Beetroot is a good source of iron and folate (naturally occurring folic acid). It also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants (notably betacyanin).
More recent health claims suggest beetroot can help lower blood pressure, boost exercise performance and prevent dementia.
Beetroot is rich in nitrates. When ingested, scientists believe our body converts nitrates into nitric oxide, a chemical thought to lower blood pressure. However further long-term trials would be needed and in people at greater risk of heart disease before we could say beetroot was clinically useful.