Beet root is rich in folate and antioxidants.
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The health advantages of eating beets, also known as beet root, far outweigh the disadvantages. In fact, a study published in 2012 in the "Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics" stated that eating beet root could help you run faster. The study suggests that the reason for the improved running speed is that beets are rich in nitrates. Not only will beets make you fleet of foot, they also provide you with folate, fiber and antioxidants.
Calories, Fiber and Carbohydrates
Beet root is a sweet red or golden vegetable with 44 calories and 2 grams of fiber in a 2-inch round beet. Your body does not digest fiber, so it passes through your system without converting into sugar and causing blood sugar levels to increase. One beet also provides almost 10 grams of carbohydrates to your diet. You need carbohydrates for energy for a healthy metabolism. Beets provide you with a good source of healthy carbohydrates.
Health Advantages of Folate
Beets are also rich in folate. Eating one beet provides 20 percent of the daily recommended allowance of this nutrient. Folate helps build new cells. Pregnant women should be aware that folate helps prevent spine and brain defects in their developing babies. The folate in beets also helps prevent heart disease and builds red blood cells.
Beets are a good source of lipoic acid, an antioxidant that helps heal nerve damage caused by diabetes, according to registered dietitian Joan Salge-Blake. This fatty acid helps neutralize chemicals known as free radicals that can cause nerve damage. Every cell in your body has lipoic acid, which is vital for converting glucose into energy.The unusual antioxidant properties in lipoic acid allow it to work in both fat and water, while other antioxidants can only function in one or the other. Another unique factor of lipoic acid is that it helps other antioxidants to regenerate, according to NYU Langone Medical Center.
Side Effects of Beets
One of the side effects of eating red beet root is a change in urine color. Red beets can turn urine pink or red, which some people mistake for blood. Beets can also make urine smell sweet. Neither of these conditions is harmful to your health. If you have gout, which is a condition that causes crystals to form in the joints, making them painful and swollen, avoid eating beets. University of Maryland Medical Center states that the oxalates in beets can cause gout to flare up.