Health Benefits of Beetroot and Beet Juice

Beetroot
Beetroot | Source

What is a Beetroot?

Beetroot is a very common and popular root vegetable, and is it is also a very versatile root vegetable as it can be cooked, pickled in vinegar or sliced raw into salads. It is also known as beet, table beet and garden beet and its botanical name is Beta vulgaris. This humble root vegetable has been used as a food source by humans since antiquity and the modern vegetable has evolved from the wild sea beet that once grew along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the European Atlantic coasts and the beaches of India. The Ancient Romans used to use it as a medicine as they believed that it soothed fevers and could help with constipation. The Romans were also the first to promote it as an aphrodisiac. It continued to be used as a remedy into medieval times and was thought to help treat digestive and blood conditions. During the 16th century it was prescribed for patients who were fatigued and very pale as it was regarded as a ‘blood builder’. Of course back then the doctors did not know that eating it would help their patients because the high iron content of beetroot is a treatment for anaemia and tiredness. We now know, of course, that this humble root vegetable is one of nature’s super foods and is packed full of goodness and nutrients.

Health Benefits of Beetroot

It is rich in potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, sodium, iron, biotin, betanin, folic acid and vitamins C, A and B6, and the leafy tops are also full of beta-carotene, calcium and iron. It is a vegetable that can be cooked in many different ways and there are lots of wonderful recipes out there that incorporate beetroot, but one of the very best ways of ensuring that you include it into your diet is by drinking beet juice. Eating it is also great if you are trying to lose weight as it is low in calories and rich in fibre. But how do all these wonderful nutrients benefit our health and what ailments can they help to treat?

Improving Exercise Performance

Studies have shown that drinking a daily glass of beetroot juice can help us to maintain our activity levels as we age, as a study undertaken by the University of Exeter’s Sport and Health Sciences Department showed that ingesting this vegetable juice can reduce the amount of oxygen that you need to perform even low-intensity exercise such as walking. It is believed that drinking this juice also can help those with heart and lung conditions to maintain their activity levels. Beet juice can also be a great aid to athletes, as it has been shown that drinking it before a competition or exercising can improve their stamina levels by up to 20%. It is believed by scientists that the nitrates found in beetroot can help to widen blood vessels, which allows more oxygen to flow freely into the muscles. The nitrates also bring down the amount of oxygen needed by our muscles when we are moving, which allows people to undertake strenuous physical exercise for longer periods.

Boosting the Immune System

It is packed full of antioxidants, such as vitamin A and vitamin B6, so drinking a daily glass of this vegetable juice is great for giving your immune system a boost.

Lowering Blood Pressure

A 2008 study in the medical journal Hypertension, which is the journal of the American Heart Association, showed that by drinking two cups of beetroot juice a day you could lower your blood pressure by as much as 10 points, for around 24 hours. Lowering blood pressure is important because it helps to bring down the risks of developing heart disease or having a stroke. It contains a chemical called nitric oxide which helps to relax blood vessels, obstructs blood clot formation and displays powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Helping Pregnant Women

It is an excellent source of folic acid, which we need in our diets because it is an essential aid to normal tissue growth. Folic acid is an especially important part of a pregnant woman’s diet because it helps in the development of a baby’s spinal cord in the first trimester of pregnancy and can guard against defects of the spinal cord such as spina bifida.

Reducing the Risk of Osteoporosis

It also contains high levels of the mineral silica. Silica is very important in the human body as it helps it to utilise calcium, which leads to sturdier bones and improves muscular-skeletal health

Helping to Slow Cancer Growth

The red pigment on beetroot is caused by a compound called betacyanin, which is a very powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are very important for human health because they can destroy the free radicals in your body which are implicated in developing cancers and degenerative diseases. Betacyanin improves human cell respiration and having high levels of betacyanin in your diet is thought to slow or even stop cancer cells growing. So drinking beetroot juice daily or regularly cooking with it is thought to go towards helping slow down tumour growth.

