Beets, also known as beetroots or garden beets, are a type of root vegetable easily identified by their bright red-purple color. Beets can be cultivated in a wide variety of climates, although they don't always stay ripe for a long time, which makes pickling beets an attractive option. Pickled beets offer a number of health benefits as they are rich in fiber and certain vitamins and minerals.
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Low in Fat
Pickled beets are very low in fat, with less than 0.2 g in each cup of slices. Dietary fat is high in calories, so consuming low-fat foods may help you manage your weight. Additionally, some types of fat -- saturated and trans fats -- can promote an increased risk of heart disease; fortunately, pickled beets don't contain these fats.
Rich in Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are your body's primary source of fuel, so athletes and other active individuals may wish to consume ample amounts of carbohydrates. Pickled beets can be a good choice, as one cup of sliced pickled beets provides 37 g of carbohydrates. According to December 2010 research from the "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism," carbohydrates are also a crucial component of a well-designed post-workout meal.
Rich in Dietary Fiber
Pickled beets are also a good source of dietary fiber. One cup of sliced pickled beets provides 6 g of this nutrient. Dietary fiber offers a number of health benefits, including promoting a healthy digestive system, providing feelings of satiety and promoting stable blood sugar levels.
High in Potassium
If you're active, you can benefit not only from the carbohydrates in pickled beets but the rich potassium content as well. Potassium is an electrolyte, which means it facilitates electrical transmissions -- nerve impulses -- in your body. Sweating can cause you to lose potassium, and too little potassium can cause weakness, lack of energy, irregular heartbeat and muscle cramps.
Good Source of Magnesium
Pickled beets are a good source of magnesium, a nutrient that assists in maintaining proper function of your nerves, muscles, immune system and heart. Too little magnesium can cause weakness, fatigue and loss of appetite.
High in Vitamin A
Pickled beets are rich in vitamin A, a nutrient that promotes an array of benefits. Your body uses vitamin A to ensure the proper health of your eyes, skin, teeth and mucus membranes.
Risks from Sodium Content
Eat beets in moderation to avoid consuming too much sodium. A cup of pickled beet slices come loaded with more than one-third of your daily sodium intake limit. If you regularly eat lots of high-sodium foods -- including pickled beets -- you face a higher risk of high blood pressure, which in turn increases your chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Avoid other high-sodium fare on the days you enjoy pickled beets to limit your sodium intake.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Beets, Pickled, Canned, Solids and Liquids
- "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism"; Nutrition Strategies to Promote Postexercise Recovery; M. Beelen et al.; December 2010
- Linus Pauling Institute: Fiber
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Potassium; May 2009
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements; Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Magnesium; July 2009
- MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia; Vitamin A; February 2011
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Beets, Pickled
- Linus Pauling Institute: Sodium