Is Beetroot Juice Good For Anemia?

Is Beetroot Juice Good For Anemia?

Anemia is a condition caused by a lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin, the protein within them that transports oxygen. This leads to symptoms including weariness, shortness of breath, and pale skin. Anemia can be caused by a variety of factors, including iron deficiency, vitamin insufficiency, or chronic disorders.

Is Beetroot Juice Good for Anemia?

Beetroot juice has been shown to provide possible benefits for people suffering from anemia, particularly the most prevalent kind, iron deficiency anemia. Here’s why.

  • Iron content: While not iron-rich compared to meat or supplements, beetroot does contain a tiny amount of iron per serving. Importantly, it includes nitrates, which the body turns into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide improves blood flow and iron absorption, which may enhance iron use from other dietary sources.
  • Vitamin C: Beetroot contains a high concentration of vitamin C, which aids iron absorption. Vitamin C aids in the conversion of ferric iron (less absorbable) to ferrous iron (more absorbable) in the digestive system, hence increasing iron absorption from diet.
  • Folate: Beetroot juice contains folate, a B vitamin that stimulates red blood cell development. Its deficiency can lead to anemia, making beetroot an important nutritional supply.

Studies indicate possible advantages, but further study is required:

A 2010 study discovered that beetroot juice supplementation boosted hemoglobin levels in teenage females with iron deficiency anemia.

Another 2011 study found that beetroot juice enhanced exercise performance in athletes with low iron levels, possibly due to increased nitric oxide and oxygen delivery.

Limitations:

  • Beetroot juice has a low iron level, thus it may not be sufficient as a sole supply of iron for someone with severe anemia.
  • Individual absorption rates of iron from beetroot vary, and additional study is needed to determine the long-term influence on iron storage.

Nutrients in Beetroot Juice

Aside from iron, vitamin C, and folate, beetroot juice provides a variety of additional nutrients:

  • Nitrates: They convert to nitric oxide, which promotes blood flow and may enhance iron absorption.
  • Antioxidants: Beetroot contains betalains, which are antioxidant pigments that may protect cells from damage and inflammation.
  • Dietary fiber: Beetroot juice includes fiber, which promotes digestion and intestinal health.
  • Other vitamins and minerals include small doses of potassium, manganese, and magnesium.

Other Benefits of Beetroot Juice 

Other Benefits of Beetroot Juice 

In addition to its possible function in controlling anemia, beetroot juice has a number of other health benefits:

  • Nitrates in beetroot may help relax blood vessels, potentially decreasing blood pressure, particularly in those with high blood pressure.
  • May improve athletic performance: Beetroot juice’s increased nitric oxide generation may improve oxygen transport to muscles, thereby increasing exercise performance.
  • Studies show that beetroot juice may boost cognitive performance and blood flow to the brain, particularly in elderly persons.
  • May improve gut health: Beetroot juice’s fiber content might help maintain a healthy gut microbiota.

Potential Side Effects

Beetroot juice is typically safe for most individuals to drink in moderation. However, some potential adverse effects include:

  • Pink or red pee: Betalains can cause the urine to become pink or crimson, which is safe.
  • Digestive discomfort: In some people, beetroot juice might produce bloating, gas, or diarrhea. Begin with modest quantities and gradually increase intake.
  • Nitrate concerns: Although high nitrate intake from numerous sources has been related to potential health problems, moderate consumption of beetroot juice within dietary limits is unlikely to be troublesome.

Individuals with certain health issues or who are taking drugs should consult a healthcare practitioner before ingesting beetroot juice.

Beetroot Juice Recipe

Here’s an easy and tasty beetroot juice recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium beetroots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 apple, cored and roughly sliced.
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely sliced.
  • 1/2 lemon juiced (optional)
  • Ginger knob (optional; to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Wash and prepare the beetroots, apples, and carrots.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a juicer. If using a blender, add additional water to ensure smooth mixing, and then drain the mixture through a cheesecloth.
  3. Add lemon juice and ginger (optional) to taste. To adjust the sweetness or tartness, add more apple or lemon juice.
  4. Consume immediately for optimal freshness and vitamin content.

Tips:

  • Add more fruits and vegetables, such as cucumber, celery, or pineapple, for taste and nutrition.
  • Experiment with various combinations to discover your favorite flavor.
  • If you are using a blender, make sure it can handle raw beets.

Conclusion

Beetroot juice offers a bright and perhaps helpful supplement to your diet. While it is not a cure-all for anemia, its iron, vitamin C, and folate content, among other minerals, can help enhance red blood cell synthesis and iron absorption, particularly when paired with other dietary sources and approved treatment programs. Remember that individual reactions and iron absorption rates might differ.

Other than anemia, beetroot juice has a variety of additional health advantages, including the ability to improve blood pressure, physical performance, cognitive function, and digestive health. Enjoy this delectable juice in moderation and experiment with its culinary applications! 

Before making large dietary changes, always see a healthcare practitioner, especially if you have underlying health concerns or use drugs.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read this article on 5 Iron-Rich Drinks You Can Make at Home.

*This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical or dietary advice tailored to individual needs.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-langdon-m-d-41847610/
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.

Publications

-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being