UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI EXTENSION, COLUMBIA, Mo. – Few vegetables elicit less excitement from the average gardener than beet. Once relegated to pickling or making borscht, beet is enjoying greater respect due to its reported health benefits, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein.
Beets contain plant pigments called betalains that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and general detoxification properties in humans. Beet juice is marketed today as a natural energy drink because it contains dietary nitrates. The human body converts these nitrates to nitric oxide, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels. This can boost energy and stamina.
One cup of sliced, cooked beets contains only 75 calories. Beets are high in dietary fiber and are an excellent source of folate and vitamins A and K. They also contain significant amounts of manganese, copper and potassium.
To promote planting of this nutritious vegetable, the National Garden Bureau has declared 2018 the Year of the Beet.