1. Nature’s Viagra
One of the earliest known benefits of red beet is its use as an aphrodisiac during the Roman times. And it wasn’t all folklore as it has been found to contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.
2. Getting in the mood
Beets contain betaine, a substance that relaxes the mind and is used in other forms to treat depression. It also contains trytophan which is also found in chocolate and contributes to a sense of well being.
3. Dwight Kurt Schrute III
From the hit TV series “The Office”, Dwight is a devoted beet farmer. Living on his family’s 60-acre beet farm, in a nine bedroom, one bathroom farmhouse, Dwight sells his beets at a roadside ‘beet stand’.
4. Litmus test
You can use beet juice to measure acidity. When added to an acidic solution it turns pink, but when it is added to an alkali it turns yellow.
5. Everlasting love
In many cultures the belief persists that if a man and a woman eat from the same red beet then they will fall in love.
6. Head and shoulders
If you boil beets in water and then massage the water into your scalp each night, it is said to be an effective cure for dandruff.
7. Out of this world
In 1975, during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, cosmonauts from the USSR’s Soyuz 19 welcomed the Apollo 18 astronauts by preparing a banquet of borscht (beet soup) in zero gravity.
8. Wonders of the world
Around 800 BC, an Assyrian text describes beets growing in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient world.
9. Turning heads
Since the 16th century, beet juice has been used as a natural red dye. In 19th century England the Victorians used beets to dye their hair.
10. Bottoms up
Beets can be made into a wine that tastes similar to port.
11. Beet Burgers
In Australia, a true Oz-style burger must have a slice or two of beets. Even McDonalds and Burger King have had to toe the line and include it in their menus.
12. Sugar rush
Beets have one of the highest sugar contents of any vegetable. Up to 10 per cent of it is sugar, but it is released slowly into the body rather than the sudden rush that results from eating chocolate.
13. Red Beet Eggs
A tradition brought to Pennsylvania by Dutch settlers. Hard-boiled eggs are marinated in beet pickle liquid until the shells are dyed a deep pink.
13. Traditional Symbol
Beets are a traditional food eaten at Rosh Hashana, Jewish New Year. The Aramaic word for beets, ‘Silka’, sounds like ‘siluk’, meaning ‘removal’.