Lowering Cholesterol

It is a great source of soluble fibre which is something that has been shown to have cholesterol lowering capabilities. It contains carotenoids and flavonoids which help prevent LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol from being oxidised and then deposited in the arteries which can potentially lead to heart disease.


Combating Dementia

A small study carried out at Wake Forest University in the USA discovered that drinking a daily glass of beetroot juice helps to prevent the onset of dementia in older adults. It was only a small study, but in the study 16 older adults were given diets that were either high or low in nitrates over a four day period. Beetroot contains a high level of nitrates, which are converted into nitrites in the body. Nitrites are thought to widen blood vessels and thus increase blood flow to certain areas of the brain, improving cognitive function as people age. Therefore the findings of the study suggested that a diet rich in nitrates can help to improve mental function and help to prevent dementia.

Balancing Blood Sugar

It is a virtually fat free food and is also very low in calories. It also has an extremely low glycaemic load which means that it converts into sugars very slowly and which therefore helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Aphrodisiac

Beetroot has been regarded as an aphrodisiac since ancient times and its reputation as an aphrodisiac is derived from the fact that this root vegetable is rich in boron. Boron is a trace mineral the helps increase testosterone levels in the blood and also helps the body to metabolise and use oestrogen efficiently and both of these are hormones that are important in maintain sex drive in both men and women.

Improving Liver Function

It can help to support liver function because it has a bioactive agent called betaine in it. Betaine helps to stimulate liver function and also helps protect the bile ducts.

Does Eating Beetroot Have Any Side Effects?

So we have established that beetroot is a wonderful, natural super food that has many great health benefits if we include it in our diet, but are there any side effects from eating it or drinking the juice? Well one of the more dramatic, but harmless side effects of ingesting beetroot is called beeturia, which can cause your urine to cause a pinkish/red colour. Drinking beetroot juice is not advised if you suffer from kidney stones or have a history of kidney stones as it contains oxalate which can encourage kidney stone development. A fairly rare side effect of eating it is that a tight feeling may be experienced in the vocal chords, but mixing the the juice with other vegetable and fruit juices seems to stop this from happening. If you have never had beetroot juice before and you are taking prescribed medication it is always best to check with your medical practitioner that drinking it will not interfere in any way with your medication.

So to get all the wonderful health benefits of beetroot and beetroot juice all you have to do is visit your local supermarket. Beetroot is an inexpensive root vegetable that you can use in many different recipes and if you have a juicer you can quickly make some fresh juice. Organic beetroot and juice is best, as it means that you will not be ingesting so many harmful chemicals and buying organic helps to protect the planet. If you do not want to buy and cook fresh beetroot, you can always choose to buy supplements and beetroot juices, which you should find to be readily available in your local health food shop.


Copyright 2010 CMHypno on HubPages

Disclaimer: Please be aware that any information given in this article should in no way be used to replace advice given to you by your medical practitioner. Anybody suffering from a medical condition or is at all concerned should always consult their doctor before changing their diet or starting to take any form of dietary supplement. Also be aware that while eating beetroot or drinking beetroot is generally regarded as being good for you, there are no guarantees that your health will improve


Chopped Beetroot image Ramesh NG Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Boiled Beetroot image Nillerdk Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported


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Comments 81 comments

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 2 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Glad you enjoyed reading the hub. I noticed when I was travelling in Australia that you put beetroot in everything, even burgers.


Shar-0n17 profile image

Shar-0n17 2 years ago from Perth

I love the humble beetroot, although sometimes they go straight through me if I eat too much


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for reading the hub editorsupremo. I think one of the great things about our world is that there is always so new information to discover, even about the humble beetroot!


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England

Thank you for extoling the virtues of beetroot juice. I thought I knew all there is to know about beet juices and also wrote a hub on the subject. It just goes to show that by browing and reading hubs you can find out a lot of things, as I didn't know that beet juices also helps with dementia, very interesting.

Voted up!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for the visit Grace D. Get to that juicing and start seeing the benefits!


