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Do you peel beetroot before juicing?

Beetroot juice has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its many potential health benefits. This dark purple juice is packed with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that may boost energy, lower blood pressure, and improve exercise performance.

But before you start blending beets, you may wonder whether you should peel them first. This article examines the pros and cons of peeling beetroots before juicing.

The case for peeling

Here are some reasons why you may want to peel your beets before juicing:

Avoids gritty texture

Beetroot skins contain a lot of insoluble fiber that doesn’t break down during juicing. This can leave your juice with a gritty, unpleasant texture.

Peeling your beets first removes the skin and fiber, resulting in a smoother, more palatable juice.

Removes pesticides

Most beets are coated with a protective wax covering and may contain trace amounts of pesticides on the skin. Peeling them first can help remove these contaminants.

Allows juicer to work more efficiently

Beetroot skins are quite tough. Putting unpeeled beets into your juicer may overwork the machine, wearing down parts over time.

Peeling beets first takes some workload off your juicer.

Changes nutritional profile

Though beetroot skins contain antioxidants, they’re lower in many vitamins and minerals than the beetroot flesh. Juicing peeled beets may increase the overall nutrient density.

However, the skins are very high in fiber. Peeling results in a juice lower in fiber content.

The case for not peeling

On the other hand, there are several reasons you may want to juice your beets unpeeled:

Saves time

Having to peel all your beets before making juice takes a lot of time and effort. Leaving the skin on cuts this step out of your routine.

Retains fiber

Fiber is an important part of any diet. It keeps the digestive system healthy. Since beetroot skins are very high in fiber, not peeling preserves this benefit.

Saves nutrients

Though beet flesh is higher in vitamins and minerals than the skin, the skin still contains many important micronutrients. Leaving it on avoids nutrient loss.

Natural and organic

The skins contain no pesticides or contaminants if the beets are homegrown or certified organic. For an all-natural juice, you don’t need to peel.

Adds phytonutrients

Beetroot skins are rich sources of phytonutrients like betalains. These plant compounds act as antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory effects.

More affordable

Not having to peel cuts down on waste, so you can use the whole vegetable. Leaving the skin on is the more cost-effective choice.

Best practices for juicing beets

If you want to get the most nutrition out of your beet juice, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use organic beets whenever possible.
  • Rinse beets well before juicing.
  • If peeling, leave about 1/2 inch of the top and bottom parts of the skin on for nutrients.
  • Juice beets with their greens to add even more nutrients.
  • Drink beet juice right away to prevent nutrient breakdown.
  • Pair beet juice with juices that complement the earthy taste, like carrots, lemon, ginger, or apples.

Nutrition comparison

Below is a nutrition comparison of 1 cup (240 ml) of beetroot juice made from peeled versus unpeeled beets (1).

Nutrient Peel removed Peel intact
Calories 58 62
Protein 2 grams 3 grams
Carbs 14 grams 15 grams
Sugar 9 grams 10 grams
Fiber 0.5 grams 2 grams
Calcium 16 mg 27 mg
Iron 0.4 mg 0.8 mg
Magnesium 23 mg 33 mg
Phosphorus 40 mg 60 mg
Potassium 288 mg 441 mg
Sodium 61 mg 88 mg
Zinc 0.2 mg 0.5 mg
Vitamin C 4.5 mg 6.5 mg
Folate 45 mcg 60 mcg
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg 0.3 mg

As shown, juice made from peeled beets contains fewer calories, carbs, and micronutrients overall. However, it’s lower in fiber. Meanwhile, juice from unpeeled beets has more fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Potential downsides to leaving peels on

Despite the nutritional benefits, there are some potential downsides to leaving beet peels on:

  • May leave behind an unpleasant, gritty texture
  • Can reduce juice yields
  • May shorten juicer lifespan by overworking it
  • Provides negligible nutrients if beets are conventionally grown
  • May introduce unwanted pesticides if non-organic

If you’re looking to maximize nutrients but minimize grittiness, consider peeling just the very outer skin layer of each beet. The flesh directly below the peel contains many beneficial betalain antioxidants.

Which method is better?

There are good arguments on both sides of the peeling debate. Here are some factors to consider when deciding what’s right for you:

Fiber needs

If your diet is low in fiber or you have digestion issues, juices with the peel may be beneficial. If you already get enough fiber, peeling may not make a big difference.

Texture preference

Some people don’t mind a pulpy, fibrous texture. For others, it’s unappealing. Go with what your preferences are.

Organic vs. conventional

Peeling makes more of a difference with conventional beets, as it removes wax and pesticides. For organic beets, the skins add nutrients.

Time constraints

Peeling is time consuming. If you’re short on time, leave the skins on for a quicker prep.

Juicer capabilities

Some high-power juicers can break down peels easily. Weaker juicers may clog and break more easily with peels on.

Combining with other juices

If mixing beet juice with sweeter juices, peel for a smoother blend. With earthy juices, the peel may go unnoticed.


While beet skins are highly nutritious, leaving them on isn’t necessary to reap benefits of beetroot juice. Fortunately, beets with and without peels make healthy, antioxidant-rich juices.

Your personal preferences and lifestyle should drive your decision. Try juices both ways to see if peels impact the flavor and texture unfavorably. If not, alternating between peeled and unpeeled is a great way to mix up your routine.

At the end of the day, beetroot juice made either way can be a nutritious addition to a healthy, well-rounded diet.