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Beetroot

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Beetroot Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 87.6 g
Calories: 43 kcal
Protein: 1.6 g
Carbohydrate: 9.6 g
Dietary fiber: 2.8 g
Sugars: 6.8 g
Fat: 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 4.9 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 109 μg
Vitamin A: 2 μg
Vitamin K: 0.2 μg
Calcium: 16 mg
Iron: 0.8 mg
Magnesium: 23 mg
Phosphorus: 40 mg
Potassium: 325 mg
Sodium: 78 mg
Zinc: 0.4 mg

A true health food, beetroot is a valuable resource not only for those looking to maintain their long-term health, but also for those looking for their diet to have athletic benefits. Delicious when roasted, blended, or even in juice form, adding beetroot to your daily diet will have fantastic benefits.

The leaves of the plant (beet greens), are a low-calorie source of nutrients. Whichever part of the plant takes your fancy, eating beetroot is something wholeheartedly recommended.

Beets are an impressive source of nutrition. The beetroots themselves are a decent source of vitamins and minerals: 100g of raw beets contains 11% of your daily value (DV) of dietary fibre, 9% DV of potassium, and 8% DV of calcium. This will have great benefits for your digestive, cardiovascular, and bone health respectively.

But while the benefits of the root are more to do with athletic performance, beet greens are the real nutritional powerhouse here.

100g of raw beet greens contains 500% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin K, 127% DV of vitamin A, 50% DV of vitamin C, 14% DV of iron, and 12% of calcium. That’s a lot of nutrients! Deficiency in these could lead to anything from bad blood clotting to poor eye health, bleeding gums and tiredness. There’s a reason these nutrients are called essential, so always remember to eat your greens.

As mentioned above, the real benefits of beetroot comes with its remarkable and possibly unique benefits for athletic performance. This review notes that beetroot juice ‘appears to improve performance without any side effects’. This is great news for anyone engaged in athletic activity.

What is particularly impressive is the vast range of athletic pursuits that beetroot juice seems to improve. At first, the advantages gained from drinking it appeared to be just for endurance sports, like running and cycling, but there are papers that show that, for example, bursts of high intensity exercise are made easier by beetroot juice.

Even strength sports may be assisted by beetroot juice, as it appears to increase muscle contraction. For anyone who takes their sport seriously, or maybe even just enjoys feeling at their fittest, beetroot juice is an absolute must.

There are a few other benefits to drinking beetroot juice. In fact, the broader benefits for your long term health and the short term athletic benefits may even be due to the same mechanism, although research has not proven this.

Research into beetroot has shown that the nitrate in its juice has cardiovascular benefits, because it lowers blood pressure and protects blood vessels.

Moreover, this review lays out a whole host of potential therapeutic benefits of beetroot juice: from anti-oxidant properties, to reduction of inflammation, and preserving cognitive function as people get older. That paper was only published in April of 2015, so no doubt more benefits of beetroot juice are yet to be discovered!