Can you think of a vegetable which has high sugar content but low calorie content?
Yes. It is none other than the Beets. The interesting feature about Beets is that it is one of those vegetables having highest sugar content. However, the calorie content per cup of beet is around 50 only.
Beets is a highly versatile vegetable that should find a place in the kitchen of every home at frequent intervals just for the simple reason that it can be used in many different ways for cooking. Beet comprises of both the leafy greens and the root part. The most nutritious part of the beet is the leafy green portion and one can cook this green separately as a spinach. The root can be a part of the side dish or can be used for pickle or as a salad.
Beet offers invaluable nutritional benefits. Beet is the source for potassium, fiber and folate. The green leafy part of the beet contains vital minerals such as potassium, iron and calcium.Besides these vital minerals, beet is discovered to be a rich source for Vitamin C. The top portion of the beet that includes the leafy greens is more nutritious especially if eaten young and green. It has been discovered that one cup of this top portion contains as much as 35 micrograms of vitamin C, which is equivalent to nearly 46% of the total requirement of Vitamin C that is advised for an adult woman in a day. In addition to Vitamin C, that cup of top portion also contains 160 micrograms of calcium, 2.5 micrograms of iron and as much as 1,300 micrograms of potassium. It is unfortunate, however, that many of the cooks in hotels and also at home prefer to discard the tops that include the leafy green portion and prefer to cook only the root.
In ancient times, the root part was not used for cooking but instead as a medicine for treating painful disorders at that time including headaches and toothaches. The top leafy green portion was the one that was consumed as vegetable in the ancient period. However, there is no evidence to prove that the root portion of the beet has medicinal properties.
Apart from folate, fiber, potassium and good amount of Vitamin C, the vegetable beet is found to have rich source of phytochemicals such as saporins and anthocyanins that can be helpful in binding the cholesterol found in the digestive tract. As a result of binding the cholesterol, the risk of heart disease caused by cholesterol is greatly reduced. Thus beet helps in minimizing the risk of contracting heart diseases.
In order to reap the benefits of the beet vegetable, it is advisable that the vegetable is boil them in a container without peeling off the skin so that most of the nutrients and the nutritional value is retained. After the beets cool-off from boiling temperature, the skins slip-off easily.
The beet, however has some minor drawbacks as well. If you eat beet, the urine and the stools you excrete the next day might turn out to be of red color. Some people, unable to recollect that they consumed beet the other day, might take the red color of urine and stool to be of blood and express fear about the same. Nonetheless, this red color is not blood and is harmless. After a day or two, the urine and the stool will turn out to be normal.