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Beet

A beet (called beetroot in the United Kingdom and its former colonies, as well as table beet, garden beet, blood turnip or red beet) is a plant of the genus Beta of which both the leaves and root are edible. There are many varieties. The word beet often refers to the thick, red, fleshy roots of such plants, some of which are eaten as vegetables, and some of which are used as a source of sugar (see sugar beet). Beets are sometimes pickled. The red color in the beet roots (betacyanin ) causes red urine and feces in some people who are unable to break it down.

While it is the root that comes to mind when people talk about beets, the leaves, known as beet greens are also used. Chard is essentially a beet which has been bred for the leaves instead of the roots.

Nutritional Information

Beets contain good amounts of vitamin C in the roots, and the tops are an excellent source of vitamin A. They are also high in folate, and soluble and insoluble fiber and several antioxidants.

An average sized cup of sliced beets will contain:

  • Calories 31
  • Carbohydrate 8.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
  • Folate 53.2 g
  • Phosphorus 32 mg
  • Potassium 259 mg
  • Protein 1.5g

Beet recipes include borscht.