Grace D. profile image

Grace D. 4 years ago from Missouri

I knew that beets were good for you but I had no idea that they were this helpful. I have already been debating on juicing and this makes me want to get started. Thanks for the information. Great hub.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Glad that you found the beetroot hub useful thestrology


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

You need to trot over to Australia Brett as they put beetroot in everything! Thanks for reading the hub and leaving a comment


theastrology profile image

theastrology 4 years ago from New Delhi

Informative and very useful hub to be healthy in such stressful.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Jeez, I had no idea that there were so many benefits to eating beetroot! I've not seen it over this way (Asia), but will keep an eye out for the juice, I guess some must be for sale.

Voted up, useful and SHARED.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for reading the hub droj. If you don't like the taste of beetroot, it's a good idea to mix it with other things while juicing. Try different combinations until you find one that you like


droj profile image

droj 5 years ago from CNY

Last time I tried beets, I thought I was eating dirt. But with all these benefits, I might try the juice idea and add one to my standard carrot-celery-apple juice. :)


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Yes beetroot is an amazing root vegetable, SimpleSystemWorks. Thanks for reading the hub and leaving a comment


SimpleSystemWorks profile image

SimpleSystemWorks 5 years ago

I am amazed by all the benefits that beetroot can provide. Great article!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Congratulations on trying your first ever beet, Veronica, and it sounds like a great juice combination. Thanks for reading the beetroot hub and leaving a great comment


VeronicaFarkas profile image

VeronicaFarkas 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

Great information. Thanks! I had my first beet today, actually. I combined beet (root, stem, and leaves) with cucumber, kiwi, and orange, and juiced.

I've heard it's a wonderful cleanser for the liver, which corresponds to what you've written.

I didn't know that it's considered an aphrodisiac. Interesting!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for reading about beetroot and beetroot juice B A Williams. However wonderful something is there is always a downside and it should be pointed out. Look at penicillin; it has saved millions of lives but some people are allergic to it.


B. A. Williams profile image

B. A. Williams 5 years ago from USA

Nice that you added the downs of drinking it for kidney stones too, that's very good to know.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

It is not too good to be true SJKSJK, the humble beetroot does have all these great nutritional benefits. And you can have them too - just start eating beetroot!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Hi Gordon, happy that you found the hub on the health benefits of beetroot interesting. Beetroot is so packed full of nutrients, is easy to grow and is inexpensive to buy in the supermarkets


SJKSJK profile image

SJKSJK 5 years ago from delray beach, florida

This sounds too good to be true. I would love to have all of these advantages.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Fabulous, Hub. I have always loved beetroot, cooked in so many different ways. I never before realised, however, just how nutritious it is. Now I have the best of both worlds. Thanks! :)


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Hi BlissfulWriter, your carrot, beet and celery juice combination sounds scrummy and very healthy! Thanks for reading the hub and leaving a comment


BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

Yes, beets very healthy. I like making carrots, celery, and beet juice myself (I mean combining all three).


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

So true L.L. Woodard! Some very humble vegetables, such as beetroot, have amazing nutritional benefits. Shows that you can still eat healthy food very cheaply if you plan and shop carefully. Thanks for stopping by the hub and leaving a comment


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

Many interesting nutritional benefits from one humble vegetable.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for reading about beets and beetroot juice Stephen


StephenSMcmillan profile image

StephenSMcmillan 5 years ago

Great stuff.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Hi Leslie, glad that you came across the beetroot hub at an opportune time and your juice combination sounds wonderful. Very healthy!


lesliedegner profile image

lesliedegner 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

How timely that I came across this article this morning. I was going to edit one of my Hubs and then do some juicing - and guess what I was going to put in it? Beet roots along with some kale, a lemon and romaine lettuce. I knew the beet roots were healthy - but had no idea of all the great benefits they provided. Thanks for a great article.

