Skip to Content

What are the benefits of drinking beet leaf juice?

Drinking beet leaf juice has become an increasingly popular health trend due to the many potential benefits it offers. Beet leaves, which grow above ground directly from the bulbous root, are full of nutrients but often discarded. Juicing the leaves allows you to take advantage of these powerful greens.

Beet leaves contain high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and other essential nutrients. They also provide beneficial plant compounds like carotenoids and flavonoids. Consuming beet leaf juice regularly may provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification effects.

Nutrient Profile

Below is an overview of the key nutrients found in beet leaves (per 100 grams or 3.5 ounces):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 28
Protein 3.1 g
Carbs 5.7 g
Sugar 1.9 g
Fiber 2.3 g
Fat 0.2 g
Vitamin A 170% DV
Vitamin C 30% DV
Vitamin K 287% DV
Folate 37% DV
Magnesium 23% DV
Calcium 16% DV
Potassium 15% DV
Iron 11% DV

As you can see, beet leaves provide significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. They are also low in calories and a good source of fiber.

Antioxidant Effects

One of the key benefits of beet leaf juice is its antioxidant content. Antioxidants help protect the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress is linked to many chronic diseases.

Beet leaves are particularly high in polyphenol antioxidants like quercetin, epicatechin, rutin, and betanin. The combination of traditional nutrients and antioxidants makes beet leaves an excellent choice for antioxidant support.

Research shows that the polyphenols and betalains found in beetroot juice and leaves have strong antioxidant capacities in laboratory studies. The antioxidants in beet leaves may help prevent oxidative damage to cells and tissues.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Drinking beet leaf juice may also help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is involved in many health problems like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.

The antioxidants and other plant compounds found in beet leaves exhibit anti-inflammatory activities. Beet leaf juice has been found to reduce inflammatory markers like IL-6 and hs-CRP in human studies.

The anti-inflammatory effects seem to be related to its high concentration of polyphenols, vitamin C, and other antioxidants and nutrients.

Detoxification Support

Some research indicates that beet leaves can support detoxification in the body and help eliminate toxins. Toxins can build up from our environment, processed foods, medications, and bodily waste products.

Animal studies have found beet leaves increase levels of glutathione, a key antioxidant needed for Phase II liver detoxification. Other rat studies show beet leaf extract protects liver cells from chemical toxins.

While more research is needed, preliminary evidence suggests beet leaves may aid detoxification and help protect the liver from toxicity and disease.

Benefits Exercise Performance

Drinking beet leaf juice may improve exercise performance and enhance exercise endurance. The nitrates in beet leaves are converted to nitric oxide in the body, which widens blood vessels and improves blood flow.

In one study, athletes who drank beetroot juice for six days were able to exercise 16% longer before reaching exhaustion. Other research found reactions times and running performance improved after consuming beet juice.

The increased nitric oxide levels from beet leaves improves oxygen delivery during exercise, allowing you to workout longer and more efficiently.

Supports Heart Health

Beet leaves contain nutrients and compounds that promote heart health in several ways. As discussed previously, beet leaves have anti-inflammatory effects which help protect blood vessels and reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

Beet leaves are also high in inorganic nitrate, which converts to nitric oxide and relaxes and dilates blood vessels. Nitric oxide helps lower blood pressure and improves circulation.

In a study in healthy men, drinking beetroot juice lowered systolic blood pressure by 3 to 10 mmHg. These vasodilating and blood pressure lowering effects help optimize heart function.

May Have Anticancer Effects

Some research indicates beetroot and leaves may have anti-cancer properties. In laboratory studies, beetroot extract inhibited the growth and spread of breast, prostate, pancreatic and skin cancer cells.

Other rat studies found beetroot juice reduced multi-organ tumour growths, DNA damage from carcinogens, and stimulated cell death in tumors. However, human data is lacking at this time.

The anticancer effects of beet leaves are attributed to their antioxidants, particularly betanin. However, more clinical research is needed on beet leaves’ role in cancer prevention.

Improves Digestive Health

Drinking beet leaf juice regularly may benefit digestive health in several ways. Beet leaves are high in fiber, providing 2.3 grams per 100 grams. Fiber feeds healthy gut bacteria and helps prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movements.

Beet leaves also contain bioactive compounds that may specifically support digestive health. In one rat study, beet leaf extract increased the levels of healthy gut bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains.

The fiber and antioxidants in beet leaves may help optimize gut bacteria, reduce inflammation, and improve gut health and function.

How to Drink Beet Leaf Juice

Here are some tips on how to make and drink beet leaf juice:

  • Use fresh organic beet leaves whenever possible. Wash them well.
  • Chop the leaves and stems into pieces that will fit through your juicer.
  • Juice the beet leaves alone or combine with fruits like apples, lemons, oranges to improve the flavor.
  • Drink the juice right away to get the most nutrients.
  • Start with 1/2-1 cup per day. Slowly work up to higher amounts as tolerated.
  • Drink beet leaf juice on an empty stomach when possible.
  • Store any extra juice in an airtight container and drink within 24 hours.

Beet leaf juice has a strong earthy taste. Adding lemon, ginger, apples, carrots or other fruits can help mellow the flavor. Start slowly and monitor how your body responds.

Possible Side Effects

Beet leaf juice is generally safe for most people. However, there are some potential side effects to be aware of:

  • Kidney stones – High oxalate content may increase risk of kidney stones in susceptible people.
  • Sugar spikes – The natural sugars may spike blood sugar in diabetics.
  • Digestive issues – Some people report gas, bloating, diarrhea at high intakes.
  • Red stool and urine – Harmless side effect from the betalain pigments.
  • Medication interactions – May affect blood pressure medications, NSAIDs, and blood thinners.

Start with small amounts of beet leaf juice and watch for any adverse reactions. Consult your healthcare provider before drinking beet juice regularly if you have diabetes, kidney or gallbladder issues.

The Bottom Line

Drinking beet leaf juice provides a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and health-promoting compounds. Research suggests it may benefit exercise performance, heart health, liver function, inflammation, oxidative stress, and digestion.

Beet leaves offer more dense nutrition and health benefits than the beetroot itself. The combination of traditional nutrients and unique bioactive compounds make beet leaves worthy of juicing and enjoying regularly.

However, moderation is key as beet juice can affect medication absorption and may cause side effects in some individuals. Overall, beet leaf juice is a nutritious and therapeutic addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle.