Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Are Beets Bad For You?

Also Known As: table beet, garden beet, golden beet



Short answer

Beets are quite good for you and provide many nutrients that will keep you functioning optimally. Those at risk for kidney stones should enjoy them in moderation, but otherwise, beets are an extremely nutritious choice.



Long answer

Beets are quite good for your health and contain a few unique ingredients which are highly beneficial. The first of these are phytonutrients called betalains. Studies claim these phytonutrients have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects when eaten regularly. These work together to help detoxify the body, thereby lowering the risk of various diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Nitric acid found in beets and beet juice can help facilitate blood flow all over the body and in the brain. In older adults, this can lower the risk for dementia. 

Beets are also rich in folate, manganese, and potassium. Apart from helping lower homocysteine levels, folate is also a key player in reducing blood pressure and is especially important in the prevention of neural tube defects. Manganese is important in maintaining healthy skin, as well as in bone production, while potassium is important for bones and muscles and also serves as an electrolyte. Beets also contain fiber, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system, reduce cholesterol, and lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease. The betanin pigments which give beets their rich hue have been shown to reduce the harmful effects of carcinogens on human cells. While these same betanin pigments may cause a reddening/discoloration of the urine or stool, this harmless anomaly is a small side effect for such vast health benefits.

It is important to consider, however, one potentially harmful effect of consuming beets frequently. Due to the high level of oxalic acid found in beets, they pose a risk of causing kidney stones and gall stones. For the same reason, a diet high in beets can also contribute to gout. 

Possible long-term side effects

  • kidney stones
  • gout

Ingredients to be aware of

Big are beets bad for you.


  • reduces inflammation
  • prevents cancer
  • prevents heart disease
  • strengthens bones
  • inhibits tumor growth
  • decreases risk for dementia

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Written by Jeff Volling | 02-06-2016

Written by Jeff Volling
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