Beets belong to the botanical species Beta vulgaris, which also includes sugar beets, mangel-wurzels, foliage beets, and Swiss chard.
Fresh beets have nearly twice the folate and potassium than their canned counterparts, plus a distinctive flavor and a crisp texture. The green tops of beets-beet greens-are an excellent source of beta-carotene, calcium, and iron.
Beets also supply another heart-healthy compound, betacyanin, an antioxidant that can help keep LDL “bad” cholesterol from oxidizing.
Culinary Caution: Beeturia is red-colored urine caused by the pigment in beets.
Antioxidant Score (ORAC)=1,767
Selecting and Storing Beets
Look for smooth, hard, round beets with a deep red color. The surface should be unbruised and free of cuts, soft spots or shriveled skin. Place the unwashed roots in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator crisper for up to three weeks. Store the greens separately in use within a few days.