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Pickled Beets vs Fresh Beets: Raw or Canned?

Ever wondered what the difference in nutritional value is in pickled beets vs fresh beets? In this article, we will compare the two in an effort to find out which is better for you. 

We will look at the nutritional value of fresh beets, pickled beet nutrition and the overall health benefits of consuming beets.

Beetroot is on its way to gaining superfood popularity. Studies conducted recently have shown that beets are helpful in enhancing athletic performance. 

Studies have also shown that beetroot is capable of reducing blood pressure and increase blood flow.

These health benefits of beets have stimulated interest among producers of health juices and drinks.

Beet is a part of the same family as sugar beets. While they are from the same family, beets are nutritionally and even genetically different. 

Sugar beets are typically used for extracting sugar and increasing the sweetness of processed foods. 

Sugar cannot be extracted from beetroot in that way. The color of beets is usually red or gold while sugar beets are white.

Pickled Beets Nutritional Value

According to an article posted on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, beetroot is packed with a number of phytochemicals including betalains. Betalains are primarily supplied by beetroot in western diets. (1) (2) (3) (4)

This is because it is rarely found in the plant world. Beets are also filled with potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.

Beet is typically enjoyed in the form of supplemental juices, powder, bread, gel, boiled, oven-dried, pickled, pureed or in the form of jam.

Here are the nutritional facts of 100 grams of beet juice:   

beets nutritional facts 100 grams
95 kcal
22.6 g
0.70 g
0.16 g
dietary fiber
0.91 g
12 g
8.8 g
2.5 g

Some companies provide pickled beets for the enjoyment of those who want to have beets anytime. While this is convenient, is consuming fresh beets superior to the consumption of pickled beets?


Pickled Beets vs Fresh Beets

The process of pickling allows for longer preservation of the freshness of beets. This allows individuals to enjoy beets anytime they desire. 

When you consume a serving of pickled beets, you will be receiving low-fat energy along with important nutrients and fiber. 

By adding pickled beets to your diet, you will receive a proper supply of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You will have the benefit of weight management, bone protection, blood pressure control and a reduction in the risk of developing chronic diseases.

While pickled beets provide you with beets that have a much longer shelf life, they do contain salt and sugar. 

The inclusion of these two ingredients makes the health benefits of pickled beets a little controversial. According to Healthline, pickled beets nutrition facts are as follows:

Pickled Beets Nutrition Facts Per 100 Grams
< 1 g
< 1 g
16 g
11 g
1 g
13% of the Daily Value (DV)
10% of the DV
7% of the DV
4% of the DV
4% of the DV
Vitamin C
 3% of the DV
Pantothenic acid
3% of the DV
Vitamin B6
3% of the DV
3% of the DV

Beets are incredibly rich in polyphenol and flavonoid antioxidants. These provide your body with protection against disease by dismantling unstable molecules classified as free radicals.

Beet is actually dubbed as one of the 10 members of the plant kingdom that provide the most antioxidant properties. By the way, the red color of the beet is as a result of the high levels of betalains and betanins.

Unfortunately, when beet is pickled, up 70% of the antioxidant properties are lost. As a result, pickled beets contain far less antioxidant levels than beets consumed in other forms.

You will enjoy a great supply of nitrates and saponins when you consume beets. Nitrates assist in lowering blood pressure and also is one of the main properties that enhance athletic performance. 

The saponins that you will receive from beets will boost your heart health and strengthen your immune system.

One of the edges that pickled beets have over raw beets is that it provides probiotics when it is made by fermentation or when vinegar is added to the product. 

Harvard Health Publishing suggests that including probiotics in your health routine could treat or prevent some forms of illnesses. Some of the things that probiotics can assist with include:

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • H. pylori
  • vaginal infections
  • urinary tract infections
  • bladder cancer
  • digestive tract infection
  • pouchitis
  • eczema in children

What you must bear in mind is that some pickled beets are made with loads of salt and added sugars. 

As you may already know, there is an abundance of research that links the excessive consumption of sugar and salt to bad health and an increase in the chances of people developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

With that being said, be sure to investigate the packaging and labels of pickled beet products before purchasing.

Many are shocked after consuming pickled beets when they notice that their urine has turned pink or red. Do not be alarmed if this happens to you, it is actually very normal and is not harmful.

While pickled beets do pack great nutrients, the primary advantage it has over raw beets is the potential of it contain probiotics. 

Outside of that benefit, raw beets may very well be healthier. This is especially so when comparing pickled beets that are loaded with salt and sugar. 

However, if you want to have great health benefits when consuming pickled beets, select products that are made by natural fermentation or with vinegar that is raw and have not been pasteurized.


Health Benefits of Beets

Helps to Prevent Chronic Diseases

As a result of the high levels of betalains in beets, it is filled with potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. 

These are excellent for protecting you from chronic diseases that are related to inflammation and free radicals. This includes diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and cancer.


Improves Liver Health

Your liver is the organ in your body that is responsible for removing toxins from your body. By eating beets on a regular basis, you are helping your liver. 

The amino acid found in beets called betaine has been found to prevent and minimize the buildup of fat in the liver.


Improves Brain Function

Research has found that as we age our ability to produce nitric oxide lowers. This is a challenge because it is needed to relax and dilate our blood levels. 

This ultimately increases blood flow to the brain and potentially increases brain function. 

Research has revealed that beets provide you with the nitric oxide that you need to get your blood flowing to your brain. 

A study done in 2010 showed that people who enjoy a high-nitrate diet filled with such things as beet juice experience a higher level of blood flow to the frontal lobe of their brains. 

This is incredible because the frontal love is responsible for focus, organization, and attention to detail.


Increase in Stamina

A great number of athletes include beets in their regular diet. They do this because they know of the research-based suggested benefits of beets for athletic performance. 

A study revealed that cyclists who consumed beet juice were able to ride hard for 15 percent longer in their time trial. 

Andy Jones, the dean of research in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Exeter suggests that you need to consume around three to five beets to experience the amazing performance boost.


Improvement in Blood Pressure

The abundance of nitrates found in beets helps your body to dilate blood vessels. This improves your circulation and potentially helps to manage blood pressure levels. 

A study published in ‘Hypertension’ in 2008 reported that individuals who consumed beet juice enjoyed a 10 mm Hg reduction in blood pressure in three hours. They also had less blood clotting in their body as a result of consuming beet juice.

Without a doubt, beet is great for you. Whether you consume it raw, pickled, or cooked, you can receive health benefits from eating this superfood. 

However, when it comes to pickled beets vs fresh beets, fresh beets tend to have the edge. The main upper hand of pickled beets is the potential presence of probiotics which is excellent for gut health and holistic wellness. 

Nevertheless, the prevalence of sugar and salt in pickled beets products makes it somewhat counterproductive.

Whether you aim for fresh beets or pickled beets nutrition, you will find yourself potentially healthier because of the addition of this tasty red root.


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