This Root Vegetable Is As Sweet As Candy But Is Packed Full Of Goodness

From avocados to zucchini, you have quite a few options when it comes to superfoods that are as tasty as they are nutritious.

Superfoods are like mythical superheroes, but there’s nothing mythical about these foods. Science has shown that each has its own incredible benefits. Let’s take a look at nature’s candy - aka the beet.

Despite what chain grocers have likely led you to believe, there are more types of beet than just the red variety. These include golden, chioggia striped beets, and baby beets. For a milder flavor that’s less sweet and less earthy, go with a yellow beet. Meanwhile, baby beets are the most tender and flavorsome.

Farmer’s markets will likely have the largest variety of beets, especially between June and October. Whichever type you select, you can judge the freshness by looking at the beet’s leafy greens. Did you know that you can also eat the potassium-rich leafy part of beets? It’s a one-stop salad. How easy is that for a recipe?

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Beets actually store very well, too. Older beets typically lose some of their tenderness, but beets get sweeter in flavor as they age. As with any root veggie, you want to wait to wash beets until right before using them.

You get loads of nutrients without excess calories. Per 100 grams of beet, you’ll get only 44 calories and 0.2 grams of fat, but you’ll get 1.7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. That’s not to mention the plethora of vitamins and minerals, such as nitrates, folate, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamins C and B6, as stated here at Healthline.

Beets are full of antioxidants, which are compounds that help the body’s cells stave off free radical damage. Oxidative stress from free radicals increases your risk for the occurrence of cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Beets, particularly the red varieties, are high in an antioxidant, called betalains, that’s been shown to reduce the risk of colon and digestive cancers.

Betalains also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful in a number of diseases like arthritis, liver disease, heart disease, and cancer.

From slowing the aging process and expediting toxin removal to regulating cholesterol and blood sugar levels, beets have an army of superpowers under their belt. 

It’s easy to see why you should be adding more beets to your diet, and they’re actually quite versatile in how you consume them. Eat beets raw, juiced, steamed, poached, roasted, or pickled in recipes for soups, salads, casseroles, dips, and side-dishes.

What do you think about the taste and health benefits of beets? Do you have a favorite beet recipe or helpful beet tip to offer? Leave your thoughts in the comment section, and don’t forget to pass the beet along for others to enjoy.