Beets are an incredibly nutrient-dense vegetable with a Nutrivore Score of 2013, and are a particularly important source of a class of phytonutrients called betalains. Betalains are a class of red to yellow pigments found in only a few plants, including beets, chard, amaranth, prickly pear, dragon fruit, and some species of wild mushrooms. Betalains demonstrate a variety of health-promoting biological activities, most notably as powerful antioxidants. They also have antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoal, and antibacterial activity, including inhibiting the growth of a very wide range of pathogens. Betalains have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, inhibiting growth and inducing apoptosis of a variety of malignant cell types in addition to preventing DNA damage. They have been shown to lower serum glucose levels, decrease the postprandial glucose response and insulin secretion (even in people drinking 300 grams of glucose together with 250mL of beetroot juice) and even protect against complications of diabetes, such as kidney injury. Betalains improve lipid profiles, including reducing total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol. They also lower blood pressure and improve vascular endothelial function! With so many cardioprotective effects, heart BEET is the perfect pun!