Do you leave skin on beets when juicing?

Beets are a nutritional powerhouse. They contain vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that may benefit health. However, there’s an ongoing debate about whether you should peel beets before juicing them or leave the skins on.

On one hand, beet skins contain fiber, which is great for digestion. On the other hand, some people find beet skins tough to digest. The high concentration of pigments in skins may also temporarily stain your mouth and hands.

This article reviews the pros and cons of juicing beets with and without the skin to help you decide which option is better for you.

Nutrition in beet skins

Beet skins are highly nutritious, containing fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Research shows that removing skins lowers the nutritional value of beetroots.

For example, one study found that peel removal decreased beetroot nutrition by:

  • 27% of fiber
  • 25% of potassium
  • 22% of magnesium
  • 20% of iron
  • 18% of phosphorus
  • 16% of zinc
  • 16% of total polyphenols, which are compounds with antioxidant properties

Another study showed that iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc decrease by 15–57% when beet skin is removed.

Key nutrients found in beet skins include:


Beet skins are an excellent source of fiber. One small boiled beet with skin provides about 2 grams of fiber.

Fiber has been studied extensively for its benefits on digestion. It adds bulk to stools and may help prevent constipation.

Higher intakes of fiber-rich vegetables like beets are linked to a lower risk of diverticulitis, stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and certain types of cancer.

Vitamin C

Beet skins contain vitamin C. One small boiled beet provides about 6 mg of vitamin C, or 7% of the Daily Value (DV).

Vitamin C is integral to immune function, iron absorption, collagen production, and tissue repair.


Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is found in high amounts in beet skins. A typical boiled beet with skin boasts about 58 mcg of folate, or 15% of the DV.

Folate plays many important roles in your body, including DNA and amino acid production. This is especially important during periods of rapid growth like infancy and pregnancy.

Plant compounds

The deep red color of beets comes from pigments called betalains. These pigments have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in your body.

Betalains are found in high concentrations in beet skin. Peeling beets reduces total betalain content by 10–20%.

Ferulic acid is another plant compound found in beet skins. It has strong antioxidant properties that may benefit your health.

Overall, beet skins are rich in plant compounds that contribute to many of beets’ health benefits.

Potential downsides to juicing beets with skins

Some people don’t enjoy the taste, texture, or side effects of juicing beets with the skins on. Here are some of the downsides:

Tough, fibrous texture

Some people dislike the fibrous texture of beet skins — especially when consuming beets raw. The skins can be tough to chew and digest.

You may find that juicing beets with the skins makes your juice unpleasantly gritty.

Temporary stains

Beetroot skin contains a high concentration of betalains, which are pigments that give beets their deep-red color. Betalains can temporarily stain your hands, mouth, and stool pink or red.

While these stains are harmless, some people dislike the temporary discoloration.

Earthy taste

Beet skins have an earthy taste. Some people find this flavor unappealing — especially when consuming beets raw.

If you dislike the strong taste of beetroot skin, you may not enjoy juicing beets with the skins on.


Beetroot peels are high in oxalates. Oxalates are compounds that bind to minerals like calcium and iron in your digestive tract, reducing their absorption.

People prone to kidney stones may need to limit high-oxalate foods like beet skins, as oxalates increase your risk of developing these stones.

That said, juicing beets provides oxalate amounts that are generally not a concern for those without kidney issues.

Potential benefits to leaving skins on

Juicing beets with the skin maximizes nutrient retention. Here are some of the benefits of including beetroot peel in your juice:

Higher antioxidant content

Beetroot peels are rich in antioxidants, including betalains and phenolic acids like ferulic acid. Antioxidants help counter oxidative stress in your cells.

Research links higher antioxidant intakes to health benefits like lower inflammation, improved brain function, and a reduced risk of certain cancers.

More fiber

Juicing beets with the skin provides all the fiber found naturally in beetroots. Fiber is important for digestive health.

One study found that consuming beet fiber supplements for 30 days increased stool frequency in people with constipation. Another study showed that beet fiber supplements increased secretions of digestive enzymes and gastrointestinal hormones.

Higher nutrient retention

As previously mentioned, peeling beets significantly decreases their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content. Leaving the skin on provides you with all the nutrients found naturally in beetroots.

May promote heart health

Compounds in beet skins like flavonoids, phytosterols, and carotenoids may benefit heart health. Specific compounds in beetroot peel have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure in animal studies.

Human studies link higher dietary nitrate intakes to lower blood pressure levels as well. Beetroots and their peels are very high in nitrates.

May lower cancer risk

Beetroot extracts protected against tumor development in animal studies. This may be due to compounds found in high concentrations in beet skins, such as betalain pigments and phenolic acids.

While human research is limited, one observational study tied higher blood levels of betalains to a lower risk of certain cancers.

Supports microbiome health

Your gut microbiome refers to the bacteria in your digestive tract. A healthy microbiome is linked to benefits like improved immunity, brain function, and metabolic health.

The fiber and antioxidants in beetroot skins serve as prebiotics and feed beneficial gut bacteria. Animal studies reveal that beetroot extracts may increase counts of healthy gut bacteria.

Juicing beets without skins

Peeling beets before juicing eliminates concerns about gritty texture, temporary stains, and undesirable taste.

However, juicing beets without skins significantly lowers nutritional value. Key nutrients lost when peeling beets include:

Nutrient % decrease from peeling
Fiber 27%
Vitamin C 14%
Iron 20%
Phosphorus 18%
Total polyphenols (antioxidants) 16%

To maximize nutrient levels, you may choose to juice only a portion of the beets without skins and keep skins on the remainder. This provides a balance of nutrients and minimizes any textural issues.

You can also blend beets with skins to break down the tough fibers. This retains all the nutrients found in the peel.

Healthier ways to enjoy beet skins

While some dislike beetroot peels, there are many ways to cook beets that keep the skin on while optimizing texture and flavor.

Some options include:

  • Roasting. Roasting beets whole or in wedges makes the skins tender.
  • Boiling or steaming. Cook beets unpeeled, then slip off skins after cooking. This method softens skins.
  • Pickling. Quick-pickled beets keep skins intact but soften their texture.
  • Blending. Blend cooked, peeled beets with a small amount of their skins to gain benefits without significant textural issues.

Cooking beets whole or chopping them with skins intact provides more opportunities to take advantage of their many nutrients and health benefits.

Should you peel beets before juicing?

Including beet skins when juicing provides all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found naturally in beets. However, some people dislike the taste, gritty texture, staining, and oxalates in beet peels.

Here are some tips for getting the best of both worlds when juicing beets:

  • Juice a portion of beets without peels if you dislike texture from skins. You’ll still benefit from many nutrients.
  • Consider blending rather than juicing beets with skins to break down tough fiber.
  • Mix peeled, juiced beets with a small amount of juiced beet skins if you want nutrients but not too much grit.
  • Drink beet juice right away rather than storing to maximize nutrient content.

At the end of the day, listen to your body and preferences. Juice beets according to what feels best and provides the greatest enjoyment.

The bottom line

Beetroot skins are highly nutritious and contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, some people dislike their texture and taste.

For maximum nutrition, juice beets with skins and blend to break down fiber. If texture is an issue, peeling beets before juicing significantly lowers their nutritional quality but may be more palatable.

Aim to include beet skins when possible to take full advantage of this vegetable’s many nutrients and health benefits.

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