Beets are a popular garden vegetable for both their greens and root, the red part of the beet, which can be roasted in the oven with the simple addition of a bit of water. Roasting the beets allows for easy removal of the skin once cooled, then they can be sliced and eaten alone, or with a splash of vinaigrette. While some methods of cooking can reduce the amount of nutrients in vegetables, roasting and the use of dry heat, according to nutritionist Monica Reinagel, reduce the amount of vitamins and minerals lost. The shorter the cooking time, the fewer nutrients lost.
According to the USDA Nutrient Database, a one cup serving of red beets contains 58 calories, 2.19 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrates and 3.8 grams of fiber. Roasting might change these values based on how they are roasted. The addition of oils and spices can increase the nutrient values, but beets can be roasted by simply adding 1/4 inch of water to a baking dish.
Beets are a good source of a variety of minerals your body needs for optimal health. Minerals are essential for building bones, making hormones and regulating your heartbeat. A one-cup serving of beets contains 1.09 milligrams of iron, which is 6 percent of the 18 milligrams women need each day. The same serving supplies 442 milligrams of potassium, a nutrient that supports heart health. That amount is 9 percent of the 4,700 milligrams you need each day. You'll get small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus and selenium in roasted beets, as well. Minerals are less affected by heat, and roasting your beets will hardly affect mineral content.
Vitamins are nutrients your body needs for optimal health. Beets provide a variety of vitamins per serving, including 6.7 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 9 percent of the 75 milligrams women need on a daily basis. The same serving also contains 148 micrograms of folate, which is about one-quarter of what women need on a daily basis. You'll get trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamins A, E and K from roasted beets, too. Roasting your beets can reduce vitamin content, depending on cooking time. Vitamins tend to be more affected by cooking, especially vitamin C, so you will see a reduction in these numbers.
Protein is broken down into amino acids in the body. They are essential for digesting foods, growth and tissue repair. Amino acids are divided into three categories known as essential, nonessential and conditional. Essential amino acids must be acquired from your diet and include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Beets provide trace amounts of all of these essential amino acids.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.