Beets, known botanically as Beta vulgaris, are native to the Mediterranean region.
Beets are most commonly a dark red color, however they also come in other hues ranging from white to yellow to a red-and-white variety known as Chioggia. They are rich in antioxidants, folic acid, potassium, and fiber.
Beets have many health benefits, one of which is their ability to help detoxify our body.
Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
The betalin pigments present in beets have repeatedly been shown to support activity in our body’s Phase 2 detoxification process.
Before going any further lets talk about the body’s detoxification process:
Many of the toxic chemicals, such as every drug, artificial chemical, pesticide and hormone that enter the body are fat-soluble, which means they dissolve only in fatty or oily solutions and not in water. This makes them difficult for the body to excrete. Fat soluble chemicals can get stored in fatty parts of the body for years and get released during times of stress, exercise or fast. During the release of these toxins, symptoms such as headaches, poor memory, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and palpitations may occur. The body’s primary defense against metabolic poisoning is carried out by the liver. Liver turns these fat soluble toxins into water soluble through two different mechanism known as phase I and phase II detoification.
Phase one detoxification consists of oxidation reduction and hydrolysis. Phase one detoxification is catalyzed by enzymes referred to as the cytochrome P450 enzyme group or Mixed Function Oxidase enzymes MFO. This pathway converts a toxic chemical into a less harmful chemical. This is achieved by various chemical reactions (such as oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis), and during this process free radicals are produced which, if excessive, can damage the liver cells. Antioxidants (such as vitamin C and E and natural carotenoids) reduce the damage caused by these free radicals. If antioxidants are lacking and toxin exposure is high, toxic chemicals become far more dangerous.
Phase two also known as conjugation pathway. In this phase the liver cells add another substance (eg. cysteine, glycine or a sulphur molecule) to a toxic chemical or drug, to render it less harmful. This makes the toxin or drug water-soluble, so it can then be excreted from the body via watery fluids such as bile or urine.
In this detox juice (recipe below), I will be using Turmeric, which is high in carotenoids to support the phase I of detoxification and beet juice to support the phase two, hence a complete detixification. Your liver will thank you for this.
To read more about the health benefits of Turmeric please visit my post ” 5 proven health benefits of turmeric and ginger”
Other proven health benefits of beets:
May help lower blood pressure: A study has shown that blood pressure was significantly lowered in volunteers, who consumed 500 milliliters of beet-root juice.
This can be due to the high nitrate levels contained in beet juice
Boost your stamina: A study shows, those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16% longer. This benefit can be related to nitrates turning into nitric oxide.
Fight Inflammation: Betaine, which are found in beets, is known to help fight inflammation by protecting cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress.
Detox Juice recipe:
- 3/4 cup fresh beet juice (juice of about 10 small Beets)
- 1/4 cup fresh asparagus juice, about 4 stalks (Also helps with detoxification and high in vitamins)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder or 1 inch fresh turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder or 1 inch fresh ginger (for added health benefits and anti-inflammatory effects)
- Dash of black pepper (to help with absorption of turmeric)
- Mix all the ingredients together
- Pour over the ice
Stay happy and healthy