You asked, we answered. The small info piece I ran this week on the benefits of beets and beet juice got a huge response. I was a little surprised at how interesting this little red gem is to so many people.
Right away, my inbox was flooded with questions, and the top 3 most common are addressed below:
- Where do I get beet juice?
- How much should I eat/drink?
- Can Diabetics drink beet juice?
Let’s start with the first question. Another related question I got with this was “can I just have the juice that comes in the canned beets?”
The answer there is no. The beet juice I am referring to in the posting this week is actual beet root juice that you either juice yourself or find at a local health food store.
The juice that comes from canned beets has very little, if any, nutritive content, since the canning process itself clobbers the strength of what would have been there raw. Additionally, the canning process involves a ton of sodium and way too much sugar. So, no canned beet juice.
If you juice it yourself, you will want to mix it with another kind of fruit or vegetable, such as carrots and spinach. Spinach helps to mitigate your urine and skin developing a reddish tone, and carrots are a great way to add sweetness.
If you buy it bottled from a health food store, try to find one that doesn’t have a lot of filler in it…especially corn syrup. Beet root juice (fermented and bottled) is already high in calories and sugar, so no additional sugar should ever be added. Most national supplement brands will have a bottled beet root juice available for retail purchase.
As far as the actual amount to consume…this is for the most part up to you and your love (or not) of beets. Eating cooked beets is great, but I would limit it to steamed, sliced beets and not the commercially canned ones (for reasons listed above) and limit your serving size to 1 cup.
For beet root juice, it doesn’t take much for this powerful antioxidant to give you benefit. In 8 ounces, you can generally expect to find a couple grams of protein along with fair amounts of Vitamin A, calcium, choline, and Vitamin B-6. A little really does go a long way.
This is, however, NOT one of those juices where if a little does a little good a lot should do a LOT of good. NO. This is one to use in moderation. Overdoing it, especially if you are juicing the raw beets can result in numbness and tingling in your throat, chills, and headache.
That’s why you want to mix the juice with something else, or at least dilute it. While a little of the juice has been shown to be good for your kidneys, too much can cause kidney stones. So just be smart about this and always talk to a health food store manager or better yet, a dietician, about recommended serving sizes.
Finally, the question of “Can Diabetics have beet root juice?”
Of course they can, but the better question is – SHOULD they? The answer here is generally only in limited amounts. As mentioned before, too much of this juice can be hard on the kidneys, and people with diabetes, especially Type II don’t need any extra insult there.
I also mentioned above how much natural sugar is in beets. In an 8 ounce glass of commercially produced fermented beet root juice, you may find as much as 26g of carbohydrates.
For other foods in its family, this is a lot considering its Glycemic index is around 64 (moderately high). Its Glycemic Load is a 5, which is a little higher than the huge variety of fruits and vegetables that would be a better substitute because of the kidney issue.
Conversely, the same amount of carrots would only score a 39 on the GI and has a Glycemic load of 3. Carrots and beets are commonly compared to one another because of the high Vitamin A count in each, the fact that they are both sweet roots, and the variety of ways they can be cooked, juiced, eaten and drank.
The benefits, aside from the vitamin content in beets, have been shown to help with
- Boosting energy levels
- Enhancing eye health
- Improving liver health
- Improving circulation
- Increasing metabolism
- Relieving anemia
But, only when consumed properly and using in moderation. For more ideas on how to reach your health and wellness goals with weight loss and lowering blood pressure, check out my natural wellness guides today.