Beets are a widely used vegetable in kitchens all over. They are known to be not only incredibly delicious, but also nutritious as well.
Beets are very popular in cuisines worldwide because of their versatility as an ingredient to a dish or quite often the main entree. The root vegetable is packed with nutrients including, essential minerals, vitamins, plant compounds and more.
Making the root host to a variety of medicinal properties as well as possible negative circumstances linked to the delicious root depending on the user. These are beet juice side effects and what to look out
Can A Vegetable be bad for me
Anything in excess can be bad for the body even over hydration can have ill effects if done for too long consistently. The beet root vegetable shares the same circumstances. When trying anything new or experimenting with new plants and different ways to consume them, you have to pay attention to your body.
Most people are host to a wide variety of conditions and ailments from a life long of interaction with the outside world and I assume that you are no different. Be weary of that when you begin drinking beet juice. Your body will give you all the necessary signals to express concern.
Beet Root Nutrition
As with any nutritious vegetable, there can always be ill side effects resulting from too much of a good thing. In this case too many vitamins and minerals for your body to handle at one given time.
Along with essential protein, fiber etc beet roots contain manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus and folate, and that is just a bit of what the beet root has to offer in a 100 gram serving.
Now these metals and other nutrients generally wouldn’t be an issue however, if you are juicing 500 grams of beets to make your juice twice a day this can lead to an accumulation of metals in the liver, possibly kidney issues etc especially if those organs at risk from your glory days.
Liver Strain (Rare)
It should be understood that bodies th
at have not been receiving the proper nutrit
ion for a decade, or even a couple years need to be gradually re-introduced into a healthier lifestyle if side effects want to be avoided.
If you lived in an oxygen deprived environment for years and were moved to an oxygen rich one within a few minutes, your body would not be able to handle the transition and you would likely suffer the consequences from the strain placed on your lungs and heart. Imagine the same for a concentration of vitamins and minerals (specifically metals) inside of the liver and the strain on the pancreas.
Be weary of how many servings of beets you are consuming. Even in large amounts a healthy liver and pancreas shouldn’t be negatively impacted, but we all don’t have a healthy liver and pancreas therefore, over indulgence should be avoided.
Kidney Stones (Rare)
Beetroot is high in oxalate. Oxalate is molecule that is naturally occurring in plants and animals alike, including humans. It is a necessity to the human body as it helps rid the body of excess calcium by binding with it in the body. However, too much of it can lead to kidney stones.
Please don’t be alarmed, you have probably been eating high oxalate plants throughout your life. The most popular include raspberries, sweet potatoes, whole baked potatoes, spinach, almonds, cashews, french fries etc.
If you don’t have a history of kidney stones this should not all of a sudden become an issue for you. If you are prone to kidney stones and/or already have them than this is going to be an issue for you if you don’t regulate it.
Oxalate binds with calcium to form the most common kidney stone (calcium oxalate) when there is not enough liquid in the kids and too many minerals (calcium) and molecules (oxalate). The easiest way to prevent this while remaining on a diet fairly high in oxalate is drink plenty of water. Also avoid sodium and processed sugars like high fructose corn syrup.
Skin Irritation/ Rashes (Rare)
This will generally only occur if you have an unknown allergy to beets that you were unaware of due to never eating beets in excess and letting the symptoms develop and or not attributing rashes you have previously contracted with the consumption of beets.
If the allergy is very serious the rash can be accompanied with a fever and chills, although I assume to reach this point one would have had to consume a very large amount of beet juice in a very short period.
Ease into the nutritious juice slowly and pay attention to any results on consumption over time before drinking large amounts of beet juice multiple times daily.
Blood Sugar Spike
Beet roots are particularly high in the
glycemic index but moderately low as far as the glycemic load. This
generally means that it can help with keeping blood glucose levels steady
at standard serving levels.
However, If you have issues related to blood sugar and you are drinking beet juice excessively in one sitting there is a chance for a blood sugar spike as you are consuming 4-6 servings of beats at once in most cases
Drink beet juice throughout the day and not to excess at one particular time. If you have blood sugar related issues keep an eye on your blood sugar levels regularly when consuming.
