It is a popular misconception that the color of red beetroot is due to a pigment known as anthocyanin which is the pigment in red cabbage. It is, in fact, due to a purple pigment betacyanin and a yellow pigment betaxanthin known collectively as betalins. Other breeds of beetroot which are not the usual deep red, such as 'Burpee's Golden' and 'Albina Vereduna', have a greater or lesser distribution of the two betalin pigments.

Betacyanin in beetroot may cause red urine and feces in some people who are unable to break it down. The pigments are contained in cell vacuoles. Beetroot cells are quite unstable and will 'leak' when cut, heated, or when in contact with air or sunlight. This is why red beetroots leave a purple stain. Leaving the skin on when cooking, however, will maintain the integrity of the cells and therefore minimise leakage.

The pigment is stable in acidic conditions, which is a major reason why beetroot is often pickled. In the United States, it is the traditional colorant for pink lemonade. Beet juice is also a common choice for edible ink, such as for marking grades on cuts of meat.

Beet Nutrition Facts: Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits

Beet is about 87.58% water, 9.56% carbohydrates (including 6.76% sugar and 2.8% dietary fiber), 1.61% protein, and 0.17% fat. If you consume one beet you will get 7.839 grams of carbohydrates. It is equal to 6.03 percent of the 130 grams of carbohydrates you should include in your daily diet, according to the Institute of Medicine (US). That same a 100 gram reference serving of beet provides 43 calories and is a very rich source of Vitamin B9 (folate, DFE) (27.25% of the Daily Value). This means if your diet contains beets, it helps your body to lower the possibility of birth defects in the baby (so pregnant women or women who are planning, usually take folic acid), increase brain health, create more red blood cells and it is effective against preeclampsia probabilities in pregnant womenheart strokesage-related hearing loss. Besides it it contains a moderate amount of Manganese (18.28% DV).