Toss beets in salads, drink them in your green juice, or turn ’em into hummus. You can do more than just roast these root vegetables, and you’re going to want to get creative with them when you discover their many health-boosting properties.

“From helping to reduce blood pressure and increase oxygen to providing a generous dose of antioxidants, there are quite a few reasons to include beets in your diet,” says Jenna Volpe, RDN, who’s based in Austin, Texas.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), raw beets pack a nutritional punch. They’re a rich source of fiber, manganese, copper, and folate. Beets even offer a surprising amount of protein while being naturally low in fat and free of cholesterol.

Beets are available all year long, but they’re best when they’re in season during summer, fall, and winter in the United States, according to the USDA. You can keep them on hand at all times by buying frozen or canned beets — just be mindful of added sugar and salt. Between the varieties of beets, ways to purchase and store them, and endless preparation methods, you’ll never run out of ideas. And that’s a good thing considering the following seven health benefits, which will have you running to the grocery store or farmers market.

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