Good to hear you are including a nutrient-packed food like beets in your diet! As you’ve noticed, there are many different varieties so I’m glad you asked this question. I find that beets are one of those vegetables that people just don’t quite know what to do with, or avoid because of the very “mess” you describe. Anyone who’s ever tried to get beet stains out of their countertops or favorite shirt will agree.
Most of us are more familiar with the red beet, but they are available in a variety of colors; golden beets are just one other common variety. All beets are nutrient-rich, high in fiber and potassium, and low in calories. The main difference between red and golden beets simply lies in the pigment compound found in each, while the nutritional benefits are the same.
Beets, like most vegetables, are low in calories, making them a good choice for a low-calorie density food (think more for less). A 4-ounce beet contains only about 45 calories. They are also a great source of fiber, which I often refer to as the “miracle pill” of nutrition, as it aids in digestion, blood sugar control, cholesterol- lowering, healthy bowel function, and weight management.
Beets are a great source of Potassium, which can aid in lowering blood pressure; Calcium, which is necessary for bone health, hormone secretion, nerve signaling, and muscle contractions; and many other important vitamins and minerals such as folate, manganese, iron, and Vitamin C.
Back to the pigments found in beets which give them their particular color…Red beets tend to contain Betacyanin while golden beets contain more Betaxanthine. Both of these pigments provide key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which anyone can use as we aim to prevent various diseases as we age.
Beets are typically found in the grocery store year-round, with the ideal time to purchase being between June – October. Although many are fearful of just what to do with them, beats can be a delicious addition to any meal, salad, snack (think beet chips), and are at times even used in desserts! The projections for popular food trends of 2017 include the increase of beet flavors hitting the shelves. Why not learn to include the real deal in your diet?