The Most Intense of Vegetables…and the Most Nutritious

If you love beets, you probably already know that they’re good for you—very good. If you don’t love beets—well, you might want to revisit that because you’re missing out on a lot. Beets are, as Tom Robbins noted, “the most intense of vegetables.” And their intensity in color and flavor perfectly matches the strength of their nutritional wallop.

In this 1961 article from Let’s Live magazine, E.L. David, a biological researcher, writes about the nutritional value of beets: “Among root vegetables containing the most valuable substances, the red beetroot comes first.” He notes that the color in beets is a flavon, an anthocyanin related to the lactoflavin in vitamin B2. He also includes an impressive list of other nutritional components in beets: kalium (potassium), phosphorus, calcium, sulfur, iodine, iron, copper, rubidium, caesium, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, P (also called bioflavonoids), and niacin.

David also has some recommendations if you don’t like the taste of fresh beet juice or some of the reactions it can cause, such as belching: drink lactic-acid fermented beet juice. “Lactic-acid fermentation retains all the biological qualities and effectiveness of the raw juice while increasing its therapeutic value and improving its taste to make a delicious beverage.”

Take a moment to read David’s short, interesting article to find out more about this amazing vegetable and how you can use it to improve your health.

To learn more about fermentation, check out these books by Sandor Katz, whom Michael Pollan dubbed the “King of Fermentation”: The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation.

Photo from iStock/Natalie_B

Samantha Prust

Samantha Prust is a freelance writer, editor, and owner of Your Editor On Call in Fort Collins, Colorado. She can be contacted at

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