Skip to Content

Is it OK to juice raw beets?

Juicing vegetables and fruits is a popular way to consume more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Some people enjoy juicing beets for their earthy, sweet flavor. Beets provide many health benefits, such as supporting heart health, reducing inflammation, and boosting energy. But is it safe to juice raw beets? Here’s a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of juicing raw beets.

Nutritional Benefits of Raw Beets

Raw beets are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that offer a range of health benefits. Here are some of the top nutrients found in raw beets:

Nutrient Amount Per 1 Cup Raw Beets Benefits
Folate 136 mcg Supports red blood cell production
Vitamin C 6.6 mg Boosts immune health
Potassium 329 mg Regulates fluid balance
Magnesium 23 mg Supports nerve functioning
Iron 0.8 mg Prevents anemia
Betaine 0.1 mg Protects cells

Juicing beets provides an easy and delicious way to increase your intake of these essential nutrients. The folate, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and iron in raw beets support many aspects of overall health.

Antioxidants in Raw Beets

In addition to vitamins and minerals, raw beets are rich in antioxidants. These include:

  • Betalains: Red-violet pigments with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Anthocyanins: Flavonoids that act as antioxidants.
  • Kaempferol: A flavonoid antioxidant that combats oxidative damage.

Consuming these antioxidants from raw beets may provide health benefits like:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Protecting cells from free radical damage
  • Supporting healthy aging
  • Preventing chronic diseases

Juice made from raw beets retains all of these powerful antioxidants.

Downsides of Juicing Raw Beets

While juicing raw beets has many advantages, there are some potential downsides to be aware of:

  • Kidney stones: The oxalate content of beets may contribute to kidney stones in susceptible people. Those with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should moderate their beet intake.
  • Messy stains: Beet juice can easily stain hands, clothes, and kitchen surfaces. Stains are water-soluble but can be challenging to fully remove.
  • Earthy taste: Some people find the earthy flavor of beets unappealing. Combining beet juice with sweeter fruits can improve taste.
  • Sugar content: Beets have a high natural sugar content. Consume beet juice in moderation if you’re concerned about blood sugar spikes.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Raw beet juice is rich in fiber and may cause temporary digestive upset in sensitive individuals.

These potential cons of juicing raw beets are important to keep in mind. However, they can be managed by juicing beets in moderation, combining with other produce, and cleaning surfaces promptly after juicing.

Nutrient and Antioxidant Content of Raw vs. Cooked Beets

Some people prefer to juice raw beets, while others like to cook beets before juicing. How does this impact nutrition? Here’s a comparison:

Raw Beets Cooked Beets
Betaine Highest Declines with cooking
Folate Highest Declines with cooking
Vitamin C Highest Declines with cooking
Nitrates Highest Convert to nitrites with cooking
Betalains Highest Partially degraded by heat

As shown, many nutrients like folate, vitamin C, and betalains are highest when beets are raw. Cooking beets reduces these nutrients. However, cooked beets may be easier to digest and absorb for some people. Overall, raw beet juice retains slightly more nutrients but both raw and cooked beets have benefits.

Choosing the Best Raw Beets for Juicing

If you want to juice raw beets, not just any beet will do. Follow these tips for selecting optimal raw beets for nutrition and taste:

  • Choose small or medium-sized beets. Larger beets may be fibrous.
  • Select firm, smooth beets without bruises or blemishes.
  • Avoid beets with wilted greens attached.
  • Look for vibrant deep red beets for maximum antioxidants.
  • Try different beet varieties like red beets, golden beets, and Chioggia striped beets.
  • Store raw beets in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

The freshest, high-quality beets will provide you with the best nutrition and flavor in your beet juice.

Beet Juice Recipe Ideas

Wondering how to incorporate more beet juice into your diet? Here are some tasty beet juice recipes to try:

Beet Apple Carrot Juice

  • 1 medium raw beet, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 green apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Beet Grapefruit Juice

  • 1 medium raw beet, chopped
  • 1 pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 inch turmeric root, peeled
  • 2 cups water

Green Beet Juice

  • 1 medium raw beet, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup kale or spinach
  • 1 green apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 lemon, peeled and chopped

Mix up these delicious combinations of beets, fruits, veggies, and herbs for a nutrient boost! Adjust ingredients to suit your tastes.

The Takeaway on Juicing Raw Beets

Here’s a quick summary of the key points on juicing raw beets:

  • Raw beets provide folate, potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
  • Juicing raw beets retains more nutrients than cooking beets before juicing.
  • Downsides are potential staining, oxalates, and temporary digestive issues.
  • Choose small-medium, firm, smooth, vibrantly-colored raw beets.
  • Combine beet juice with fruits like apples and grapefruit.

In moderation, juicing raw beets can be a healthy practice that provides concentrated nutrition from this colorful root vegetable. As with any new food, introduce beet juice slowly and listen to your body’s response.

Overall, juicing raw beets and other vegetables can be a tasty way to reach your daily servings of fruits and veggies. Drink beet juice as part of a balanced and varied diet. Pair beet juice with healthy whole foods like nuts, seeds, lean proteins, whole grains, and legumes for an antioxidant and nutrient boost.