoothies with other fruits and vegetables to help sweeten the taste.

Other options for adding beets to your diet include:

  • Mixing beets in with cottage cheese
  • Adding beets to a tossed salad
  • Boiling beets with cabbage and ham
  • Pureeing beets with potatoes to make a healthy soup
  • Mixing beet greens into pasta
  • Topping a veggie pizza with sliced beets
Health Benefits of Beets (2024)

FAQs

Health Benefits of Beets? ›

According to Dr. Melamed, the typical serving size recommendation is one cup of cooked beets per day. But that doesn't mean you actually have to eat them every day; it's always best, she adds, to rotate your healthy foods so you get a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

How many beets do you have to eat to get benefits? ›

According to Dr. Melamed, the typical serving size recommendation is one cup of cooked beets per day. But that doesn't mean you actually have to eat them every day; it's always best, she adds, to rotate your healthy foods so you get a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

What happens to your body when you eat beets everyday? ›

Beets may help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. They are high in antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of cellular damage and some cancers. The nitrate content in beets may also help regulate blood pressure and have anti-inflammatory effects.

Do beets really have health benefits? ›

Packed with nutrition, beets have antioxidants like betalains that fight cell damage and inflammation, potentially offering protection against cancer and heart disease. Health benefits of beets include more stamina during exercise, heart disease and stroke prevention, and lower blood pressure.

What is the best way to eat beets for health benefits? ›

Most studies on the health benefits of beets are based on drinking its juice, but beets also can be beneficial when consumed raw, in salads, boiled, baked, turned into chips or eaten dried. Beets can be pickled so they can be enjoyed year-round.

How long does it take for beets to work in your body? ›

How long it takes for beet juice to lower blood pressure can vary. However, a 2008 study stated that beet juice lowers blood pressure in about 3 hours. Research suggests that drinking beet juice daily for at least 60 days provides the most benefits, helping significantly improve hypertension.

What time of day should you eat beets? ›

Hello user, you should consume in the daytime or after the lunch. Avoid taking it after dinner as beetroot has lot of calories. For daily consumption, one cup of beets is sufficient that amounts 136 gram. If you like beetroot juice, take 200 ml per day.

What happens 3 hours after eating beets? ›

It's important to note that blood nitrate levels peak within 2–3 hours of consuming beets or their juice. Therefore, it's best to consume them a couple of hours before training or competing to maximize their potential benefits ( 16 ).

Are there any negative effects of eating beets? ›

Beet can make urine or stools appear pink or red. But this is not harmful. There is concern that beets might cause low calcium levels and kidney damage.

Do beets clean your liver? ›

Beetroot juice: Beetroot juice is a great way to detox your liver and improve its function. They are high in antioxidants and help to cleanse the blood. They also promote healthy liver function by helping to break down toxins. Try adding some beet juice to your diet for better liver health.

What organ are beets good for? ›

“Beets are unique for their cardiovascular and heart health benefits,” says registered dietitian Sarah Thomsen Ferreira, RD. “Due to a combination of compounds found in beets, they are able to enhance blood flow, improve the health of arteries, support lower hom*ocysteine levels and reduce LDL cholesterol.”

Are beets healthier raw or cooked? ›

Cooking beets won't give you the same health benefits because heat destroys betalain pigments and hampers nitrates, but it's still good for your health. To preserve the maximum health benefits, grate raw beets into salads or steam/roast beets just long enough to tenderize them.

Do beets really clean your blood? ›

Since beets are a great blood purifier, they also help to keep skin radiant and glowing. The vitamin C found in beets also helps to keep blemishes and breakouts at bay.

Do beets cleanse your colon? ›

How Beets Cleanse Your Colon. Beets are rich in antioxidants and high in fiber that can help pull toxins into the colon where they can be evacuated. Because fiber isn't digested by your body like other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates, it feeds friendly gut bacteria.

Is it healthier to drink beet juice or eat beets? ›

Both eating beets and drinking beet juice will give you anti-inflammatory betalains and other phytonutrients. If you're looking to enhance athletic performance, drink up. Juicing beets delivers a concentrated dose of nitrates, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. However, you lose the fiber when you juice the beets.

How many beets should I eat per day? ›

The oxalates found in beets can increase your uric acid level, meaning that too many beets can lead to gout. To avoid this, stick to no more than a single half-cup serving of beets per day.

How soon after eating beets is urine red? ›

The urine color change may appear in the first few hours after drinking something containing beetroot. It may continue for a day or two after eating the coloring, especially in the stool.

How many beets should I eat to lower my blood pressure? ›

High blood pressure patients who drank 250ml of beetroot juice a day were found to have blood pressure levels back in the 'normal' range by the end of the study. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, which can cause heart attacks or strokes.

Is it better to eat beets raw or cooked? ›

Raw or Cooked? Cooked. Low in calories and high in nutrients, cooked beets reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Benefits: Naturally occurring compounds in beets improve blood flow, help keep arteries healthy and reduce LDL cholesterol (the 'bad' kind).

How do you get the most nutrients out of beets? ›

Steaming in the oven rather than baking helps preserve more of the healthy vitamins and minerals in beets. This method also helps beets better retain their beautiful, vibrant color. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place prepped beets and 3 tablespoons to ¼ cup water in a shallow baking dish.

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