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for the very kind comments speedbird, and I am glad that you found the information on beetroot and beetroot juice useful


speedbird profile image

speedbird 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Thanks for sharing the medical and health Benefits of Beetroot and Beet Juice. Keep up the good work, voted up and rated AWESOME


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Give the beetroot juice a go, Amanda. I'm not surprised that it is one of your friend's best sellers, as it is such a healthy vegetable. Thanks for reading the hub and leaving a comment


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK

I've a friend who runs a health food shop, and she told me recently that beetroot juice is one of her best selling items. Now I know why! You've crammed loads of info in here. I shall definitely buy some beetroot juice now to try myself.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Glad that you enjoyed reading about beetroot juice Health Advisor, I will try it the way you drink it


Health Advisor profile image

Health Advisor 5 years ago from Topanga,CA

Great hub. I usually juice my beets ( not that much is needed as they are very heavy detoxifiers) with apples,celery and lemon. Good stuff. Thanks for your post.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for reading about beetroot paypalku


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for reading the hub AliciaC. Growing up eating beetroot is great because you have been enjoying all those great health benefits all of your life. Beetroot eating newbies are unfortunately quite often put off by the strong flavour, but I mask it by drinking beetroot juice mixed with other juices


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for a great hub that’s loaded with information about beetroot. I grew up eating beetroot so I’ve never considered it to have a strong taste. I love beetroot in salads and sandwiches. It’s good to know about its many health benefits.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks sunnymarie, and happy that you found the info on beetroot and beetroot juice useful


sunnymarie profile image

sunnymarie 5 years ago

Great Hub! Good and useful info, thanks for sharing


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Have a try at drinking beetroot juice Garlic Angel, and your beetroot salad sounds delicious. Thanks for reading the hub and leaving a comment.


Garlic Angel profile image

Garlic Angel 5 years ago from Dublin

Thanks CMHypno some great information there. I love eating healthy and I will definatly be having more beetroot in my diet. Not sure about drinking beetroot juice but in a salad with rocket leaves, olive oil blackpepper would be nice and my favourite a touch of garlic ..

Thanks again for all the info, bookmarked .....

Garlic Angel :-)


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Glad that your experiment with cooking the greens from beets was so successful mannyrolando. Now you will be able to use all of the beetroot and there will be no waste. Thanks for reporting back with your findings.


mannyrolando profile image

mannyrolando 5 years ago

Just wanted to let you know that I had some beet greens last night, after learning from you that you could eat the green leafy part I decided that I had to taste it for myself. After doing some research online, I discovered that many people cook them just the way they would other "greens" such collard greens (my favorites), so I followed my usual recipe and they were as delicious as my collard greens! Thank you! I also tried the beets baked 2 days ago from a barefoot contessa recipe, delicious!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Hi Glen619, you are lucky that beetroot is one of your favourite vegetables, as many are put off by the strong taste. Thanks for reading the hub and leaving a comment


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for reading about beetroot kims3003 and glad that you found the info useful


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for reading about beetroot stephhicks68. I can sympathise with you not liking the taste of beets, I drink beetroot juice mixed with orange and carrot juice, but you cannot avoid the strong back taste of the beetroot.


kims3003 5 years ago

very well done hub with lots of great info.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Great information! I've never been a fan of beets, but have tried to sneak them into recipes or juices where their strong flavor is less obvious. Rated up!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Glad that you found the nutritional information on beetroot and beetroot juice useful, creativelycc. Thanks for reading the hub and leaving a comment


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Hi katydidnt, beetroot does have a very strong taste, but it is very good for you. Maybe juice it with some other fairly strong tasting fruits or veggies?


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 5 years ago from Maine

Excellent nutritional information!


katydidnt profile image

katydidnt 5 years ago from New Brunswick, Canada

Great hub:) Now if someone could do something about the taste, I would be all set. You make some great points about why I ought to reconsider beets.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Hi mannyrolando, the green leafy parts of the beetroot are great, it is a root vegetable where nothing gets wasted! Thanks for reading the hub and leaving a comment


mannyrolando profile image

mannyrolando 5 years ago

I have always loved beats, I love to eat them raw, pickled or juiced! I did not realized that you could eat the green leafy part, good to know. Thanks!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Beets fresh from the garden must be really tasty. Thanks for reading about beetroot and leaving a great comment mecheshier


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago

Thank you for a wonderful Hub. Very informative and useful. I love beets, but only if they are fresh out of the garden! They are a great super food.!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks keepitnatural and I am glad that you Dad is finding beetroot useful as part of his cancer diet


keepitnatural profile image

keepitnatural 5 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

Excellent hub, my Dad encorporates as much beetroot into his diet as possible as part of his cancer diet.

