Few things in the world are naturally purple: hydrangeas, grapes, Barney (arguably), and… beets. And while many may associate beets with the rock band (thanks to Nickelodeon’s ) these semi-awkward looking roots are more than the creators of Killer Tofu. An all-star veggie, beets contain that help fight disease and strengthen the vital organs.

You Can’t Beet the Benefits!—Why They’re Super

Beets get their vibrant color from , purple pigments that are more than just pretty-looking. The betalain concentration in beets is higher than in most vegetables, and studies suggest betalains may help ward off cancer and other degenerative diseases Kanner J, , . Department of Food Science, Institute of Technology and Storage of Agricultural Products, Agricultural Research Organization, Bet Dagan, Israel. J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Nov; 49(11):5178-85 . Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Howard University, Washington DC. Pharmacol Res. 2003 Feb;47(2):141-8. In case fighting cancer isn’t enough, beets also know their alphabet; they which all make our bodies feel beeetautiful by Beets are also packed with , which , and fiber, which keeps things in the digestive track Perhaps the gold-metal nutrient in beets is folate Wang M, Goldman IL. Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI, Plant foods for human nutrition. 1997;50(1):1-8.. A B9 vitamin, folate helps , and pregnant women should consume folate to reduce the risk of neural defects in babies. But don’t worry, gentlemen— folic acid can help prevent so there’s a reason for everybody to hop on the beet bus!

Can't Stop the Beet—Your Action Plan

Though beets pack in a ton of nutrients, a one-cup serving has just 58 calories. Keep in mind that beets contain natural sugars—about nine grams per serving—so diabetics and other people trying to limit their sugar intake shouldn’t overdo it in the beet-aisle. But for most, beets’ sweetness shouldn’t pose a problem. There are many simple, delicious ways to , including boiling, baking, steaming them in the microwave, or eating them raw. Beet greens and stems are also just treat them like spinach or It’s even possible to consume beets in liquid form—just make sure to add beet juice to other vegetable or fruit juices, as beet juice alone can cause some negative like discolored urine. Beets are available year-round, but the best time to buy them is June through October, when they’re in season. Grab some then when they’re especially tender and fresh!

Superfood Recipe: Apricot Roasted Chicken and Beets with Fall Vegetables

Apricot Roasted Chicken and Beets with Fall Vegetables Photo by Kate Morin

What You'll Need:

  • 4 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 large beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 2 large fennel bulbs, tops removed, each cut into 8 wedges 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup apricot jam mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water 1 whole chicken, split 1 lemon, cut into wedges Salt and Pepper to taste

What to Do:

  1. Heat oven to 450.
  2. In a heavy baking pan, toss vegetables with oil and half of jam mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
  3. Add chicken pieces and lemon wedges to roasting pan, season with salt and pepper, and return to oven. Roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and glaze chicken in remaining apricot mixture.
  5. Return to oven until cooked through, about 20 more minutes.