What Are the Health Benefits of Beets?

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Beets have many health benefits; they are high in vitamins and minerals like the B vitamin folate, manganese, potassium and copper. They're also high in dietary fiber. Beets contain healthy amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6.

Folate is involved in regulating the body's metabolism and all of its biological reactions. Some studies have linked low folate levels with birth defects.

Manganese is needed to support the health of the bones and the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats. Copper helps to create red blood cells and helps the body store and release iron.

Beets also contain betalains, which not only give the root vegetable its color but have antioxidant and other healthful properties. Antioxidants protect the body from damage from free radical molecules. The betalains in beets also guard against inflammation and help clear the body of toxins. Beets also support the cardiovascular system and help to lower the levels of "bad" or LDL cholesterol.

Not only the beet root, but also its greens are healthful. They are rich in carotnoids, flavonoids, vitamin A and other vitamins and minerals.

Beets can be prepared in a variety of ways. They can be steamed, boiled, roasted or even eaten raw.