While they may not be a common staple in your home, beets are loaded with nutrition benefits. From liver support and increased exercise performance, to better bones and overall heart health, nothing beats eating a beet!

Beets are dietitian-approved for many reasons — mainly because they're a natural, energizing food that relaxes blood vessels for easier blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout the body. A single beet (a diameter of 2 inches) provides fiber and electrolytes, is rich in potassium (which may help lower blood pressure), and has less than 6 g sugar and only 35 calories.

3 reasons you should be eating beets

  1. Heart-healthy: Beets can help lower blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels for easier blood flow and increased oxygen delivery throughout your body. Beets are also rich in potassium.
  2. Boost athletic performance: Beets are a natural, energizing food due to the power of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide boosts the volume and speed of oxygen and nutrient delivery throughout the body to help extend endurance, improve intensity and lessen recovery times. Beets are also rich in antioxidants and electrolytes, so skip the pre-workout mix and opt for beet juice. Adding beet powder or frozen riced veggies to your smoothie is another simple pick-me-up option!
  3. Find your inner foodie: Beets are a natural food-coloring option and an easy way to add a bright burst of color to any meal or dessert. From dips to salads and desserts, the ideas are endless!

Don’t skip a beet — burger, that is! Ever thought about adding beets to your next veggie burger? Beets’ earthy, unique flavor is made for grilling. Savor the smoky flavor of a beet burger, which rises to new heights when prepared on a grill.

Grilled Beet Burgers

8 ounces beets, peeled and quartered

1 cup no-salt-added garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

¾ cup instant brown rice, cooked and cooled

½ cup plain panko breadcrumbs

1 large egg

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

4 (1/4-inch) fresh pineapple slices

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 (1-ounce) slices sliced Swiss cheese

½ cup stone-ground Dijon mustard

4 Hawaiian hamburger buns, split and toasted

1 cup fresh arugula

4 pasteurized eggs, fried sunny-side-up

Process beets, beans, rice, panko, uncooked egg, garlic, thyme, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper in a food processor until combined. Form mixture into 4 patties; refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat a charcoal or gas grill with a greased grill rack for direct cooking over medium heat (350 degrees). Brush pineapple with oil. Grill patties and pineapple 6 to 8 minutes, or until patties are done (165 degrees) and pineapple is slightly charred, turning once. Top patties with cheese slices during last minute of cooking.

To assemble, spread mustard on cut sides of buns. Layer arugula, pineapple, beet patties and fried eggs on bun bottoms. Add bun tops.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 640 calories, 25g fat, 9g saturated, 1300mg sodium, 79g total carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 24g total sugars, 30g protein.

Recipe source: Adapted from hy-vee.com

Emily McMillan is a registered dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Rochester. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.