What Makes Beets Red Heres Whats In Them

Beetroot is a root vegetable that has been used for thousands of years. It is also known as a beet. Beets are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, potassium, fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, thiamine, zinc, calcium, copper, niacin, and vitamins B6 and K.

Beets are also high in antioxidants, including betalains, flavonoids, and anthocyanins. These compounds help protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. They may even be able to prevent the aging process!

The red color in beets comes from their pigment called betacyanin which gives them their deep purple or maroon appearance. Betacyanin contains an antioxidant called betaxanthin. This compound helps fight free radicals that can damage cells and cause cell death. Free radical damage occurs when oxygen interacts with certain chemicals inside our bodies.

What makes beets red?

Beets are a root vegetable that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. They are also known as beetroot, globe artichoke, chard, and even candytuft. Beets are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, potassium, fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.

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Beets are red because of the presence of betalains, pigments that give beets their color. Betalains are a group of compounds that are found in plants and animals. Beets are a member of the beet family (Beta vulgaris) and are related to spinach, chard, and amaranth. They are grown primarily for their roots, but the leaves are edible and used in salads.

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Betalain Pigment: The Color That Keeps Beetroots Red

There are two types of betalains present in beets; betacyanins and betaxanthins. Both contain nitrogen atoms bonded together by carbon chains. However, they differ in how many carbons there are between each nitrogen atom.

In betacyanins, the number of carbons separating the nitrogen atoms ranges from three to five. In betaxanthins, the number of carbon atoms varies from six to eight.

Both groups have similar chemical structures, but one type is more common than the other.

Betacyanins make up about 90% of all betalains. They include cyanidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, petunidin, and malvidin. All these colors come from different combinations of these four basic building blocks. For example, you might see yellow-orange carrots containing both orange and green betacyanins. Or you could find pink potatoes that contain only blue betacyanins.

Betaxanthins account for 10% of all betalain pigments. They include luteolinidin, apigeninidin, genistin, dihydrokaempferol, kaempferide, quercitrin, rutoside, and xylopyranoside.

Are beets red or purple?

Beet is actually reddish-purple on its own. When cooked it turns bright red due to oxidation. Oxidation happens when food molecules lose electrons during cooking. As this reaction continues, the food becomes darker until eventually turning black.

Why is beetroot sweet?

When we eat beets raw, they taste bitter. But after boiling or roasting, they become sweeter. Why does this happen? It’s because sugar starts to form once the water evaporates away. Sugar acts as a natural preservative so the longer something cooks, the less likely bacteria will grow.

Beetroot has a sugar molecule linked to its pigment, betanin, which makes it delicious. Beets have a lot of sugar since they have so much pigment. 100 grams of raw beetroot, for example, has 7 grams of sugar. The sugars caramelize while they cook, making them sweeter. The majority of the juice from a roasted beetroot evaporates, leaving a taste that is highly intense. This is why roasted beets are so delicious.

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Yellow beets are a bit sweeter than red

Red beets tend to be slightly sweeter than yellow ones. Yellow beets get their color from carotenoids like beta-carotene. These antioxidants help protect against cancer and heart disease. Carrots and pumpkins also contain some of these same antioxidants.

Tips on cooking beets

Cooking beets can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on your preference. You want to boil them long enough to remove most of the bitterness without overcooking them.

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If you don’t know what kind of beet you’re dealing with, start out with smaller beets and work your way up. Smaller beets require shorter cooking times. Larger beets need a longer cooking time.

To peel beets, first, trim off any damaged areas. Then cut into wedges. Next, put each wedge in a pot filled with cold water. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. Boil the beets for 20 minutes. Remove them from the hot water using tongs and let them cool completely before eating.

Bake beets instead of boiling them

You can bake beets just like other root vegetables such as parsnips and turnips.

To do this, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the beets thoroughly then wrap them individually in aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check periodically to ensure they aren’t burning. Once done, unwrap the beets and serve immediately.

Use aluminum foil to separate the pan

The best thing about baking beets is that you can use aluminum foil to keep the beets separate from one another. If you try to mix different kinds of beets together, they’ll end up tasting weird.

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This method works well if you plan to roast more than two types of beets at a time. Just make sure not to overlap the pieces too tightly. Otherwise, the steam won’t escape properly.

Always use gloves when handling beets

It may seem obvious but always wear gloves when working around beets. They stain easily and can cause skin irritation. Also, avoid touching your eyes or mouth. Furthermore, wash your hands frequently throughout the process.

How to store cooked beets

Store cooked beets in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Don’t leave them sitting out for very long though. After 2 days, they begin losing flavor.

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Try adding beets to salads

Adding beets to salad mixes adds a nice sweetness. It will give the dish a little kick.

Can you eat beets raw?

Yes! Raw beets are actually quite tasty. However, they should only be eaten after being washed thoroughly. Some people even enjoy drinking the liquid left behind by washing beets.


Beet greens have been used medicinally since ancient times. The leaves were once thought to cure everything from fever to gout. Today, we still find many uses for the plant. For example, it has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. This makes it useful for those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases.

In addition to their medicinal properties, beets are delicious. Whether you prefer sweet or savory dishes, there’s something here for everyone. Try roasting them whole or slicing them thin. I hope this post helped you with all your food curiosities.

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