Are beets bad for your stomach?

Beetroots have enormous health benefits, but people still ask: are beets bad for your stomach? If you have had a bad experience with beets, read on to find out what the problem may have been.

As a Pilates’ instructor, my clients always ask me what they can do to enhance their body’s transformation. Among my top tips is taking beet juice two hours before class to give the body an energy boost. However, not everyone is convinced. In recent years many clients have commented that beets made their stomach feel off.

If you’ve perhaps had a similar experience with beets, read on to find out what the problem could have been and how to solve it.

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Are beets bad for your stomach?

beets and digestion

In cases where people ask is beetroot bad for your stomach it is likely that they had a problem after taking it. One such experience would be of cramping, and that happens to quite a few people. It is suggested that it indicates an underlying problem with one’s digestive system. It doesn’t have to be anything serious, but you are recommended to see a doctor for confirmation.

Your diet before taking beets might also be a contributing factor. If you were doing a cleansing diet and started a new weight loss program, the cramping could be due to that. The reason for that is the increased fiber intake or gas and bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea are typically the accompanying side effects. When these pains remain after a few days of taking beetroot, you ought to stop taking them and see a doctor. It could be that perhaps you are having a beet allergy or are intolerant to it.

In this latter context, the apparent symptom that you and beets don’t get along is if the cramping and abdominal pains get worse over time. It is likely that your body is unable to break down certain nutrients from the beets such as sugar, protein, and carbohydrates. When that happens, what’s not broken down ends up interacting with bacteria in the colon, and that gets you bloated. With allergies, the evidence of it is quite apparent shortly after eating the beet.

Pro tip:

taking fiber in too fast, in the case of gulping down a beetroot smoothie, you are likely to experience gas and cramping. So you’re advised to drink or eat the beats slowly to avoid trapping gas when digestion is taking place.

Better digestion

So are beets bad for your gut? The answer is no unless you have an underlying condition that causes the beets to cause further complications. For normal people, the fiber in beets makes it a good digestive companion. It is linked with lowering risk of getting the diverticular disease, where small budges appear on one’s digestive tract. When you have it, symptoms will present as nausea, bloating, gas, and irregular bowel movements.

When you introduce beets to the diet, what it does is it softens your stool and allows you to have a regular bowel movement. You don’t have to overdo it. All you need is a cup of beets to get your digestive track working at optimum. Within this cup, you will also get vitamin B-9 which is also known as folate. A Linus Pauling Institute research shows that folate reduces one’s risk of developing colon cancer as well. It is particularly best for those who consume large amounts of alcohol. How it works is it promotes new cell growth in repairing damaged tissue.

What about the red stool?

One can get quite the fright after taking beets for the first time. Beets turn the stool or urine red, but that typically stops after a few days. The reason for the color is due to the red pigment in beetroots and should not be a cause for concern. However, if it does not clear after a few days, it could be an indication that there might be some bleeding in your colon. You should seek medical treatment immediately.

Final words

First timers will wonder are beets hard on your stomach when they experience some discomfort. It is normal as your body is getting used to the vegetable. Otherwise, the questions are beets bad for your stomach should overall be answered with a no. As always, should  you suspect that something is amiss, then you should seek medical attention immediately. Also, remember to take it slow when eating the beets.

People also ask

Is it okay to eat beets every day?

You can eat beets daily as long as you keep it under a cup. Having the same thing daily though will wear you out, so consider swapping beets with other vegetables for variety.

Can you eat too many beets?

One can indeed eat too many beets, and the side effects are not pleasant. It affects people differently when taken excessively. Someone with diabetes can end up with too much sugar in their blood and a pregnant woman as she might develop nitrite toxicity. You can get additional information here.

Are pickled beets good for you?

Fresh beets are not available for everyone. That leaves some healthy eaters having to turn to pickled beets instead. One does get the same nutritional value as the fresh counterpart, but purchase brands that have lower sodium content.

How long will it take for stool to run red?

Typically it takes 12 hours to note the red pigment in the stool.


A diet guru by day and an avid reader by night, Tim is a nutritionist based in the beautiful city of Ottawa, Canada. He loves everything to do with health and believes going the natural and organic way is a necessity. When not busy disapproving of people’s diet choices, you can find him taking online classes for this and that while waiting for his cheat day. Tim also loves white sandy beaches, swimming (anything aquatic, really), long drives to the countryside, and travels to new cities and states. He also loves DIY projects and checking out new restaurants with his girlfriend.

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