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Their naturally sweet flesh contains betacyanin, a powerful antioxidant linked to cancer-protective effects, says Sharon Palmer, RD, author of The Plant-Powered Diet. Beets are also a good source of folate, which, when consumed in adequate amounts, may slash your risk of premenopausal breast cancer by 40 percent, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Try it, you'll like it: Peel beets and coarsely grate over salads. "Do it right before serving so the redness doesn't bleed onto other ingredients," says Dreena Burton, author of Let Them Eat Vegan. Or cube them, toss with olive oil, and roast at 400°F for an hour until tender. Top with slivered almonds for a sweet and crunchy side dish.