The World's Healthiest Foods

More About Beets From Our Newsletter

Did you know that the pigment that provides the rich red color of beets is also a powerful antioxidant and cancer fighting agent? Beet roots contain a unique class of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. The detox support provided by betalains includes support of some especially important Phase 2 detox steps involving glutathione. Although you can see these betalain pigments in other foods (like the stems of chard or rhubarb), the concentration of betalains in the peel and flesh of beets gives you an unexpectedly great opportunity for these health benefits. It turns out that beet roots are not the only part of the plant offering protection against free radical damage—beet greens also have amazing antioxidant potential. In one study that compared them to spinach, broccoli, carrots, onions and celery, beet greens were found to have the highest phenolic phytonutrient content as well as the greatest ability to absorb oxygen radicals (a marker of their antioxidant capacity). Read more.