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The unique health benefits of beets (Beta vulgaris)

beta trigyna

healing properties

herbs and bioactive substances

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Beet (Beta vulgaris) is a root vegetable, also known as beetroot, table beet, garden beet or simply beetroot. Packed with essential nutrients, this delicious vegetable is compatible with virtually any diet. It brings great health benefits when consumed alone or with other fruits and vegetables.

What is beets

Beets are a versatile type of vegetable known for its earthy taste and aroma.

In addition to bringing a bright color to your eating plate, beets are very nutritious and full of essential vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, many of which have healing properties.

What's more, different types of beets are suitable for adding to your diet in dishes such as balsamic roasted beets, hummus, french fries and salads, among many others.

Beets come from the same family as sugar beet. However, it is genetically and nutritionally different, providing a wide range of health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, improving digestion, and reducing the risk of diabetes. [ref.  1] 

The Unique Health Benefits of Beets

Lots of nutrients and few calories

Beets boast an impressive nutritional profile, like many other vegetables. Beets are primarily low in calories, but high in valuable vitamins and minerals. In fact, it contains little of almost all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Here is a comprehensive list of nutrients contained in a portion of 100 grams of boiled beets:

  • Calories: 44 kcal
  • Protein: 1.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 10 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Folate: 20% of daily value (DV)
  • Manganese: 14% of the daily value
  • Honey: 8% of the daily value
  • Potassium: 7% of the daily value
  • Magnesium: 6% of the daily value
  • Vitamin C: 4% of the daily value
  • Vitamin B6: 4% of the daily value
  • Iron: 4% of the daily value

Beneficial for heart health and blood pressure

A 2015 study of 68 people with high blood pressure examined the effects of drinking 250 milliliters of beet juice every day. The researchers found that this significantly lowered blood pressure after taking such juice.  [ref. 2] 

They suggest that this antihypertensive effect is due to the high levels of nitrate in beet juice. They recommend eating vegetables high in nitrates as an effective and inexpensive way to treat high blood pressure. However, this does not replace the medications prescribed by a doctor, if any.

Beets are also a great source of folate. Although research has shown mixed results, several studies have shown that increasing folate intake can significantly lower blood pressure levels. [ [ ref. 3] ] 

Prevention of cancer

A 2019 review of studies found that certain compounds in beets can disrupt cell cancer mutations. Such compounds include betalains, a type of pigment that gives beets its characteristic red or yellow color. They possess a number of anti-inflammatory properties.

Although further research is needed before health professionals can recommend beets as a substitute for other standard methods to reduce the risk of cancer, it may have some effect in reducing the risk of this condition.  [ref. 4] 

Beets for even better athletic performance

Several studies have shown that dietary nitrates such as those in beets can improve athletic performance. Nitrates appear to affect shape by improving the efficiency of mitochondria, which are responsible for energy production in cells.

According to one review, beetroot juice can increase endurance by increasing the time it takes for exhaustion, boosting cardio-respiratory performance, and improving athletes' performance. Interestingly, beet juice improves cycling performance and increases the body's oxygen use by up to 20%.  [ref. 5] 

May improve digestive health

One cup of beets contains 3.4 grams of fiber, making beets an excellent source of fiber. Fiber bypasses the digestive process and reaches the colon, where it contributes to the so important balance of intestinal bacteria.

How to consume beets

There are many options for cooking beets - steamed, boiled or pickled beets. Of course, it can also be eaten raw. Here are some ideas on how to gain the nutritional benefits of beets in delicious ways:

  • Make beet juice by peeling the beets and mixing it fresh orange, mint, pineapple or apples, lemon and ginger. 
  • Grate or chop raw beets and add them to a cabbage salad or carrot salad.
  • On such a salad you can add goat cheese.
  • Cut the raw beets and serve it with lemon juice.
  1. What is beets

    • The Unique Health Benefits of Beets
      • Lots of nutrients and few calories
      • Beneficial for heart health and blood pressure
      • Prevention of cancer
      • Beets for even better athletic performance
      • May improve digestive health

    • How to consume beets


    Beets are a wonderful vegetable  that you can consume at any time of the year. When choosing beets, make sure that it is heavy for its size and there are no signs of superficial damage. If the beets still have green tops, they should look fresh and unfaded. Only in this way can you get all the valuable nutrients from the brightly colored vegetable. However, do not overdo it with its juice, as this can lead to the production of red, purple or pink urine or feces. Although this may seem alarming, it should not be a cause for medical concern. Doctors call this "baeturia."


    1. Beetroot - Wikipedia
    2. Red Beetroot and Betalains as Cancer Chemopreventative Agents
    3. A Single Dose of Beetroot Juice Enhances Cycling... : Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise

    The author

    Bettina Tzvetkova has a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and a Master's degree in Entrepreneurship, a fan of healthy eating, power sports and cycling. Author of over 1500 scientifically based articles, product texts and advertising materials on health topics for Bulgarian and foreign websites. 


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