When it comes to nutrition, it's hard to beat beets.

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BEET: a biennial garden plant (Beta vulgaris) of the goosefoot family that includes several cultivars (such as Swiss chard and sugar beet) and that has thick edible leaves with long petioles and often swollen purplish-red roots; also : its root used especially as a vegetable, as a source of sugar, or for forage.

Beets sometimes bet a bad rap among those who remember eating the canned version as kids, but these antioxidant-rich gems pack a number of health benefits, making them worth learning to love!

WHAT MAKES THEM SO GOOD:

  • Antioxidant boost - A study of the most common vegetablescellular antioxidant activity and oxygen radical absorbance capacity ranks beets among the top, along with broccoli and red pepper.  The study states that increased consumption "may lead to reduced risk of developing chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease."
  • Cardiovascular impact - Beets are rich in nitrates, and a 2012 study found a trend of lower blood pressure in those who drank beet juice regularly.  Beets also have betaine and B-vitamin folate, which can lower levels of homocysteine, potentially reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Fights chronic diseases - Beets carry a number of bioactive compounds which can provide benefits for disorders characterized by chronic inflammation.  Clinical studies show beetroot consumption can help with disorder such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes and dementia.
  • Promotes brain function - Because of the high nitrate value, beets may help with blood flow to the brain, potentially impacting brain function.

These are just some of many positive effects of beets.  Other reports show more potential benefits including increased stamina, improved liver function, and digestive support.

Now you see why it's so worthwhile to find a beets recipe that suits you.  Click here for a few beet recipe ideas!