|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||180 kJ (43 kcal)|
|- Sugars||7.96 g|
|- Dietary fiber||2.0 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||2 μg (0%)|
|Thiamine (vit. B1)||.031 mg (3%)|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||.027 mg (2%)|
|Niacin (vit. B3)||.331 mg (2%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||.145 mg (3%)|
|Vitamin B6||.067 mg (5%)|
|Folate (vit. B9)||80 μg (20%)|
|Vitamin C||3.6 mg (4%)|
|Calcium||16 mg (2%)|
|Iron||.79 mg (6%)|
|Magnesium||23 mg (6%)|
|Phosphorus||38 mg (5%)|
|Potassium||305 mg (6%)|
|Sodium||77 mg (5%)|
|Zinc||.35 mg (4%)|
|Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
The beetroot, also known in North America as the table beet, garden beet, red or golden beet, or informally simply as the beet, refers to any of the cultivated varieties of beet (Beta vulgaris) grown for their edible taproots, especially B. vulgaris L. subsp. conditiva. They are among the most commonly encountered varieties in North America, Central America, and Europe.
The usually deep red roots of beetroot are eaten either grilled, boiled, or roasted as a cooked vegetable, cold as a salad after cooking and adding oil and vinegar, or raw and shredded, either alone or combined with any salad vegetable. A large proportion of the commercial production is processed into boiled and sterilised beets or into pickles. In Eastern Europe, beet soup, such as borscht, is a popular dish. In Indian cuisine, chopped, cooked, spiced beet is a common side dish. Yellow-coloured beetroots are grown on a very small scale for home consumption.
The green, leafy portion of the beet is also edible. It is most commonly served boiled or steamed, in which case it has a taste and texture similar to spinach. Those selected should be bulbs that are unmarked, avoiding those with overly limp leaves or wrinkled skins, both of which are signs of dehydration.
Beetroot can be peeled, steamed, and then eaten warm with butter as a delicacy; cooked, pickled, and then eaten cold as a condiment; or peeled, shredded raw, and then eaten as a salad. Pickled beets are a traditional food of the American South. It is also common in Australia and New Zealand for pickled beetroot to be served on a hamburger.
A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dish is red beet eggs. Hard-boiled eggs are refrigerated in the liquid left over from pickling beets and allowed to marinate until the eggs turn a deep pink-red color.
When beet juice is used, it is most stable in foods with a low water activity, such as frozen novelties and fruit fillings. Betanins, obtained from the roots, are used industrially as red food colourants, e.g. to intensify the colour of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, sweets and breakfast cereals.
Beet pulp is fed to horses that are in vigorous training or conditioning and to those that may be allergic to dust from hay.
Beetroot can also be used to make wine.
The consumption of beets causes pink urine in some people.
Beetroot is a rich source of potent antioxidants and nutrients, including magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin C., and betaine, which functions by acting with other nutrients to reduce the concentration of homocysteine, a homologue of the naturally occurring amino acid cysteine, which has been suggested to be harmful to blood vessels and thus contribute to the development of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Betaine functions in conjunction with S-adenosylmethionine, folic acid, and vitamins B6 and B12 to carry out this function. This hypothesis is controversial - scientists don't yet know whether homocysteine itself is harmful, or whether it is just an indicator of increased risk for heart disease. 
The red colour compound betanin is not broken down in the body, and in higher concentration may temporarily cause urine (termed beeturia) and stool to assume a reddish colour. This effect may cause distress and concern due to the visual similarity to hematuria (blood in the urine) or blood in the stool, but is completely harmless and will subside once the food is out of the system.
A recent study highlighted beetroot as a source of acute dietary nitrate, which was used to test the influence of nitrate supplementation on resting heart rate and sustained apnea. 70 ml of beetroot juice, containing approximately 5mmol of nitrate, was found to reduce resting blood pressure by 2% and increase the maximum duration of apnea by 11% in experienced divers, relative to a control group receiving a placebo containing 0.003mmol nitrate.
Preventive uses 
Additionally, several preliminary studies on both rats and humans have shown betaine may protect against liver disease, particularly the buildup of fatty deposits in the liver caused by alcohol abuse, protein deficiency, or diabetes, among other causes.
Beetroot juice has been shown to lower blood pressure and thus help prevent cardiovascular problems. Contrary to the popular belief beetroot does not possess any "blood cleansing" properties, but is a good source of antioxidants. Research published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension showed that drinking 500 ml of beetroot juice led to a reduction in blood pressure within one hour. The reduction was more pronounced after three to four hours, and was measurable up to 24 hours after drinking the juice. The effect is attributed to the high nitrate content of the beetroot. The study correlated high nitrate concentrations in the blood following ingestion of the beetroot juice and the drop in blood pressure. Dietary nitrate, such as that found in the beetroot, is thought to be a source for the biological messenger nitric oxide, which is used by the endothelium to signal smooth muscle, triggering it to relax. This induces vasodilation and increased blood flow.
Other studies have found the positive effects beetroot juice can have on human exercise and performances. In studies conducted by Exeter University, scientists found cyclists who drank a half-litre of beetroot juice several hours before setting off were able to ride up to 20% longer than those who drank a placebo of blackcurrant juice.
Other uses 
Betanin, obtained from the roots, is used industrially as red food colorants, e.g. to improve the colour and flavour of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, sweets, and breakfast cereals. Beetroot dye may also be used in ink.
Within older bulbs of beetroot, the colour is a deep crimson, and the flesh is much softer.
It is a rich source of the element boron.
Historical facts 
From the Middle Ages, beetroot was used as a treatment for a variety of conditions, especially illnesses relating to digestion and the blood. Bartolomeo Platina recommended taking beetroot with garlic to nullify the effects of 'garlic-breath'.
Below is a list of several commonly available varieties of beets. Generally 55 to 65 days from germination to harvest of the root. All varieties can be harvested earlier for use as greens.
- Bull's Blood, heirloom
- Golden Beet / Burpee's Golden, heirloom
- Chioggia, heirloom
- Detroit Dark Red Medium Top, heirloom
- Early Wonder, heirloom
- Perfected Detroit, 1934 AAS winner
- Red Ace Hybrid
- Ruby Queen, 1957 AAS winner
- Touchstone Gold
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|url=missing title (help).
- Webb, Andrew J.; Nakul Patel; Stavros Loukogeorgakis; Mike Okorie; Zainab Aboud; Shivani Misra; Rahim Rashid; Philip Miall; John Deanfield; Nigel Benjamin; Raymond MacAllister; Adrian J. Hobbs; Amrita Ahluwalia; Patel, N; Loukogeorgakis, S; Okorie, M; Aboud, Z; Misra, S; Rashid, R; Miall, P et al. (2008), "Acute Blood Pressure Lowering, Vasoprotective, and Antiplatelet Properties of Dietary Nitrate via bioconversion to Nitrite", Hypertension 51 (3): 784–790, doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.107.103523, PMC 2839282, PMID 18250365
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- Stephen Nottingham (2004), Beetroot (E-book)
- Platina De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine, 3.14
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