Beets are one of the healthiest foods you can juice, hands down. If you have not ever tried beet juice, now is the time to start. Beet were regarded by many ancient cultures not as food but as medicine, a testimony to their potency.
At first, beets were valued specifically for their leaves, which are loaded with nutritional and therapeutic value. However, now it is well known that beetroots themselves have much to offer.
In the same family as spinach and chard, beets contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. They are also high in vitamins C and B6, folate, manganese, betaine and potassium.
Beets are rich in a very unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Both betanin and vulgaxanthin, two highly researched betalains found in beets, have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties.
Nutritional Profile of Raw Beets
Here is a breakdown of what one cup of raw beets contain:
- 58 calories
- 13 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of protein
- provides 15 of vitamin A,
- provides 2% of calcium
- provides 11% of vitamin C
- provides 6% of iron
In addition, beets are a good source of folate, manganese, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium.
The remarkable benefits of beets are most effective when they are enjoyed raw in a fresh juice. Here are ten reasons why you should add beetroot juice to your diet.
Beets Help Lower Blood Pressure
Beetroot juice can lower blood pressure. In fact, when you consume the juice, you will find your blood pressure drop instantly and stay lowered for up to twenty-four hours. Researchers believe that this impact on blood pressure is due to naturally occurring nitrates found in beets. All vegetables contain nitrates, but an average-sized beet contains 20 times more dietary nitrates than any others. In fact, beets are top-rated for Nitric Oxide production. Keep in mind naturally occurring nitrates are healthy but the ones found in processed food like hot dogs and lunch meet are not.
In one study, researchers found that drinking just one glass of beet juice lowered systolic pressure by 4 to 5 points. In another study, participants who consumed beet juice for a month had a reduction in blood pressure, improvements in endothelial function, and reduced arterial stiffness.
Beet Juice is Detoxifying
Beet juice is a super effective detox drink that can help your liver dump damaging toxins and stimulate liver cells. This is due to methionine and glycine betaine that help to keep fatty acids from building up.
Beets Protect from Premature Aging
Although there are many products on the market that promise to protect your skin from the damage that free radicals cause, beetroot juice does an amazing job protecting from the inside out. The antioxidants in bets protect the skin by neutralizing free radicals. The lycopene in the juice helps to keep the skin elastic while protecting it from the sun.
Beets May Help Protect You from Cancer
In the 1950’s, a Hungarian physician named Alexander Ferenczi used raw beetroot juice to help remedy cancer. The patients that he worked with had already gone through chemotherapy and radiation and were considered to be in the final stages of the disease. This therapy was so potent that the nutrients from the beets overloaded patients’ livers.
Later research using raw beets found positive results, similar to Ferenczi’s. Researchers concluded that beets can help fight against both cancerous tumors and leukemia. In another more recent clinical trial, 22 patients with advanced inoperable cancers were given 10 ozs. of beet juice for 3-4 months and showed dramatic improvements.
Drinking Beetroot Juice Can Help Improve Digestion
Drinking beet juice helps to stimulate your intestines and breakdown food. Drink ½ cup of beet juice prior to meals or anytime your have an upset stomach.
Beet Juice Fights Inflammation
The betaine in beets is a powerful nutrient that protects cells, proteins and enzymes from environmental stress. It also reduces inflammation, protects internal organs, reduces vascular risk factors. A report from the World’s Healthiest food tells us this:
“[Betaine’s]… presence in our diet has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. As a group, the anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shown to provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies,
Beet Juice Boosts Energy
If you find yourself dragging through your workouts, you may want to give beet juice a try. In one study, people who drank beet juice just prior to working out were able to push their workouts 16% longer. This valuable benefit of beet juice is most likely due to those naturally occurring nitrates which turn into nitric oxide and reduce the oxygen cost of low intensity exercise while increasing tolerance to high-intensity exercise.
Beet Juice Can Lower Blood Sugar
Good news for people who struggle with blood sugar issues, beet juice can actually lower the amount of glucose in the blood. This benefit is due to the soluble fibers found in beets.
Beet Juice Can Improve Sexual Performance
At one time in history beets were used as a primitive Viagra. Ancient Romans regarded beets as medicine and drank juice and ate whole beets when they wanted to boost their libido. Research has indicated that beets are a rich source of a mineral called boron that is directly linked to the production of sex hormones. In addition, the nitric oxide that is produced in the body when you eat beets increases blood flow and give your sex drive a kick start.
Some other known benefits of beet juice include:
- May help reduce the pain of arthritis
- May help cognitive function
- May help eyesight (especially if you juice the greens
Some Delicious Beet Juices to Try
Don’t worry, if you are not big on drinking beet juice straight up, there are a number of ways you can enjoy its therapeutic properties. Here are a few delicious recipes to try.
Simple Green and Red Juice
This juice is a perfect start to any day!
