Tired of relying on spinach (or kale) as your main smoothie veggies? Are you a smoothie veteran who’s looking for new ideas? Or a newbie looking for fun smoothie ideas that will keep you motivated? Then let’s talk about using beets in smoothies!
Similar to spinach and kale, beets are a “superfood” that are known to improve just about every aspect of our health.
From weight loss and hormones, to eye health and detoxification, beets are a powerhouse food!
And a really simple, and tasty, way to get more beets into your diet is to add them to smoothies.
So, to help you get started this post is going to cover the:
- top reasons why you should add beets to your diet.
- best fruits to pair with beets.
- things to keep in mind when making beet smoothies.
TOP REASONS WHY BEETS ARE GOOD FOR YOU
1. Supports Weight Loss
Beets contain an antioxidant known as ALA (alpha lipoic acid).
Now, we all know that antioxidants are great for our health.
But what makes ALA stand out is the fact that it’s been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.
This matters a lot for weight loss because insulin has a direct impact on weight.
You see, when we experience insulin resistance, there’s more glucose in our blood.
And that glucose ends up getting converted to fat.
So, regular consumption of beets is a natural way to improve insulin and blood sugar levels.
And as a result, you support your body in shedding excess weight.
2. Improves Liver Health and Detoxification
If there’s one thing that beets do really well, it’s blood purification and detoxification.
Beets contain various compounds that make this possible.
For example, the compound betaine helps your liver to:
- Eliminate toxins.
- break down fats (which means less fat accumulates in the liver itself).
In addition, beets are a good source of B-vitamins, minerals and antioxidants…all of which are essential for liver health.
So, how does all this lead to cleaner blood and improved detoxification?
Well, your liver’s main job is to take in blood, purify it (i.e. remove toxins) and send it back out into your body.
So, the healthier your liver is, the better it can do its job.
And clean blood means you’re not reabsorbing toxins!
3. Keeps You Regular
Generally speaking, it’s best to have at least 2 bowel movements per day.
This allows you to get rid of toxins before they have a chance to accumulate in your system.
However, if you have 1 bowel movement a day, or every other day (or less!), then beets can help a lot.
You see, beets are an excellent source of fiber, which your body needs for colon health and elimination.
Fiber is necessary for (source):
- Promoting the contractions that move food through your intestines.
- Expanding the walls of your colon, which makes it easier for your stool to pass through.
- Binding with the waste that’s in our bodies so that it can be safely eliminated through the colon.
4. Lowers Inflammation
Everywhere you turn these days, there’s talk of inflammation and anti-inflammatory diets.
Inflammation is linked to a long list of chronic health conditions including:
- Heart disease
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- High blood pressure
…and a whole lot more.
So, where does inflammation come from?
Well, one common source is our diet and lifestyle.
Whether it’s refined ingredients, additives, preservatives, pesticides, smoking, or emotional stress…they all contribute to inflammation.
And to counteract the negative side effects of inflammation, you need nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich foods like beets!
In fact, both animal and human studies show that beets are very effective at reducing oxidative stress and various inflammatory markers in the blood.
5. Balances Hormones
Toxic hormone disruptors and chronic inflammation are major contributors of hormonal imbalances.
Since beets are known to support detoxification and fight inflammation, that means they’re a great ally for any hormone-balancing diet.
In fact, some common hormonal imbalances – such as estrogen dominance – can be greatly improved through regular consumption of beets.
Through their ability to support liver health, beets help with the elimination of excess estrogen and other excess hormones.
Furthermore, since beets fight inflammation, they reduce the workload on your adrenals.
This action improves cortisol levels (since the adrenals pump out more cortisol when inflammation is high).
6. Natural Energy Booster
Guess what happens when your body is working hard to fight inflammation, balance your hormones, eliminate toxins or purify your blood?
Well, you feel tired.
Yep, the harder your body is working to keep up with its daily requirements, the less energy you have for your life.
So, what happens when you eat beets regularly?
You give your body the fuel it needs to do all that internal, cellular work.
And that means there’s more energy available to you, so that you can do the things you enjoy!
FRUITS THAT GO WELL WITH BEETS
One thing that is really surprising about beets is the fact that they pair really well with a variety of fruits.
Not only does this result in a great tasting smoothie, but it also makes it easy to mask the beet flavor (if you’re not a fan!)
So, when making a beet smoothie, you can pair it with one or more of the following fruits:
- Limes (using the juice from ¼ to ½ lime works wonders)
DO I HAVE TO PEEL BEETS BEFORE BLENDING?
Whether or not you peel beets before blending them really comes down to what makes your taste buds happy.
If you like the taste of beets, then you can keep the skin on.
Leaving the skin on will intensify the beet flavor….just make sure to give them a thorough wash blending!
On the other hand, if you’re not a big fan of how beets taste, then you definitely want to remove the skin before using it in a smoothie.
HOW TO MAKE A BEET SMOOTHIE
Now it’s time for the main event: how to put together your own beet smoothie!
My favorite recipe is actually a beet smoothie bowl recipe (featured in this post on beets and hormone balance).
However, if you this to be a drinkable smoothie, all you have to do is increase the amount of almond milk in the recipe.
You can do anywhere from ⅔ cup – 1 cup milk. It all depends on the consistency you like.
Also, this recipes uses red beets, but you can also use golden beets in smoothie recipes too.
And one final note: this recipe uses raw beets. However, you can also use steamed beets.
Some people prefer the taste of steamed beets (tastes sweeter).
Either way, feel free to experiment and figure out whether you like raw or cooked beets in your smoothies.
½ raw beet (medium, peeled and diced into small cubes)
¾ cup frozen mango
¼ cup frozen raspberries or cherries
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth.
- Transfer to a bowl.
- Eat as is or top with raw nuts or seeds, more berries or shredded coconut.
Can a smoothie diet work?
A smoothie diet can work in the short-term if you’re doing a mini cleanse (let’s say a 2 or 3-day detox).
As long as you’re using whole, nutrient-dense and unprocessed ingredients in your smoothies, a smoothie diet can help you detox without feeling deprived.
However, a smoothie-only diet is not a sustainable way of eating and shouldn’t be relied on for extended periods of time.
Are smoothies bad for your digestive system?
When made with whole veggies, fruits, healthy fats and plant-based proteins, smoothies are actually very good for your digestive system.
In fact, if your digestive system is in need of some TLC, then smoothie can be a great way to nourish and heal yourself.
For this particular purpose, green smoothies can be very helpful. For more tips read this post on how to make a green smoothie.
What is the healthiest liquid to put in a smoothie?
To make a healthy smoothie use liquids like plain water, coconut water, almond milk (or other plant milks), fresh pressed juices or even, green tea.
Are beets good for diabetics?
Yes, beets contain ALA (alpha lipoic acid), which has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.
Studies also show that ALA helps diabetics who have nerve damage, heart problems, eye disorder and other symptoms (source).
Well, that’s it for our discussion of beets and beet smoothies!
Now I’d love to hear your thoughts: have you ever tried a beet smoothie? And if so, what did you think?
Go ahead and leave your feedback below 🙂