Beets are rich in naturally occurring nitrates, which—unlike unhealthy artificial nitrates found in processed meat—may be beneficial. In a 2011 study in the journal Nitric Oxide, older adults who ate a nitrate-rich diet got a boost in blood flow to the frontal lobe of their brains—an area commonly associated with dementia. Poor blood flow contributes to age-related cognitive decline. Scientists think that the nitrates’ nitric oxide, a compound that keeps blood vessels supple, helps increase brain blood flow. Cabbages and radishes also naturally contain nitrates.