Add some color to your salad or sauté up a side of beets for your next meal to reap its bountiful benefits. The sweet root vegetable is packed with B vitamins, iron, fiber, folic acid, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium, providing the body with numerous health-boosting benefits. Beets are most commonly found in a dark red color, however they are also grown in white, yellows, and a light pink version. Because the benefits of beets range from lowering blood pressure to fighting cancer, the National Institutes of Health consider it a disease-preventing functional food.

Beets were originally eaten for their large leaves and stalks, which were cooked up like chard or sautéed like spinach. Once Berlin chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf discovered a way to produce sugar from beets in 1747, it earned its distinction as being the sweetest vegetable in the garden. Today, approximately 20 percent of sugar around the world is produced using beet roots. But don’t let the sweet, red root fool you; it’s one of the healthiest veggies you can eat or drink in juice form.

Here are some reasons to start incorporating beets into your diet today!