The beet is a nutritious vegetable that provides a variety of health benefits. This vegetable consists of the stem greens, which are occasionally added to dishes, and the root. The beet root comes in the strong-flavored red standard variety, and the milder-flavored golden root. The original beet was naturally smaller in size than the variety you are familiar with today, but growers gradually increased its size using selective cultivation. The beet's growing season occurs during the late summer through early winter, with cold temperatures necessary for the beet's red color to deepen.
The fiber content in 1 cup of beets is 4 g, or 16 percent of the FDA recommended 25 g daily intake. The fiber in beets supports regular elimination. It also increases the rate that metabolic toxins called free radicals are removed from your body, decreasing your exposure to their cellular and DNA-damaging effects, and reducing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer.
A 1-cup serving of beets provides 148 mcg folic acid, or 37 percent of the 400 mcg FDA daily value. Your body needs folic acid to produce new skin, hair and nail cells. This vitamin is also responsible for healthy DNA synthesis. For women, consuming the required level of folic acid daily before conception and during pregnancy can help prevent the development of brain and spinal birth defects.
The potassium content in 1 cup of beets is 442 mg, or 13 percent of the 3,500 mg the FDA recommends you consume daily. Your body needs potassium to regulate the level of fluid and electrolytes inside and outside cell walls. Deficiencies in this mineral are rare and generally occur only if you are taking diuretics that flush potassium from the body, or if your diet contains a high level of sodium, which increases your body's potassium requirement.
The calorie content of 1 cup of beets is 58 calories, or only 3 percent of a standard 2,000-calorie diet. You can reduce your risk for gaining weight by including low-calorie, high-fiber and nutrient-dense foods such as beets in your diet. Beets provide the nutrients you need without increasing your body's calorie-burning requirement