Beet juice: A superfood superhero

Southampton Sweat Presented by Juice Press, Bandier and Republic Records. Hosted by Quincy Davis,
Southampton Sweat Presented by Juice Press, Bandier and Republic Records. Hosted by Quincy Davis, / Janette Pellegrini/GettyImages

Beets — you either love them or you hate them. Some eat them raw, while others toss them over salads or blend them into smoothies. Many prefer them juiced.

With its impressive nutrition profile and versatility, drinking beet juice is one way to reap its long list of health benefits. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about beet juice and why it may be the unsung superfood superhero in a healthy diet.

Beet Juice Nutrition: A Powerful Punch

Just one glass of fresh beet juice has all the antioxidants, nitrates, vitamins and minerals you need to give your body a boost. Experts even say beetroot is one of 10 plants with the highest antioxidant levels and betalains.

Betalains give beets their bold, red coloring — an antioxidant capable of reducing your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and liver and kidney disease. Likewise, beet juice has up to 11.4 grams per liter of nitrates, improving circulation and your body's ability to fight free radicals.

The nutritional value of 100 grams of beet juice — or two-thirds of a cup — is as follows:

  • Calories: 25
  • Protein: 0.72 grams
  • Total fat: 0.06 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 1.1 grams
  • Total sugar: 4.84 grams
  • Calcium: 12 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 14 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 14 milligrams
  • Potassium: 128 milligrams
  • Sodium: 19 milligrams

Beet juice is also an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, choline and carotene, benefiting different things like healthy cell growth, mood, skin, eyes and the prevention of oxidative stress.

Beet Juice Superpowers

A superfood as bright and beautiful as beets undoubtedly boasts wide-ranging superpowers for overall wellness. Adding beet juice to your diet can benefit your health in these five ways.

1. Improves Cardiovascular Health

More evidence shows the effectiveness of beet juice nitrates on cardiovascular health. According to one study, adults 50-70 years old benefit most from the impact of beet juice on the heart. In fact, beetroot juice can lower systolic blood pressure by -4.95 millimeters of mercury — one of the metrics for measuring cardiovascular risk.

The British Heart Foundation also says a daily glass of beet juice reduces inflammation in blood vessels commonly found in people with coronary heart disease.

2. Enhances Stamina

The nitrates in beet juice also positively affect people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who tend to have higher rates of cardiovascular problems.

In a recent study, participants with COPD were given a glass of beet juice daily for 12 weeks. Because of the nitrates' ability to lower blood pressure, there was a six-minute change in walking distance, demonstrating improved respiration and stamina.

3. Increases Skin and Hair Health

Antioxidants affect your health in several ways — especially your skin and hair. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like beetroot promotes cell renewal, helping to clear blemishes and protect skin from environmental stressors.

Beet juice also contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties for reducing skin swelling. Additionally, the antioxidative properties found in beets fight against hair loss for healthier, stronger strands.

4. Promotes Better Digestion

While some people find beet juice hard on their stomachs, others consume it first thing in the morning to prevent bloating, poor bacteria growth and excess yeast in the digestive tract. 

A recent study found drinking red beet juice for two weeks positively affected the gut microbiome. Researchers noticed significant changes in A. muciniphila, supporting metabolic health. There was also more Lachnospiraceae, which reduces symptoms of inflammatory bowel disorders.

5. Prevents Cancer

Beet juice's strongest superpower is lowering one's risk of certain cancers. The betanin in beets accounts for 75%-95% of its red color with antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects on skin, lung, liver and esophageal cancers.

It also helps prevent colon cancer — the third most prevalent cancer worldwide. Although you should begin screening for colon cancer at 45, you can significantly reduce the odds of developing it by drinking more beet juice.

Tips and Tricks for Tastier Beet Juice

Beet juice is somewhat earthy and is an acquired taste. Although you can drink it straight from a glass or as a shot, you may prefer to have it in a smoothie.

Mixing beet juice with apple and kale sweetens its flavor and promotes natural detoxification overnight. Citrus fruits — lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange — also help brighten its flavor profile so it isn't as dense.

When you buy beet juice at the supermarket, always ensure it's organic and not made from concentrate. Natural beet juice should contain as little sugar as possible. You can also juice beets yourself at home.

If you don't have a juicer, wash the beets thoroughly, trim the top and bottom, and roast them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 55-65 minutes — then, pulse them in a blender until you have a smooth liquid. If you want, you can strain the liquid to remove chunks and gritty pulp.

Be careful when handling beets — their red hue can easily stain clothes. If you do get a stain on your shirt, you can usually remove it quickly if it hasn't dried.

Beet Juice Is Your Best Friend for Better Health

So many superfoods have impressive health benefits, but not all are as mighty as beetroot. If you have yet to start drinking beet juice daily, what are you waiting for? The sooner you add it to your diet, the faster its properties will work for you.

Next. Colon health and dairy: What to eat and what to avoid. Colon health and dairy: What to eat and what to avoid. dark