Are Canned Beets Healthy?


Canned beets have been a staple of many diets for years, prized for their quick, convenient nature and year-round availability. Despite not possessing the same freshness as raw beets, the canning process does not significantly diminish their nutritional value. These canned gems are packed with essential vitamins like fiber, potassium, iron, and folic acid, making them a valuable addition to a balanced diet that supports overall health.

Consumers should be aware that certain canning methods and added preservatives can impact the health benefits of canned beets. It’s advisable to scrutinize the packaging for additional ingredients such as sugars and salts as these can increase the calorie content and potentially pose health risks when consumed regularly.

The Nutritional Content of Canned Beets

Canned beets boast a rich nutritional profile, containing high levels of folate, a vital vitamin crucial for cell repair and production. A single serving of canned beets delivers approximately 20% of the recommended daily intake of folate, emphasizing their nutrient density.

Furthermore, canned beets are a great source of fiber, which promotes digestive health and aids in weight management by inducing feelings of fullness. With around 3.4 grams of fiber per cup, canned beets provide about 9% of the recommended daily intake, making them an excellent dietary choice.

In addition to folate and fiber, canned beets also offer essential minerals like iron and potassium, which are instrumental in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and supporting cardiovascular well-being.

Antioxidant Properties of Canned Beets

Even in their canned form, beets retain essential antioxidants that play a crucial role in safeguarding the body against harmful free radicals. These antioxidants, including Betalain—the pigment responsible for the distinctive hue of beets—possess anti-inflammatory, detoxification, and even anti-cancer properties.

Despite the heat exposure during canning, betalains are partially preserved, ensuring that canned beets still provide valuable antioxidant benefits. By incorporating canned beets into your diet, you can enhance your health with these powerful antioxidants.

The Impact of Sodium in Canned Beets

While canned beets offer a plethora of health benefits, it’s essential to consume them in moderation due to their high sodium content. Sodium serves as a natural preservative in canned foods to prolong shelf life; however, excessive sodium intake can lead to health issues like hypertension and kidney disease.

A typical cup of canned beets may contain up to 500 milligrams of sodium, equivalent to 1/3 of the recommended daily intake. Opting for reduced-sodium versions or rinsing the beets before consumption can help individuals maintain a healthier sodium balance while still enjoying the benefits of canned beets.

The Takeaway

Registered dietitians and health professionals often advocate for the consumption of vegetables in their raw or minimally processed forms. Nevertheless, canned alternatives like canned beets offer a convenient and practical way to incorporate nutritious vegetables into your diet, especially when fresh options are not readily available.

While the canning process may slightly alter the nutritional composition of beets, they remain a nutritious choice, packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds. Managing their sodium content by selecting reduced-sodium varieties or rinsing them before consumption can help individuals enjoy the benefits of canned beets while maintaining a balanced diet. In moderation, canned beets can be a valuable addition to a healthy eating regimen.

Angie Mahecha

An fitness addict passionate about all things nature and animals, Angie often volunteers her time to NGOs and governmental organizations alike working with animals in general and endangered species in particular. She covers stories on wildlife and the environment for the Scientific Origin.