Beets lose 25 percent of their folate when cooked, so they are more nutritious when eaten raw. Folate is a type of B vitamin that helps form proteins and tissues in the human body.
Both the red roots and green tops of beets are edible. The greens are an excellent source of vitamin C, while the root provides several B-complex vitamins. Beets also provide fiber, minerals and some potassium.
The beet's scientific name is Beta vulgaris. Beets are of the same genus as Swiss chard. Beets may be red, white or orange-yellow. Shredded beets can make a colorful addition to a salad.