Beet Facts
Beet Facts

32 Interesting Facts about Beets

By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published September 13, 2018
  • Eating raw beets or drinking beet juice helps combat garlic breath.[6]
  • In 1975, Soviet cosmonauts gave American astronauts borscht, or beet soup, as a symbol of camaraderie. They jokingly pasted vodka labels over the tubes of pink soup.[5]
  • Because beetroot juice helps cleanse the liver, it also helps reduce hangover symptoms.[12]
  • Beets were considered an aphrodisiac in ancient Roman times. Modern scientists have found that beets absorb and store high amounts of boron, which is essential in creating human sex hormones.[9]
  • Einstein Beet Fact
    Don't tell your kids
  • Albert Einstein famously hated beets.[10]
  • Nightly scalp massages with cooled water left over from boiling beets can help treat dandruff.[8]
  • In 19th century Victorian England, women used beet juice to add a "red" shine to their hair.[8]
  • Ancient Assyrian texts reveal that beets grew in the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon in 800 BC.[2]
  • Ancient Greeks used beets to treat a wide range of ailments, such as headaches, constipation, toothaches, wounds, and skin problems. In fact, beets were so highly regarded that they were often used as an offering to the god Apollo.[2]
  • While the ancient Greeks used beets primarily as medicine, the ancient Romans were the first to cultivate them as food.[2]
  • Early American colonists used beets to create pink cake frosting.[2]
  • Many cultures believe that if a man and woman eat from the same beetroot, they will fall in love.[2]
  • Beets can be made into wine that tastes like port.[3]
  • The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

    - Tom Robbins

  • Beet juice can indicate the acidity of a solution. If a solution turns pink when beet juice is added, it is an acid. If it turns yellow, the solution is alkaline.[2]
  • Red Ace is the most common variety of beet grown in the United States.[2]
  • Beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable.[2]
  • Drinking beet juice helps lower heart disease risk and blood pressure. It also improves stamina and digestion.[11]
  • Beet Juice Benefits
    Beet juice is packed with with healthy nutrients

  • The terms "beetroot" and "beet" refer to the same vegetable. The British typically call the red-root vegetable a "beetroot," while those in the United States and other parts of the world typically refer to them as "beets."[1]
  • Historically, only the beet greens were eaten, not the roots. The roots were highly revered as medicine, not food.[2]
  • While most people believe beets are about the size of a baseball, beets can be as small as a marble. Beets can also be round, oval, tapered, long, or flat.[2]
  • While red is the iconic color of beets, the root vegetable actually comes in a variety of colors, including yellow, "candy cane" (red and white striped on the inside), and all white.[2]
  • Surprising Beet Facts
    Another reason not to underestimate the beet

  • A type of beet known as the sugar beet is the source of around half of the world's refined sugar. Sugar beets contain 20% sugar compared to 8% sugar in red beets.[2]
  • The ancestor of the cultivated beet is the wild sea beet, which grew in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. Their leaves have been eaten since prehistoric times.[4]
  • The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC) recommended beets for binding wounds, cleansing the blood, and treating digestive problems.[4]
  • As recently as the early 20th century, the phrase "taking favors in the beetroot fields" was a popular euphemism for prostitution.[4]
  • Beets are a member of the chenopod family. Its relatives are (Swiss) chard, spinach, and quinoa.[4]
  • Weird Beet Facts
    Beets are known as "nature's aphrodisiac"
  • In Greek and Roman mythology, Aphrodite (Venus) attributed her romantic power to the beet. This is most likely why beets are portrayed in the erotic paintings in ancient Pompeii.[4]
  • The betalin compound in beets, which gives beets their color, helps capture toxins in the body and flush them out of the body through the urinary tract.[10]
  • In Australia, pickled beets are often put on hamburgers.[4]
  • Betanin, which is derived from beetroots, is used to color tomato paste, sauces, candy, breakfast cereals, ice cream, jams, and jellies.[4]
  • Beets can cause "beeturai," which is pink or red urine.[7]
  • The entire beet is edible, from the top of the greens to the bottom of the root.[4]
  • Weird Beet Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Beet Infographic
References

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