Beetroot, in its raw form, is not easy for some people to consume. Personally, I find it really palatable. Supplementations in form ofÂ superbeet powderÂ and beet juice are a sure way of getting the same value out of your beetroot.Â Since I discovered that my family can have their healthy dose of beetroot this way, we have not turned back.Â Beetroot powderÂ is simply made from dried out beets which are then ground and processed to make them water soluble. I make myÂ beet powder at homeÂ when beets are in season. Beet juice is extracted by juicing or cold pressing beets. The juice is then laced with the red-purple concentrate, if for commercial use, which is rich in nitrates. If you are a fitness enthusiast like I am, then you definitely need to consume either beet powder or juice. Consuming too much beet juice will give you beeturia, characterized by red or pink urine. It may also bring kidney stones. When I consume more than a glass of beet juice in a day, my stomach gets really upset. Beets are high in carbohydrates and too much will bring on weight gain.
When I started on my weight loss program, beetroot were a major part of my diet. I mixed them in my morning smoothie, in my lunchtime salad and to end the day, a cold glass of beet juice. My weight stagnated, despite the heightened energy levels and vigorous exercising. I discovered that a glass of beet juice, alone, contains 110 calories. A teaspoon of superbeets powder contains only 15 calories. I instantly switched to the supplement powder and my weight shifted considerably thereafter.
Vitamins and Minerals.
Fresh beet juice is loaded with potassium. At some point in my life, my blood pressure was higher than normal. I did not want to take medication for this. I opted to go the natural way and self-medicate with beet juice. The potassium lowers blood pressure in record time. Hours after consumption, you will actually feel the changes with the drop. I cannot afford to leave out potassium in my list of daily nutritional requirements.
A teaspoon of beet powder contains about 85mg of potassium while a glass contains about 1500mg. there is no debate on that one. In a teaspoon of beet powder supplement, there is only 10mg of sodium while a glass of beet juice contains 95mg. I know for a fact, vitamins and minerals are better sourced in fresh fruits and vegetables rather than supplements. However, when they are not readily available, supplements provide great substitutes.Â
Proteins, carbohydrates & fats.
A glass of beet juice contains 2.5gms of proteins, 21 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.25grams fat. The carb content does not have negative impact on blood sugar level. In the beet powder supplement these are not derived from natural beet but from a formula closely resembling beet juice. I was rather disappointed in this little revelation. However, there is very little to no protein in a teaspoon of beet powder.
The carb content is 4 grams. They are both free of insoluble fats, while the soluble fat content in the raw beets is negligible. Whenever I need supplementation in proteins and carbs, I will go with raw beets for obvious reasons.
When anyone asks for my advice, I tell them to consume beets if for nothing else, the nitrate content. Dietary nitrates are converted into nitric oxide once ingested into the body. Nitric oxide dilates our blood vessels and improves circulation. This improves your blood pressure and even cardiovascular health. That explains why my energy levels go over the top and I can exercise for longer periods of time. Both beet juice powder and fresh beet juice are both high in nitrate content.
Unfortunately, the content of nitrates in the beet powder is not documented yet. Â There is about 700 milligrams of nitrates in a glass of beet juice.
First thing I do before consuming anything, is check the sugar content. No different with my dearly beloved beets. A glass of beet juice contains 22 grams of sugar while the beet powder only contains 3 grams per teaspoon. Although it is natural sugar, the high content could have a slight effect on sugar levels if taken in excess.
Side effects of beet powder and juice.
Pregnancy puts women in an extremely delicate position. I would recommend very minimal consumption of both beet powder and juice (whether fresh or concentrated beet juice).The nitrate content may affect the unborn baby if the toxicity levels are too high. I would prefer that mother and baby stayed safe until after delivery.
If you already suffer from kidney stones, it may not be wise to consume beet in whatever form. Beets are quite high in oxalates and may catalyze formation of kidney stones. The most common form which is calcium occurs when calcium combines with other substances, more so, oxalates to form a stone. If you have never had kidney stones before, they may not aggravate formation. Just to be safe, avoid excessive consumption of beet juice or powder. If you do not have kidney stones, but have had them previously, I would advise against consumption of beet juice.Â
I mentioned earlier that beets in both powder and juice form are great for the digestive system. However, if you have an overly sensitive stomach, beets are not for you. If you have gastrointestinal diseases or poor bowel movements, I would advise you to lay off the beets completely. The high levels of nitrites could cause abdominal discomfort, bloating, constipation diarrhea and even sever vomiting. When I first started consuming beet juice, my stomach was constantly in discomfort. At some point, I imagined I was allergic. It did not take me long to adjust to ingesting the right quantities.
Discomfort may stem from consuming too much of your beet juice or your beet powder supplement. Adjust your quantities downwards gradually and give your digestion system to adjust. If symptoms persist, eliminate them from your diet altogether and if it gets worse, see a doctor.
As a self-declared, die hard beet juice activist, Beeturia makes me chuckle a little bit. It is not a painful condition but, just a zing of color in your urine and stool after a beet session.Â Beets tend to get a bit over generous with their red pigmentation. Everything an open beet comes into contact with turns gets a dash or pink. This is no different from your urine and stool. It may be a bit scary and alarming if you are not used to it. Both the beet powder and the beet juice tend to trigger this. Do we have a cure for this? Just do not look when you visit the toilet. But otherwise, Beeturia is not threatening to you in any way. However, Beeturia tends to affect beet consumers who are iron deficient. If it occurs often with you, you may want to check your iron metabolism levels.
Fluctuating blood sugar levels.
See, the thing is, if your blood pressure is higher than normal,Â beetroot powder or juice will lower it to normal levels. However, excessive consumption when your blood pressure is normal, may lead to a dip up to unsafe levels. If you take beetroot juice or the beet supplement alongside other drugs that lower blood pressure, it will also cause dangerous dips in your blood pressure levels.
Extreme dips in blood pressure could have you in a coma leading to fatality. Â Drugs like Viagra, that stimulate blood circulation, should not be taken alongside Â beet powder or even juice. I was shocked to learn that overconsumption of too much vasodilation substances could bring on serious cardiovascular complications.
Like everything else in our lives, moderation is key. Consumption of beetroot should be done in moderation.Â There are five ways in which you may consume your beets:
- Fresh, raw or cooked beets.
- Freshly juiced beets.
- Beet powder supplement.
- Concentrated or organic pre-made beet juice supplement.
- Beet crystals supplement
It is always best to get your nutrition content from raw vegetables. In some areas, beetroot may not be available. In this case, it may be difficult for you to have fresh beet juice.Â I would advise you to buy the beet supplements, in whatever form is available to you. If your local drugstore do not stock them, it is easy to purchase online and have them delivered. If you are on medication for any chronic illness or long term conditions. Check with your doctor before commencing on your beets consumption.
If you still do not want to consumeÂ beetsÂ in any of these forms, you could eat the leafy greens of the plant. Shocked? I was too when I learnt this. Refrigerate them for a day or two then mix in a salad with other vegetables. You may sautÃ© them in olive oil and herbs of your choice too. Easy recipe. They are very high in nutritional value and will boost your minerals and vitamins intake.