I love beet juice, and the health benefits of beet juice are many! These include improvements in stamina as well as increased athletic performance, improved sexual health, lower blood pressure , cleansing and detoxification of the body, anti-inflammation, brain health, anti-cancer benefits, improvement for anemia, and reducing the risk of birth defects!
In this article I will be covering the health benefits of what some refer to as beetroot juice, which is basically beet juice without the beet greens included. To keep it simple and call it by what most people do, I will refer to it as beet juice. Most likely this is also what you call it. I also include some great beet juice recipes, which you can find by scrolling down to the bottom of this article.
Before we get into the “juicy” details I wanted to mention that this article is the third of a series I have been doing about beet juice. When you are finished reading this article (or before you begin) you might want to read both of those. The first article is about how much beet juice is safe to drink each day, and the second covers the side effects of beet juice, as well as separated which ones were facts, and which were likely to be myths.
Alright, so let’s find out what this sweet root vegetable has to offer!
Beet Juice Improves Stamina, and Increases Athletic Performance
Studies have shown that beet juice increases athletic performance, and especially stamina. Beet juice is high in nitrates, and some of these nitrates are turned into nitric oxide inside of our body, which reduces the oxygen cost of exercise. This means that it lowers the amount of oxygen that a person needs to breathe in to perform a physical task. As you can imagine this extends the amount of time that someone can do a physical activity.
I thought that this article broke it down a bit better than others.
The Betaine in beet juice has been shown to increase muscle growth, as well as muscle strength and power. On top of this there are specific proteins in the body that help with muscle contraction, and the nitrate in beet juice aids with increasing these. Studies have shown that fast-twitch muscles benefit the most from this.
Athletes and people going to the gym drink beet juice to increase their performance, and extend how long they can exercise. People doing both cardiovascular exercises, and muscle resistance or weight lifting programs have been drinking beet juice for improvement.
Many medications that treat Erectile Dysfunction do so by causing an increase in nitric oxide levels. This in turn dilates the blood vessels, which increases blood flow to the penis. Since beets help to increase nitric oxide levels, they have been recommended by many as a libido enhancer.
Since sexual enjoyment for both men and women depends on healthy circulation, nitric oxide also plays an important role in women’s sexual health. This means that beet juice can be helpful for both men and women in this area.
It is also repeated verbatim all over the internet that “beets contain high levels of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.” While this may be true, I have not been able to find anywhere that lists the actual amount of boron in beets. No one that repeats this cites a source. This doesn’t mean it isn’t true, I just haven’t been able to find a source that shows how much boron is present in beets as of yet.
Beet Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
The Nitrates in beet juice, which convert to nitric oxide inside of our body are again responsible for another health benefit. In different studies beet juice has been shown to lower blood pressure. Not only has it been shown to do this very quickly after it is consumed and continue for hours after, but many health professionals have suggested that drinking a glass a day could have even greater effects over time.
Cleansing and Detoxifying For The Body
Beet juice has time and time again been suggested for its cleansing and detoxification powers. In the last article I wrote about beet juice, which separated the facts from the myths about its alleged side effects, I linked to two articles that talked about some of this some of its cleansing properties.
One of these was written by Dr. David Williams, who recommends beet juice to treat gallbladder issues, and the other was written by Dr. James Howenstine, MD who mentions that beet juice does increase and thin out bile flow. Dr. James went further and indicated that decreased bile flow could be an issue of those who have toxic livers. Emily A. Kane, N.D., Lac has also stated that Beets improve liver function largely by thinning the bile, and allowing it to flow more freely through the liver and into the small intestine.
Betalains are amazing antioxidants found inside of beets, and are also what gives them their color. Among other benefits, which I will get into further below, Betalains contain powerful detoxifying properties. A few of these are that they are able to neutralize toxins in our body and make water soluble so that they can be eliminated through our urine. Also Betalains can hook toxins up with glutathione, which can then be neutralized and excreted from our body. These processes are parts of what is referred to as Phase 2 detoxification.
All of this points to beet juice being not only good for liver and gallbladder health, but for the entire body.
The Betaine in beet juice has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, which means it is beneficial against inflammation in more than one way. The b complex vitamin choline which is also present in beet juice regulates inflammation by preventing buildup of homocysteine.
Inflammation is one of the key factors in many different health issues, and keeping it to manageable levels can provide a huge relief to those who are suffering from it.
Beet juice helps to increase blood flow in our body, and it turns out that our brain can benefit greatly from this. This has been shown to be beneficial for everyone, but greatly beneficial to our brains as we age. Studies suggest that beet juice may help fight the progression of dementia.
Once again this goes back to the nitrates in beet juice, which convert to nitrite in our body. These nitrites open the blood vessels in our body, which increases blood flow and gets oxygen to places that are lacking it. Some of these recent findings have been published in Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry, the peer-reviewed journal of the Nitric Oxide Society.
On top of aiding with dementia and general brain health, beet juice has also been shown to have anti-depression properties. Betaine has been referred to as an “antidepressant of the first order” , as it acts as a stimulant for the production SAM-e, which is directly related to the production of serotonin and dopamine. These are both related to feelings of pleasure, and general well being.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of beet juice are not the only promising reasons that make it valuable versus cancer. Studies have shown that the Betalains in beet juice have reduced cancerous tumor formations. Some have suggested that some of this is achieved because they starve tumors and hinder cancer cell division. Beet juice is also said to be a great ally in preventing cancer in the first place.
More studies are needed, but a lot of the preliminary research has indicated that beet juice has strong anti-cancer potential.
Improvement For Anemia
Beet juice increases oxygen uptake in red blood cells, and comes with a healthy serving of iron. In fact, one cup of beets contain 1.09 mg of iron. There is controversy and debate as to whether the oxalates in beet juice interfere with the absorption of iron. Some say it doesn’t, and some say it does.
What is known for sure is that vitamin C aids the absorption of iron, so drinking a juice with high vitamin C content along with your beet juice is a good idea. This is mainly because the kind of iron inside of beets and all plants is nonheme iron. This kind of iron needs help to be absorbed better. Many people add some orange juice for this reason, but you will have to try it out for yourself to see if the flavor is for you. On top of oranges there are plenty of other vegetables with higher levels of vitamin C. These include bell peppers, kale, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, pineapple, mango, and kiwi just to mention some.
Many recommend beets, and beet juice as a remedy for anemia.
Reduces The Risk Of Birth Defects
Beet juice is high in the B-complex vitamin folate (folic acid), which is known to reduce the risk of birth defects. Before consuming beet juice during your pregnancy you should consult your doctor or health care professional.
A Great Beginners Beet Juice Recipe and A Few Others
This beet juice recipe comes from Monica, who has been part of our Facebook community for some time now! She loves drinking this tasty root’s juice, and this is one of her favorite recipes!
The MW Beet Juice
1 apple (any variety)
Below are some added suggestions and tips from Monica, about how she prepares and makes this juice recipe.
Note: I peel the beets if they’re not organic, otherwise I do the vinegar soak you mentioned & a good scrub. I wash all organic produce w/ vinegar & water soak.
I also started peeling a thin layer (just the yellow) rind off the lemon, leaving as much of the pith as possible. The rind seemed too much for my system, maybe because I use lemon often. I also peel any produce that isn’t organic, but buy organic when available.
We want to thank Monica for offering up her awesome beet juice recipe!
Here are some more tasty juice recipes with beets.
If you are on any medications, you should consult your doctor or health care practitioner before you start drinking beet juice.
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