Why you should be eating beets

Health benefits are just one reason this vegetable is getting popular

This taproot’s popularity peaked around 1982—about the time Wolfgang Puck first paired it with goat cheese. That puts beets somewhere between avocados and sun-dried tomatoes on Bon Appetit’s list of the trendiest vegetables of the last fifty years. According to the food industry research firm Technomic, beets started another comeback in 2009. Below are some of Technomic’s findings, as well as some of our own reasons for loving beets. Plus, we’re tired of kale.

Beets can range in color from garnet and deep purple to yellow and white.

Fine dining
The restaurants most likely to serve beets are top-rated independents. Props to Miller Union, Empire State South, and Bacchanalia.

Good company
The most common ingredients paired with beets are vinaigrette, tomatoes, and—you guessed it—goat cheese.

Adults age 55 and up are most likely to eat beets. Least likely? Under age 24.

Run farther, jump higher!
Scientific studies have connected beets to faster running, cycling, and swimming.

The red pigment helps protect against heart disease and cancer.

Nature’s nutrients
The root is also a good source of iron (builds hemoglobin), magnesium (stronger bones), and potassium (healthy blood pressure).

of adults will have beeturia—pink pee—after eating beets.

Smart thinking
Beet juice increases blood flow to the brain and might help elders ward off dementia.

Winning stats
1 cup = 58 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 0 fat

This article originally appeared in our Medical 2014 issue under the headline “Rooting for Beets.”