1. Beets fight cancer. Studies show beet juice inhibits the formation of cancer-causing compounds, particularly in the colon and stomach.

2. They prevent heart and vascular diseases. Beet greens and roots contain the phytochemical betacyanin, which reduces levels of the homocysteine, an amino acid related to heart and vascular diseases. Plus, compounds in beets dissolve inorganic calcium deposits that cause arteries to harden.

3. Beets guard against Alzheimer's and dementia. Nitrates in beets open the blood vessels and increase blood flow to the brain, which can help prevent cognitive disorders in older adults.

4. They keep you regular, intestinally speaking.

5. Beets are good for your eyes. The lutein and zeaxanthin in beets support macular and retinal health.

6. They help to prevent varicose veins.

7. They help lower blood pressure — and prevent clotting and inflammation.

8. Beet juice treats dandruff: Put beet juice (mixed with a splash of vinegar) on your scalp for an hour.

9. They help you exercise longer. Researchers at the University of Exeter in the U.K. published a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology (Aug. 6, 2010), reporting that a nitrate in beet juice increases stamina and makes exercise less tiring, allowing people to exercise 16 percent longer.

10. Beets are good for your skin. Beets contain vitamin A, which maintains healthy skin and mucus membranes as well as protects against lung and mouth cancers.

11. They counter the effects of environmental toxins and fight anemia. Antioxidants clear free radicals and iron regenerates red blood cells to supply fresh oxygen to the body.

12. Beet juice can detoxify the liver, gall bladder and kidneys. Choline in beets cleans the liver — and coupled with carrot juice cleans the gall bladder and kidney — and can alleviate jaundice, hepatitis, food poisoning, diarrhea or vomiting and gout.

13. They're packed with vitamins and minerals: vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C, choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, iron, calcium, copper and phosphorus.