Beetroot, literally the root of a beet plant, is a distinctive purple root vegetable with an earthy and slightly bitter taste.
There are lots of ways to eat beetroots, from juices and smoothies to salads and stews.
Because they’re full of nutritional value, beetroots are a great ingredient to add to your diet.
Some people don’t like the strong flavour of beetroots by themselves, which is why beetroot juice is a great way to enjoy the vegetable.
Here are some of the most significant health benefits of drinking this excellent healthy juice.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- What beetroot juice is
- Whether beet juice is good for you or not
- Beetroot juice benefits
- Potential beetroot juice side effects
- Who can have it and how often
- Where you can get your hands on it
What is beetroot juice?
There’s no prize for guessing which plant beetroot juice comes from.
But beetroots themselves are classed as root vegetables and they come with a range of different health benefits, which is what makes them such a great ingredient for a drink.
Is beetroot juice good for you?
Yes! Beetroot juice is a wonderful addition to your diet, find out the sorts of health benefits it offers below.
9 health benefits of beetroot juice
Beet comes from the same family as chard and spinach.
The leaves of the plant are edible as well as the root. Green beet leaves have a particularly bitter flavour, whereas the purple root is sweet and earthy.
Both the leaves and roots are nutritionally valuable in different ways.
The root of the beet (the beetroot) is the part of the plant most commonly eaten, and the portion which is often blended to make healthy beetroot juices.
Beet leaves benefits
Beet greens are full of calcium and iron, as well as vitamins A, C, and K1.
The plant’s green leaves can be cooked and enjoyed like spinach and can also go into your beetroot juice for an extra health kick.
The vitamin C in beet greens helps support a healthy immune system, as well as collagen production, which supports healthy skin, bones, teeth, and blood vessels.2
Great source of minerals
There’s no denying that beetroots are a super nutritious food, but what do they contain exactly?
Beetroots are a great source of fibre, manganese, and potassium, as well as folic acid.3
May help with immunity
Beetroot fibre is proven to help increase white blood cells, which detect and eliminate abnormal cells in the body.4
May lower blood pressure
Beetroot juice can also lower blood pressure5, which can help protect against heart disease and stroke.6
Studies have shown that those who drank 250ml of beetroot juice everyday had lower levels of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure than those who didn’t.7
This is thought to be a result of the nitrates found in beetroots being converted into nitric oxide in the blood which helps to both relax and widen blood vessels.
Could improve stamina during exercise
Studies have found that beetroot could support exercise performance and endurance.8
But as well as this, it may aid in recovery as the nitrates bring about more oxygen which helps the muscles to recover more efficiently.
May increase muscle power in those with heart failure
One study from 2015 found that the nitrates in beetroot juice also assist in increasing muscle power in people who have heart failure by 13% only two hours after drinking it.9
May slow down dementia
Another one of the benefits of nitrates found in beetroots is the ability to slow down the progression of dementia.
This is highlighted in a 2011 study that states that nitrates could increase blood flow to the brain in elderly people and therefore help to reduce the rate of cognitive decline.10
Supports liver health
As beetroots are a rich source of betaine, they may support liver health.
Betaine is a key substance that is involved in liver function, and studies in rats have shown that betaine may help to protect the liver against fatty deposits and toxins.11
May lower ‘bad’ cholesterol
A study from 2011 indicates that beetroot extract helped to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol in rats and increase ‘good’ cholesterol, as well as reducing the level of oxidative stress on the liver.12
8 beetroot side effects
Pink or red urine
Otherwise known as beeturia, eating too many beetroots or drinking too much beetroot juice can result in pink or red urine.
While this isn’t a serious health condition, it can be a pretty alarming sight if you’re not aware that it can be brought on by beetroot.
Low blood pressure
We’ve mentioned about how the nitrates in beetroot can help to lower blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure.
But consuming too much can be dangerous for people who already have low blood pressure, so it’s best to keep an eye on your beetroot intake.
Beetroots are rich in a nutrient called oxalate, which can cause kidney stones as they increase the excretion of urinary calcium oxalate.13
Beetroots and beetroot juice may also cause an allergic reaction in some people, with symptoms of food allergy in sensitised people.14
As beetroot contains high levels of oxalates, it can have adverse effects like gout which occur due to a build-up of uric acid.15,16
The Ohio Department of Health disclosed that when people consumed unusually high levels of nitrate through foods or drinks experienced abdominal cramps and vomiting.17
Drinking too much beetroot juice may lead to hemochromatosis, which is where there is an excess iron build up in the system – and beetroot juice is a good source of iron. So it’s important to not overdo it for this reason.
Damage to the liver
Since beetroot juice is a key source of iron, magnesium, copper and phosphorus it makes for a healthy addition to the diet.
But having too much of these minerals may lead to liver damage and pancreas damage.18
Is beet juice suitable for everyone?
Most people can enjoy beetroot juice in moderation as a part of their diet.
However, people that may be advised to avoid it are those who already have kidney stones and those who have metal-accumulating diseases.19
During pregnancy however, there are pros and cons.
Since beetroots are a good source of folate, they may be recommended during pregnancy. However, the nitrates in beetroot may cause methemoglobinemia.20
In addition to this, one study did find that there was a link between nitrates and increased neural tube defects.21
Can I drink beetroot juice every day?
Drinking a regular-sized glass of beetroot juice everyday shouldn’t cause any adverse effects, although one study did find that those who drank one 250ml glass a day lowered blood pressure but did experience a change in the colour of their urine.
How to make beetroot juice
You can buy beetroot juice ready-made for a convenient and mess-free way to enjoy its nutritional benefits.
Alternatively, you can try making your beetroot juice at home in a few simple steps.
Trim your beetroot to remove the leaves and tip.
Wash to remove any soil.
Roughly chop your beetroot.
- Pop it into a juicer and enjoy your homemade beetroot juice!
If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a blender instead.
If you’re using a blender to make your beetroot juice, you’ll need to roast your chopped beetroot gently for about an hour to soften. Then simply blend, strain, and enjoy.
You can add to your beetroot juice for a little excitement or flavour. Try mixing in some healthy ginger or lime for a sharp kick.
You might also like to sweeten your juice with a bit of honey agave syrup.
Where to buy beetroot juice from?
Fancy giving beetroot juice a go? Fortunately, it can be easily picked up at some supermarkets and health food shops.
The final say
Beetroot juice (and beetroots themselves) offer a range of different health benefits – but overconsumption could lead to side effects.
If you’re interested in trying it out but you’re not sure if there might be health complications, it’s best to seek advice from a medical professional beforehand.
Last updated: 31 August 2021