If you're anything like me, beets probably rarely cross your mind. Honestly, I forget they exist sometimes because I don't eat them often, if at all.
These brightly colored vegetables are popular in a lot of dishes, though. It got me thinking about where beets fall on the pH scale. Are beets acidic? Are beets alkaline?
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Are beets acidic?
Beets are indeed acidic. Traditional raw beets that you find in the produce section of your grocery store or farmer's market have a pH rating of 5.3 to 6.6. Because this rating is below 7, they're acidic. If you're using canned beets for a recipe, these tend to be more acidic than fresh, raw beets. Canned beets have a pH rating of 4.9 to 5.8.
But, since this rating is closer to the neutral side than the very acidic side, they're not going to taste incredibly sour when you bite into them.
MORE ON ACIDITY:
- Are Onions Acidic? (Should you be eating them?)
- Is Asparagus Acidic? (+How to prepare it)
- Is Bok Choy Acidic? (Is it good for you?)
Are Beets Healthy?
Vegetables are generally really great for us. But what components do beets have that make them a fantastic addition to our diets?
Like many vegetables, beets are nutrient-dense with few calories. You can eat 100 grams of beets for less than 50 calories. Beets are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, folate, and iron.
One of the leading causes of death worldwide is heart disease. Heart disease can cause people to have heart attacks and strokes, which can potentially kill them.
Studies have shown that some people's blood pressure has lowered from eating beets often. The nitrates in beets are likely the cause of this blood pressure reduction.
An interesting benefit of eating beets is that they may improve an athlete's performance. The reason people believe that beets help performance is because the nitrates in beets help to improve the mitochondria's efficiency.
For example, one study found that an athlete who drank beet juice improved their performance by almost 3% over the 2.5-mile time. Nitrate levels tend to peak between two and three hours of consumption.
If you're going to use beets for athletic performance, you'll want to drink them two to three hours before training.
Beets contain a decent amount of fiber. Fiber is proven to help improve your digestion. The fiber in beets can help keep your digestive system regular and promote good gut health.
Can I Eat Beets if I Have Acid Reflux?
Even though beets fall on the acidic side of the pH scale, they shouldn't cause you any issues if you have acid reflux disease.
These vegetables aren't nearly as acidic as other food or beverages. In fact, since beets are high in fiber, there is evidence that eating them can actually help prevent your acid reflux from acting up.
What is Healthier: Raw Beets or Cooked Beets?
It's clear that beets have several fantastic health benefits. But something that many people wonder is whether raw beets or cooked beets are better for you?
Raw beets are better for you because they contain vitamins and minerals.
When you cook beets, those healthy vitamins and minerals seep out of the vegetable. If you're looking for the vitamin benefits of beets, you'll want to eat them raw or cooked for a short time.
But, cooked beets are still a vegetable and remain good for you, even when cooked.
Beet Juice is Used For Dye
Beets are known for having a very pretty color, a color that stains easily. When you juice a beet, you can drink it or use it for dye.
People have been using beet juice for red dye as early as the 16th century. There's evidence that in 19th century England, people used beet juice to dye their hair.
Do Beets Have Sugar?
Sugar is naturally occurring in many fruits and vegetables. But did you know that beets have the highest natural sugar content of any vegetable?
Just because beets naturally have more sugar than other vegetables doesn't mean they're not good for you, though.
You Can Make Wine With Beets
We all know that wine is made from grapes, but you can make wine out of beets too. When you make wine from beets, you'll end up with a wine that resembles a port wine.
The high sugar content and earthy flavors make a delicious port wine that is perfect for dessert.