The benefits of beet juice are derived not only from the root of the plant but also from its edible green leaves.
Selecting Beets to Juice
Beets are in season from June through October. This is the time of year when it is easiest to find young, tender beets for juicing. Along with the popular reddish purple beet, other varieties of beets available include a golden yellow, white and even a colorful rainbow beet.
When selecting the freshest beets at the grocery store, look for beets with greens that are not wilted.
Benefits of Beet Juice
The benefits of beet juice are many. Included among these nutritional health benefits are curative properties that offer protection against heart disease and different kinds of cancer.
The cancer fighting agent, betacvanin is the pigment gives beets that deep purple color. According to studies, beet juice helps fight cancer and is especially effective in fighting colon cancer. In one study where test animals were chemically induced with colon cancer and high cholesterol and the results show clearly why beets are an effective cancer fighting vegetable.
The test animals were divided into two groups. One group was fed beet fiber and the other was not. The beet fiber group showed increased activity of 2 antioxidant enzymes in their livers. This is important because the liver is the filter that breaks down toxins in the body and gets rid of them. These antioxidant enzymes protect the liver from free radical attacks.
Other scientific studies support similar benefits in animals fed beet fiber including:
- Increased colonic CD8 cells. These cells help detect and get rid of abnormal cells.
- Inhibits cell mutation caused by nitrates.
Beet juice has proven to break up cancers and tumors. A doctor by the name of Ferenczi, of Hungry, used beets exclusively in the 1950s to eliminate tumors. The treatments was often successful, but if his patients stopped drinking the beet juice the tumors returned. The preventative properties in beet juice were not a short term fix, but a lifestyle change that needed to continue for lasting results.
Fights Heart Disease
In the first study mentioned above, the test animals were chemically induced with both cancer and high cholesterol. The group that was fed the beet fiber had a 30 percent drop in cholesterol along with increased HDL levels, plus a 40 percent reduction in triglycerides.
Fights Birth Defects
Doctors recommend the B vitamin folate in a woman's diet especially during pregnancy, because without it the baby's spinal column won't develop properly. Beets are a very good source of folate. You can almost get your entire day's recommended daily requirement in just one cup of sliced beets.
Along with being an excellent source of folate, beets are also high in:
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin C
Along with health benefits, beets add color and flavor to fresh vegetable juices. In fact, a little goes a long way. Even 1/4 of a beet will transform carrot juice into a sweet, red mixture. You don't really need more than this in a glass of juice or it may stir up gastrointestinal cramping.Adding beet to your vegetable juice adds a sweet, earthy flavor. Surprisingly, even though they are high in sugar, they are low in calories. Beet greens, as the leafy tops are called, can also be juiced. If you don't want to juice them, save them to be used in making veggie wraps.
The dark purple pigment in beet juice can stain not only your clothes but also your skin. To avoid this you can wear latex gloves while juicing beets. If your fingers do get stained, lemon juice should help remove the stain.