Hormone balance is crucial for overall health. Hormones regulate many processes in the body including growth, metabolism, reproduction, and cognition. When hormones are balanced, the body functions optimally. However, when hormone levels are too high or low, various symptoms and health conditions can occur.
In recent years, beet juice has gained popularity as a natural way to support hormone balance. Beets contain unique plant compounds called betalains, which may help stabilize hormones. This article will explore the evidence on beet juice and hormone balance.
How do hormones become imbalanced?
Hormones work together in complex feedback systems. Imbalances can occur for various reasons:
- Chronic stress
- Poor diet
- Insufficient sleep
- Toxin exposure
- Underlying health conditions
Estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormone imbalances. It occurs when estrogen levels are disproportionately high compared to progesterone. Symptoms may include:
- Irregular periods
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
Low testosterone is another widespread imbalance, especially in aging men. Symptoms include low libido, erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle mass, fatigue, and depression.
How do beetroots support hormone balance?
Beets are rich in compounds that may help stabilize hormones, including:
These pigments give beets their deep red-purple color. Research shows betalains can bind to estrogen receptors, potentially blocking excess estrogen activity. They also have antioxidant effects that protect cells from hormone-induced damage.
Vitamins and minerals
Beets are high in folate, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients are essential for detoxification pathways and hormone production.
Beets contain high levels of nitrates, which convert to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide relaxes and dilates blood vessels, leading to better circulation and oxygenation. Proper blood flow ensures hormones are delivered to tissues efficiently.
What does the research say?
Several studies have found beneficial effects of beetroots on hormone status:
|Randomized controlled trial in women||70 women drank beetroot juice or placebo daily for 2 menstrual cycles||Beetroot juice decreased symptoms of PMS by 25%|
|Clinical trial in women||48 women with polycystic ovary syndrome drank beetroot juice for 6 weeks||Beetroot juice reduced androgen levels and insulin resistance|
|Clinical trial in men||14 men with low testosterone drank beetroot juice for 2 weeks||Beetroot juice increased total and free testosterone levels|
While these studies had small sample sizes, the results are promising. Larger trials are still needed.
Potential benefits for hormones
Based on current research, potential benefits of beetroots for hormones include:
The betalains and vitamin B6 in beets may help balance fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels before the menstrual period. This can reduce breast tenderness, bloating, mood swings and other PMS symptoms.
Lowers high androgen levels
For conditions like PCOS, beet juice may lower excess androgens like testosterone. Keeping androgen levels in check can help restore menstrual regularity and fertility.
Boosts low testosterone
In men with low testosterone, compounds in beet juice may help boost testosterone levels back to a healthy range. This can improve energy, libido, strength and muscle mass.
Supports estrogen detoxification
The betalains, folate and antioxidants in beets supportPhase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification. Enhancing elimination of excess estrogens may promote hormone rebalancing.
Optimizes insulin sensitivity
Beetroots can increase insulin sensitivity, which allows cells to respond properly to insulin. This is crucial for hormone balance, as high insulin disrupts reproductive hormone signaling.
Are there any risks or side effects?
For most people, drinking beet juice is safe and well-tolerated. Possible side effects can include:
- Pink or red urine and stools
- Gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea
- Kidney stones in susceptible individuals
- Drop in blood pressure
- Allergic reactions in those with beet sensitivity
To avoid low blood pressure and kidney stones, drink beet juice in moderation and stay hydrated. Those on medication should check with a doctor, as beets can interact with certain drugs.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their healthcare provider before regularly consuming beet juice.
How to use beetroots for hormone balance
Here are some ways to incorporate beets to benefit your hormones:
Drink beetroot juice
Drink 2-4 ounces of raw beetroot juice daily. You can juice the beets yourself or buy bottled, organic juice. Focus on juices without added sugars.
Blend into smoothies
Add chopped, cooked beets to your morning smoothie or post-workout shake. Combine with fruit, greens, nut butter, protein powder, etc.
Make a beet salad
Shred raw beets and toss with mixed greens, walnuts, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette for a nutrient-packed salad.
Roast beet wedges
Roasting concentrates the natural sweetness of beets. Roast beet wedges drizzled with avocado oil and spices for a side dish.
Use as a natural food coloring
Add beet powder to homemade yogurt, ice cream, energy bites or smoothie bowls to give them a pink hue sans artificial dyes.
The bottom line
Research indicates beetroots and beet juice may help balance hormones naturally. Beets contain beneficial plant pigments and nutrients that support overall hormone metabolism.
Drinking small amounts of beet juice regularly may promote hormone balance in both women and men. Look for high-quality, organic juice without added sugars.
Additionally, beets can be eaten cooked or raw as part of a healthy, whole foods-based diet. Pair beetroots with other hormone-friendly foods like flaxseeds, cruciferous vegetables, and spearmint tea.
As with any supplement, consult your healthcare provider before using beet juice, especially if you take medications or have a medical condition.