Very informative & voted up!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Glad that you found the info on beetroots useful Ingenira, and I hope that your daily beet juice drinks helped the quality of your blood. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

Very informative hub.

I used to drink beetroot juice daily to improve the quality of my blood. It's one of the best and most nutritious vegetable available.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Thanks for the tips on using beets Crophugger, and thanks for reading about the benefits of beetroot and leaving a great comment


Crophugger profile image

Crophugger 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

Informative hub. Love those pickled beets. Another good easy way to use beets is to cut off tender top leaves chop up and sauté with olive oil, fresh chopped garlic and soy sauce until tender. Makes a nice red grav,yum!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Beetroot can be successfully incorporated into quite a few recipes, but it depends on how much you like beetroot as it has a strong taste. Thanks for reading the hub on beetroot and beetroot juice, ForrestDrake


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Happy New Year katiem2! Luckily beetroot is a very versatile vegetable so it can be incorporated into many dishes - when I was travelling in Australia, I found that they put beetroot in nearly everything - sandwiches, burgers, salads etc. Thanks for the read and leaving a comment


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

WOW and Awesome, Thank you I learned something today and am thrilled that it's nutrition related as I'm always very interested in nutrition and health. I'm going to explore how to include more beetroot juice into my diet. I love beets! Katie :)


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

You can get quite a nice beetroot juice mixed with other juices in M&S Nell, but the beetroot taste is strong, so it still comes through. But beetroot is very good for us, so maybe worth the not liking it very much? Thanks for reading the hub and leaving a great comment.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, I never knew it was so good! the trouble is that I hate beetroot! lol but I could always drink the juice with some fruit, I wonder why it affects the vocal cords? thanks for this great info, very helpful, cheers nell


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Hi Trish, beetroot has the benefit of being incredibly good for you and being a fairly cheap vegetable to buy. It makes a change, as a lot of healthy foods and supplements seem to be quite pricey


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

Great! I knew that beetroot was good, but you provide more information than I knew! Healthy and delicious! Yum!


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Hope you had a great Christmas Prasetio and thanks for reading about the health benefits of beetroot


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Hi travelespresso, sorry that you find it hard to get beetroot in Vietnam, especially as beetroot is so good for you. I noticed that when I was travelling in Australia and NZ, beetroot was in everything from burgers to sandwiches. Thanks for reading about the benefits of beetroot and leaving a comment


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice hub from you. I am glad to know this from you and this is very useful for us. I heard about this many times. Thank you very much, my friend. Merry Christmas!

Prasetio


travelespresso profile image

travelespresso 5 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

Great hub CMH and very thorough. I really love eating beetroot and when in Australia or NZ I eat it most days. Sadly, although its available here in Vietnam its not so easy to get.

I miss eating it and I'm sure my body is the worse for its absence in my diet.

Thanks for this great hub.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Hi Hello, hello - eating beetroot could help us to keep younger and fitter! Thanks for reading about the health benefits of beetroot juice and leaving a great comment.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

I learned a lot of things I didn't know about the humble beetroot. Thank you.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Beet juiced with apple must be a very potent juice, Ashantina. Thanks for reading the hub on the health benefits of beetroot juice and leaving a great comment


Ashantina profile image

Ashantina 5 years ago

I used to juice beet with apples. One very powerful veg. Well researched article :)


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun Author

Glad that you found the information on the health benefits of beetroot interesting arthurchappell and thanks for reading the hub and leaving a comment


arthurchappell profile image

arthurchappell 5 years ago from Manchester, England

very knowledgeable - more on beetroot than I imagined possible - and genuinely interesting throughout

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