Beets (Beta vulgaris) are a root vegetable hailing from a family of plants called Chenopodiaceae aka Goosefoot. This family of plants includes relatives such as spinach, swiss chard and quinoa.
Beets are full of essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Manganese, Potassium and are an amazing source of fiber.
They can be eaten raw, but are traditionally found canned, pickled or roasted. Their green leaves (beet greens) can also be cooked and eaten as well which add Vitamin K and Calcium to their nutrient profile.
Vitamin & Minerals
All the nutrients in beets play a vital role in your everyday health. Here are some of the amazing benefits each vitamin and mineral contain …
Vitamin C: immunity, wound healing, skin health, antioxidant
Potassium: kidney health, heart health (lower cholesterol)
Folate (Vitamin B9): cell function, DNA repair, create new tissue, red blood cell production
Iron: transportation of oxygen in red blood cells (RBC’s), RBC production, blood sugar support
With all the nutrients listed above, beets also have the following benefits to your overall health …
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved exercise performance
Things to Note
If you are following a low FODMAP diet, beets may not be the best option because of their fructan (type of carbohydrate) content. This may lead to digestive upset, gas or bloating if you have the following conditions …
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)
If you consider eating the beet greens, know that they are high in an antinutrient called, oxalates. These compounds may interfere with mineral absorption such as iron, calcium and potassium.
To avoid any absorption hiccups, simply boil the greens until softened. This reduces the oxalate amount considerably.
How to Use
Beets are a very versatile vegetable due to their sweet and earthy flavor. They make for a great salad addition, smoothie ingredients or simply eaten as a healthy carbohydrate option as a snack or with a meal.
Check out our favorite beet salad recipe below!
Beet, Arugula & Walnut Salad
- 4 medium roasted beets (here is one of our recommended brands, Love Beets)
- 2 cups arugula (sub with romaine, spinach or spring mix)
- ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt & black pepper for taste
- In a large salad bowl, add arugula and walnuts
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar
- On a cutting board, chop beets into large chunks and put into salad bowl with other ingredients
- Dress salad with oil & vinegar mixture along with the sea salt and pepper and mix until salad is evenly coated
- Serves 3-4