Cooking with Beets

Beets Nutritional Profile


Energy value (calories per serving): Low

Protein: Moderate Fat: Low

Saturated fat: Low

Cholesterol: None

Carbohydrates: High

Fiber: Moderate

Sodium: Moderate

Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin C

Major mineral contribution: Potassium


About the Nutrients in Beets


Beets are roots, high-carbohydrate foods that provide sugars, starch, and small amounts of dietary fiber, insoluble cellulose in the skin, and soluble pectins in the flesh. Beets are also a good source of the B vitamin folate.


One-half cup cooked fresh beets has 1 g dietary fiber and 68 mcg folate (34 percent of the RDA for a man, 38 percent of the RDA for a woman).


The Most Nutritious Way to Serve Beets


Cooked, to dissolve the stiff cell walls and make the nutrients inside available.


Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Beets


Anti-kidney-stone diet

Low-sodium diet


Buying Beets


Look for: Smooth round globes with fresh, crisp green leaves on top.

Avoid: Beets with soft spots or blemishes that suggest decay underneath.


Storing Beets


Protect the nutrients in beets by storing the vegetables in a cool place, such as the vegetable crisper in your refrigerator. When stored, the beet root converts its starch into sugars; the longer it is stored, the sweeter it becomes.


Remove the green tops from beets before storing and store the beet greens like other leafy vegetables, in plastic bags in the refrigerator to keep them from drying out and losing vitamins.


Use both beets and beet greens within a week.

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