Next time you see a beet salad on the menu, order it and do your ticker a solid. Beets are a wonderful source of folate and betaine, nutrients that together help to lower blood levels of homocysteine, which causes artery-damaging inflammation. They’re packed with potassium—even more than bananas, in fact. Beets also help to produce nitric acid, which increases blood flow throughout your body. MRIs done on older adults showed that those who ate a high-nitrate diet (including beet juice) had more blood flow to the white matter of their brain’s frontal lobes, which could affect dementia risk.