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The beet is a bulbous, sweet root vegetable that most people either love or hate. It’s not new on the block, but it’s risen to superfood status over the last decade or so.
Research shows drinking beet juice, also known as beetroot juice, may benefit your health. Here’s how.
Nitrates, compounds in beet juice that convert into nitric oxide in the blood and help widen and relax blood vessels, are thought to be the cause.
During the study, trained cyclists who drank 2 cups of beet juice daily improved their 10-kilometer time trial by approximately 12 seconds. At the same time, they also reduced their maximum oxygen output.
Results of a 2015 study suggest further benefits of the nitrates in beet juice. The study showed that people with heart failure experienced a 13 percent increase in muscle power 2 hours after drinking beet juice.
After participants consumed a high-nitrate diet that included beet juice, their brain MRIs showed increased blood flow in the frontal lobes. The frontal lobes are associated with cognitive thinking and behavior.
More studies are needed, but the potential of a high-nitrate diet to help prevent or slow dementia is promising.
Straight beet juice is low in calories and has virtually no fat. It’s a great option for your morning smoothie. It’ll give you a nutrient and energy boost as you start your day.
Betalains are thought to be free radical scavengers that help find and destroy unstable cells in the body.
Your body can’t function properly without essential minerals. Some minerals boost your immune system, while others support healthy bones and teeth.
Besides potassium, beet juice provides:
Beet juice is a good source of folate. If you’re of childbearing age, adding folate to your diet can help you get the daily recommended amount of 600 micrograms.
The antioxidant betaine potentially helps prevent or reduce fatty deposits in the liver. Betaine may also help protect your liver from toxins.
If you have high cholesterol, consider adding beet juice to your diet.
Researchers believe beetroot’s cholesterol-lowering potential is likely due to its phytonutrients, such as flavonoids.
If you have low blood pressure, drinking beet juice regularly may increase the risk of your pressure dropping too low. Monitor your blood pressure carefully.
If you’re prone to calcium oxalate kidney stones, don’t drink beet juice. Beets are high in oxalates, which are naturally occurring substances that form crystals in your urine. They may lead to stones.
Beets are healthy no matter how you prepare them. However, juicing beets is a superior way to enjoy them because cooking beets reduces their nutritional value.
If you decide to add beet juice to your diet, take it easy at first. Start by juicing half a small beet and see how your body responds. As your body adjusts, you can drink more.