When: While these root vegetables are available all year, you'll find the youngest, most tender ones from June through October.
Why: They contain several disease-fighting phytonutrients, including the pigment betacyanin, which gives them their distinctive hue. Beets are also a good source of folate, which guards against birth defects, colon cancer and osteoporosis, and are high in fiber and beta-carotene. And a study in the journal Hypertension showed that beet juice reduced participants' blood pressure.
How: If you think you don't like beets, try pairing them with contrasting ingredients. That can be a salty, creamy cheese (e.g., goat or blue), toasted nuts (e.g., walnuts or almonds)—or both, as in this Roasted Beet Salad with Arugula, Pistachios and Goat Cheese. Another idea: this delicious dip for potato chips that also makes a nice accompaniment to steak.