Where Do Beets Come From? Discover the Root’s Origin

Beets are a popular root vegetable that are packed with essential nutrients, making them a healthy addition to any diet. They can be found in a variety of forms, including canned, pickled, and fresh, and can be cooked in a variety of ways. But have you ever wondered where these versatile vegetables come from? In this article, we will take a closer look at the origins of beets, as well as their nutritional value, health benefits, and how you can incorporate them into your diet.

The Origins of Beets

Beets are believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region, and have been cultivated for thousands of years. The ancient Romans and Greeks ate beets, and they were used for medicinal purposes in Europe during the Middle Ages. In the 19th century, beets became a popular crop in Europe, and they were introduced to North America in the early 1800s. Today, beets are grown all over the world, with the largest producers being Russia, the United States, France, and Poland.

The Different Types of Beets

There are several different types of beets, including:

  • Red beets
  • Golden beets
  • Chioggia beets
  • Cylindra beets

Red beets are the most common type of beet, and they are known for their deep red color and sweet taste. Golden beets are a lighter color, with a slightly milder taste. Chioggia beets, also known as candy cane beets, have a distinctive red and white striped pattern inside. Cylindra beets are oblong in shape and have a sweet, mild flavor.

Beet Nutritional Value and Health Benefits

Beets are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Fiber
  • Iron

Beets are also high in antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Studies have shown that consuming beets may have a number of health benefits, including:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Protecting against heart disease
  • Improving exercise performance
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Supporting brain health

How to Incorporate Beets Into Your Diet

Beets can be eaten cooked or raw, and can be added to a variety of dishes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Roasted beets: Cut beets into small cubes and roast them in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Beet salad: Slice cooked beets and toss them with arugula, goat cheese, and nuts for a delicious salad.
  • Beet smoothie: Blend cooked beets with your favorite fruits and milk for a nutrient-packed smoothie.
  • Beet chips: Cut beets into thin slices and bake them in the oven for a healthy snack.

The Risks of Eating Beets

While beets are generally considered safe to eat, there are a few risks to be aware of. Beets contain oxalates, which can cause kidney stones in some people. If you have a history of kidney stones, talk to your doctor before adding beets to your diet. Beets may also cause reddish urine and stool, which is harmless but can be alarming.


Beets are a versatile and healthy root vegetable that have a long and interesting history. Whether you are roasting them, blending them into smoothies, or eating them in salads, beets are a delicious and nutritious addition to any diet. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before adding beets to your diet if you have any concerns about kidney stones.

Common Questions About Beets

  • Where do beets come from? Beets are believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region.
  • What are the different types of beets? There are several different types of beets, including red beets, golden beets, Chioggia beets, and Cylindra beets.
  • What are the health benefits of eating beets? Beets are high in vitamins and minerals, and are also a good source of antioxidants. Studies have shown that they may help lower blood pressure, protect against heart disease, and support brain health.
  • How can I incorporate beets into my diet? Beets can be cooked or eaten raw and can be added to many dishes, including salads, smoothies, and roasted vegetable dishes.
  • Are there any risks associated with eating beets? Beets contain oxalates, which can cause kidney stones in some people. If you have a history of kidney stones, talk to your doctor before adding beets to your diet.


  • Healthline. (2021). Beets 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/beets
  • Mental Floss. (2017). The Sweet History of Beets. Retrieved from https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/30016/sweet-history-beets
  • USA Beets. (n.d.). About Beets. Retrieved from http://www.usabeets.com/about-beets/

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