The beetroot is the taproot portion of a beet plant, usually known in North America as the beet. It is one of several cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and leaves (called beet greens). Beets can be served raw or cooked in a variety of ways. The greens are edible too, and can be added to a salad or cooked and served as a side dish. They are low in calories and a source of many nutrients, including fiber, folate and vitamin C. They also contain nitrates and pigments that may help lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance. Recipe for Beet and Apple Salad.