Common Beet Juice Effects
The list above were side effects that occurred no doubt but not very often and had more to do with the bodies deficiencies vs the beetroot having a negative impact. This group are things that may or may not occur for you but are more common and have more to do with the beet juice effects than your body being deficient.
Change in Urine Color (Beeturia)
As you deal with more superfoods and densely nutritious roots and plants you will come to learn that what you are consuming throughout the day can have an effect on what you excrete later. Some prime examples are Asparagus which may alter urine scent, Multivitamins may alter urine color (anywhere between peach colored to almost neon) Beet juice is no exception.
When beet juice is consumed in excess it might make your urine rosier. Anywhere from orange to red but generally it will have a pinkish hue. This does not mean that your kidneys are failing, I am sure at first glance you were in shock. Generally this means nothing, simply the beta carotene and other pigment host being released through your urine. If it happens to be darker than pink I would suggest drinking more water.
This effect is more common in people who are also deficient in iron, but it does not signify that you are deficient in iron.
Drink more water to reduce the depth of the color change if it truly bothers you. Eat foods that are higher in iron however, I think that will have a negligible effect if any.
Change in Stool Color (Beeturia)
Beets also contain betacyanin, another chemical responsible for its dark pigment. It is the generator of the beets dark red/maroon color as opposed to tomatoes and carrots etc which are generally orange/red from the beta carotene alone.
Most color pigments in food are broken down from the beginning of digestion leading to excretion. In most cases it is chemically altered effectively and drastically reducing its final color before reaching the end of the digestive system which would be your stool.
When beet juice is consumed on a regular basis the stool may end up with some of the pigment found in the plant leading to a reddish or maroon stool. Much like with urine this is typically harmless so you shouldn’t be alarmed.
However, there is another condition called melaena which is caused by alteration of blood, or quite typically a bleed in the upper GI tract causing black, tarry stools. These are not the same the later being caused by liver disease or a peptic ulcer disease. So don’t go google crazy if your stool has a bit of pigment.
If this causes unnecessary duress to your stress levels or psyche than stop drinking beet juice for a couple days and when your stool returns to normal you can begin drinking the juice again without qualms.
Drinking beet juice is a very pure form of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and assorted plant compounds as we have discussed above, your body may not be able to handle it in bulk right away or ever. This can lead to bloating, possible cramping and flatulence.
This is generally just the bodies way of dealing with items it can not digest well or at all and may not be a problem for the long haul but just a transition period.
With these problems can also cause gas pains if you are in the habit of concealing your flatulence until you have some privacy. This pain comes from excessive gas build-up in the stomach because of the particular fiber content of the beetroot and many other densely nutritious plants.
This pain is generally alleviated with the passing of this gas or bowel movements when necessary.
Beet juice can also alter the regularity of your bowel movements. It may in fact lead to diarrhea as your body acclimates to the plethora of plant compounds and nutrients. In most cases it will result in more bowel movements, however if you try to hold these bowel movements or try to stop them it can lead to constipation as well.
This is generally temporary, as the body takes time to get used to new conditions and that includes an influx of nutrients. The most effective way to remedy this is take it slows when starting with beet juice or slow down consumption if your a regular drinker.
Also listen to your bodies signals and use the bathroom when necessary and pass gas when it comes (in a private area to be polite). Do not hold these in.
Beet Juice In its Entirety
The benefits of beet juice greatly out weigh the side effects in most cases so, you should keep that in mind when making your decisions regarding the nutritious root.
The list of those side effects and there rarity are below:
- Liver Strain (Rare)
- Kidney Stones (Rare)
- Skin Irritation/Rash/Fever (Rare
- Blood Sugar Spikes (Rare/Uncommon)
- Change in Urine and Stool Color (Relatively Common)
- Stomach Ailments (Relatively Common)
The key to limiting the possible negative effects of the juice are basically keeping your body healthy, easing into consuming the juice, hydrating, exercise and paying attention to your body and the signals it gives you if it is in distress.
I believe beet juice is great for you and has wondrous benefits. Let me know how you feel below.
As Always, It was a Pleasure.
Stan -Founder Asparagus Tips