Beets are bright red root vegetables, and they are gaining popularity in the health field. In addition to being low-calorie, they're also loaded with nutrients that benefit the heart, digestion and athletic performance.
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"Beets are low in calories, and they provide many benefits, including their nutrition profile," says Anya Guy, a Mayo Clinic dietitian and nutrition expert. "They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins."
Beets are high in fiber, which is great for digestive health. They also can help your heart.
"Many people might not think that beets are a heart-healthy food, but, actually, beets contain a high level of nitrates, which have a blood pressure-lowering effect," says Guy.
And the health benefits of beets can be gained whether it's fresh beets added in your own recipes, pickled in a jar, sliced and roasted, or eaten as beet chips.
"To get the healthful benefits of beets, a serving would be a quarter to a half of a cup," says Guy. "You can add beets to salads, soups, smoothies, even pizza."
So the next time you're looking to add some color and nutrition to your meal, it's hard to beat the heart-healthy beet.