Beets are an amazing root vegetable and the benefits of beet juice are plenty. Traditionally, people have used beet juice to heal: anemia, liver, skin, kidneys, lymphatic circulation, tiredness, eye, liver, skin problems, detoxification, and cancer. Beet juice may kill fungi, is a strong antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.
One of the major benefits of beet juice is the color pigment – betalain, it contains. This is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, fungicidal and detoxification substance. There is research that indicates that betalain may exhibit anti-cancer activity.
Betalains may occur in any part of the plant, including the petals of flowers, fruits, leaves, stems, and roots.
Beet roots are also high in folic acid and manganese. The green leaves are high in vitamin A (127% RDA), Vitamin C (50% RDA), vitamin K (500% RDA) as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and magnesium, sulfur, silica and choline.
According to the latest research, conducted at the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), a daily glass of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension – even those whose high blood pressure was not controlled by drug treatment.
Beetroot contains high levels of inorganic nitrate, which it takes up from the soil through its roots.
In the human body, inorganic nitrate converts to nitric oxide, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels.
A 2010 study suggested that drinking beetroot juice increases blood flow to the brain in older people, which may be able to fight the progression of dementia. It’s actually the nitrites that help open blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to places lacking in oxygen, including the brain.
In addition, the powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water, for instance, while beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers.
Finally, all the fiber in beets helps prevent the absorption of dietary cholesterol, essentially soaking it up into a gelatin-like form that your body can’t absorb. Fiber also cleanses the colon and decreases transit time in the intestines so that more cholesterol and toxins are eliminated from the body.
Drinking freshly juiced beets is a great way to reap beet health benefits. And if you use a blender instead of a traditional juicer to make your beet beverage, you’ll retain more of the healthy fiber in the beets. Just know that beets are high in natural sugar, which will stimulate an insulin response. So if you are drinking straight beet juice, it’s recommended to eat a handful of organic raw nuts along with it. The protein and fat content in the nuts will slow down the insulin reaction.
One cup of raw beets has 58 calories and 13 grams of carbohydrates. A cup of beet juice is usually around 100 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates, because of the way it is processed.
“Eating beets won’t give you the same quantity of nitrates, because cooking hampers some of the nitrates, but it certainly is good for your health,” says Marjorie Nolan, RD.
If you start drinking beet juice, you should know that it may make your urine and stools look reddish, which is normal.