Health benefits of Beet greens
- Beet tops are one of very versatile, nutritious green leafy vegetables. The greens indeed very low in calories; 100 grams hold just 22 calories. Nonetheless, they are one of the healthiest greens recommended in the diet for their low fat, no cholesterol but health benefiting vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.
- Just as in the case of beetroot, its top greens too are a good source of the phytochemical compound, glycine betaine (Trimethylglycine). Betaine has the property of lowering homocysteine level in the blood, especially in persons with homocystinuria, a kind of inherited homocysteine metabolism disease. Homocysteine is one of highly toxic metabolite which promotes platelet clot as well as atherosclerotic plaque formation inside the blood vessels. An excessive amount of this compound in the blood can damage blood vessels resulting in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and peripheral vascular diseases.
- Beet greens carry more minerals, vitamins, and fiber than beetroot (except for the folate vitamin), yet they are low in calories, fat, and sugar.
- Beet greens are the finest sources of ß-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These flavonoids have strong antioxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin-A inside the human body.
- Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, absorbed selectively into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes, where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV light-filtering functions. Thus, it helps prevent retinal detachment and offer protection against “age-related macular degeneration related macular degeneration disease” (ARMD) in the older adults.
- The top greens are excellent sources of vitamin-A; 100 g leaves provide 6,326 IU or 211% of RDA. Vitamin-A required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin and is essential for vision. The diet rich in this vitamin has been found to be effective in the protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
- The greens are excellent vegetable sources of vitamin-K; 100 g provides 400 ug of this vitamin; that is about 333% of recommended daily intake. Vitamin-K has potential role bone health by promoting osteoblastic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limit neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has an established role in the treatment of patients who have Alzheimer’s disease.
- 100 g of fresh leaves contain 30 mg or 50% of daily recommended levels of vitamin-C. Vitamin-C is a moderately powerful water-soluble antioxidant, which helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
- This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, folate, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid that work as coenzymes during the metabolism in the human body.
- Its leaves are also a rich source of minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium.
- The human body utilises manganese as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.
Beet green’s high-quality nutrition profile offer protection from vitamin-A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and possibly colon and leukemia (blood cancers).