- 1 large organic beet peeled and quartered
- 2 organic celery hearts – rinsed with ends cut
- 2 organic romaine lettuce hearts
- 8 organic carrots
Put all ingredients into your blender and enjoy!
The ginger in this juice gives it a nice zippy taste and the beets make it plenty sweet.
- 2 organic medium beets, cut in wedges
- ½ lemon with zest and pith removed
- 2 large organic carrots
- 1″ piece of ginger
Beet and Pineapple Delight
The pineapple in this drink also helps fight inflammation.
- 1 medium organic beet
- I cup fresh pineapple
- 1 organic apple
Wash all ingredients and juice. Serve over ice.
Vitamin C Boost Beet Juice
Give your immune system the kick it needs with this delicious juice
- 1 large organic beet
- 2 medium oranges
- 2 medium carrots
- 4 ice cubes
Juice all ingredients and enjoy!
Side Effects of Drinking Beet Juice
Beet juice is very powerful so a little goes a long way. Start off with a small amount until your body adjusts. You may notice that drinking beet juice turns your urine and bowel movements a pinky-red. This condition is harmless.
Juice Storage Tips
Fresh juice, such as beetroot juice are not meant to be stored for long periods of time. It is best to prepare the juice daily and consume it within 24 hours for best results. Over time, and because of oxidation, the potency of the juice diminished. If you must store the juice longer than 24 hours, be sure that you put it in the fridge and add some lemon to it to help it stay fresh. Always use an airtight glass container for storage.
If you happen to find beets on sale, you can also juice and freeze in small freezer bags. Frozen juice should keep for at least a month if sealed properly.
Growing Your Own
Beets are not particularly hard to grow and there are a wide variety to choose from. Each variety has a unique set of properties and some are even grown specifically for their greens such as ‘Bull’s Blood.’ Others are grown because they can be stored for a long time.
Beets are in the same family as spinach and chard. In addition to the usual red variety there are numerous others to consider including:
- Boldor: This variety has orange stems, yellow flesh and bright green leaves.
- Bull’s Blood Scarletta: The flesh of this beet is vibrant pink and the stems, leaves and outer skin are all dark purple.
- Subeto: This beet type has deep purple -red roots, green leaves and purple stems.
- Chioggia: The inside of this beet variety is red and white and it has reddish-pink skin, pink stems and green leaves.
- Albina Verenduna: This variety has pure white roots and pale green stems.
Beets grow best in full sun and can be planted about one month before your last expected frost date. Sow the seeds directly in the garden half an inch deep and 2 inches apart and follow up with a second planting two to three weeks later. Rows should be 12 inches apart
Beet seeds prefer cool soil. For fall harvest, plant 10 to 12 weeks before expected first fall frost. It is best to know what growing zone you live in so that you can plant at the right time. Beets like at least a 1-inch layer of compost, organic fertilizer and soil that has a pH between 6.2 and 7.0. Be sure to think them out so as to allow some room in between each beet.
Using Beet Juice Topically
Beet juice works equally well when used topically as it does to ingest internally. Beet juice, when applied topically can do the following:
- Beet juice helps remove dead skin cells and keeps the skin supple and glowing
- Beet juice can lighten skin and help even out complexion
- Beet juice can helps remove dark spots and blemishes
- Beet juice can help reduce the irritation of a dry and itchy scalp
- Beet juice draws impurities from the skin and scalp
- Applying beet juice to your face daily can help reduce dark circles
- If you would like a nice natural tint to your lips but don’t want to use lipstick, try beet juice. It will also keep your lips soft and supple
- Beet juice can help to moisturize your skin when applied daily
- Using beet juice can help improve the strength, shine and manageability of hair
Beauty Recipes with Beet Juice
Here are a few ways that you can incorporate beet juice into your beauty regeime
Organic Hair Dye
If you want a natural way to boost your hair color and add softness and shine to your locks, try beetroot juice. This organic, all natural dye does not contain the harsh chemicals that other commercial products generally contain. To make the hair dye, mix 1 cup of beet juice with ½ cup black tea and ½ cup rose water. Rinse hair with this mixture weekly to maintain a beautiful red tint to your hair.
Skin Lightening Mask
Your skin will love this nourishing mask. To make this natural face treatment, mix 1 tablespoon of beet juice with a pinch of turmeric, ½ tablespoon cream and 1 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour.Cover your clean face with the mask including neck and hairline. Leave on your face for fifteen minutes and rinse with warm water.
Beet Ginger Face Toner
This toner is easy to make and can be used daily to leave skin feeling fresh and clean. Place 1 medium beet and 1 small knob of ginger in a blender. Mix well and strain the juice. Apply the juice to your face using a clean cotton ball. Rinse after application and pat dry. This toner is best if made fresh daily and can be used both day and night.
Note: Keep in mind that beet juice can stain so be very careful where you use it