Too much of anything is poisonous. Beets, which are known to work wonders where health and nutrition is concerned are a perfect example. Read on to learn about some dangers of beets.
Serious dangers of beetroot can include kidney stones, beeturia, dips in blood pressure and regulation, spikes in sugar, upset stomach, liver problems, gout, temporary paralysis of vocal cords, and calcium deficiency. Don't be discouraged after reading these though, these are mainly possible if consumed in large quantities.
Recommending beets can be great because they are exceptionally nutritious. In an attempt to be extra healthy, some people have learned the hard way, that there is such a thing as too much beet.
Can Beets be Harmful?
With all the hype about the many health benefits of beets, some people have gone overboard to consume very large amounts of beets or beet juice daily.
Unfortunately, it has produced negative effects rather than more benefits. Believe it or not, there are some side effects of beets. Here are some dangers of beets.
Kidney stones are the most important side effect to keep in mind where beets are concerned. They are formed when minerals such as calcium combine with oxalate found in beets to form stone-like crystals in the kidneys.
Beets contain large quantities of oxalate so consumption of large quantities of beets causes exceptionally high oxalate levels in the body. People with kidney problems or a history of kidney stones are generally advised to avoid beets.
Beeturia is a condition in which urine and sometimes stool are red as a result of excessive consumption of beets. Urine and stool may be deep red or pinkish depending on the amounts consumed.
Beeturia is not harmful but can be very alarming for someone who is not familiar with it because it appears as though your urine and stool are full of blood. This effect should clear within 48 hours of eating the beets. If not, it's worth consulting a doctor.
Risky Dips In Blood Pressure
Blood pressure management in hypertensive people is top on the list of medicinal uses of beets. They are very effective in lowering blood pressure. On the flip side, if you already have low blood pressure, then eating beets will further lower it and could be lower it to unhealthy levels.
If you have been diagnosed with low blood pressure, it is best to consult with a physician on how much beet is safe for you.
Blood Pressure Regulation Challenges
As mentioned earlier, beets have proven very effective in lowering blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. This is thanks to large amounts of nitrates which help to dilate blood vessels which lowers blood pressure.
Some experts say that prolonged use of natural dilators (like beet juice) may eventually cause the body to stop producing nitric oxide for itself. This renders you dependent on natural and chemical dilators for blood pressure management.
Spikes In Blood Sugar
Beets contain a fair amount of sugar. Every 100 grams of raw beets contains 7 grams of sugar. If you fill your juicer with nothing but beets, you will end up with a hefty amount of sugar in your system.
If you are watching your sugar intake, it is advisable to use other vegetables to balance it out to keep your total sugar intake for the day in check.
If you have a sensitive stomach then consuming large quantities of beets at a time will probably cause you some discomfort. This is especially so if you have never had beets before.
You may experience stomach cramps, bloating, flatulence, bloating and diarrhea or constipation. If you have weak bowel movements or a gastrointestinal disease beets may not be the best vegetable to binge on.
Beets are very rich in iron, copper, phosphorus and magnesium which all have great health benefits. Consuming too much beet juice on a regular basis increases the levels of these metals in the blood.
Excess metals accumulate in the liver whose function it is to filter blood coming from the digestive tract. This accumulation could pose danger to liver health and may cause irreversible damage.
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by excessive amounts of uric acid in the bloodstream. This acid can crystalize and settle in joints (typically at the base of the toe.)
Studies have shown that oxalate contained in beets can contribute to formation of uric acid crystals. If you already have gout, beets may make it worse.
Temporarily paralyzed vocal cords
Concentrated beet juice has been known to cause temporary paralysis of vocal cords. This is caused by tightened vocal cords which could cause a temporary change in your voice to a hoarse one, difficulty swallowing or coughing.
Although this effect is temporary and causes no harm, it can be very alarming. It is considered an allergic reaction to beets. To avoid it, make a point to mix your beets with other fruits and vegetables when making your juice.
Foods which are rich in oxalic acid impede absorption of calcium because this acid binds calcium. Bound calcium cannot be absorbed by the body. Beets are rich in oxalic acid so eating large quantities of beets means you will have a lot of oxalic acid in your blood. Even if you eat a calcium rich diet, the calcium cannot be absorbed.
Yes, you can have too much of a good thing and beets are a good example. Beets are exceptionally nutritious but there are some dangers of beets. If you have kidney stones or kidney disease it is best to consult a physician on how much beet is safe for you. If you are well and healthy, go ahead and enjoy the many benefits of beets but be sure to keep your consumption moderate. For varied tastes and flavors, mix beets with other vegetables like carrots and cucumbers in salads and juices. Fruits such as apples and dates add a sweet natural flavor to the mix.
More Questions About Dangers of Beetroot
Can kidney stones be fatal?
Kidney stones in themselves cannot be fatal but they can cause sepsis which can cause death.
Are beets good or bad for my liver?
Nutrients in beets are good for liver health. When consumed in large quantities, metals from beets accumulate in the kidney and can cause problems.
Beet juice makes me nauseous and sometimes causes vomiting. Is this an allergy?
Vomiting is a common side effect for people with a low tolerance for beet juice. If it makes you sick it’s best to avoid it altogether.
Can beets really affect my voice?
Yes. This is a rare allergic reaction to the vegetable. It can be scary but is harmless and clears quite quickly.
How much beet juice is safe?
There is still a lot of debate on how much is too much. Most nutrition experts recommend 1 to 2 glasses of beet juice per day.