It is a well-known fact that beetroot is a nutrient-rich vegetable. But can you eat beetroot raw or should we always cook the vegetable before eating it?
Beetroot contains numerous valuable nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, vitamins from the B group, vitamin C and folic acid. The nutrients are contained in larger amounts in raw beetroot. If the vegetables are heated, the number of valuable ingredients can be reduced. To prevent this and get the full nutrient intake, the logical consequence is to eat the vegetables raw. But can you eat beetroot raw? And is that healthy?
Which dishes with raw beetroot are there?
The type of beet is rarely served raw than in the cooked version and is mostly found in stews such as borscht. However, there are two ways of preparing uncooked beetroot that is quite popular: as beetroot juice and as a salad ingredient.
Can you eat beetroot raw despite oxalic acid?
Healthy people can eat vegetables, also known as beetroot, uncooked without hesitation.
But be careful: people with kidney problems should not eat beetroot uncooked, because the beet not only contains important nutrients but unfortunately also oxalic acid. This prevents the body from absorbing calcium, which can increase kidney stone formation. If you have kidney problems, you should not eat vegetables raw.
Is it possible to reduce oxalic acid levels?
There’s a very simple way to reduce oxalic acid levels: cook the beets. The high temperatures destroy oxalic acid.
Is nitrate an ingredient of concern in beetroot?
In addition to oxalic acid, beet contains an ingredient in both the cooked and raw state that is controversial: nitrate. On the one hand, studies have shown that nitrate dilates the blood vessels and thus has a blood pressure-lowering effect. The consumption of half a liter of beetroot juice is said to have a blood pressure-lowering effect.
On the other hand, nitrate can be converted into nitrite through incorrect storage or overly long transport routes.
Nitrite inhibits the transport of oxygen in the blood. This is especially dangerous for infants. Therefore, infants before the age of six months should not eat beetroot.
How can I avoid nitrite formation in beetroot?
Buy locally-grown produce. In this way, you avoid long transport routes and reduce the risk of nitrite formation. In addition, you should always store beetroot in a cool and dark place.
Health coach and bestselling author Alexander Jopp also has a very simple tip to avoid nitrite formation: add vitamin C, as this inhibits the conversion process. “The vitamin C content in the beet is too low at 4.9 milligrams per 100 grams. But the addition of 20 milligrams of vitamin C is already enough to prevent nitrate from converting into nitrite. A pinch of vitamin C powder from the pharmacy is enough,” explains the expert.
According to the expert, anyone who likes to drink beetroot juice can immediately prevent nitrite formation by adding vitamin C. Alternative: The addition of about 50 grams of lemon also contains sufficient vitamin C.
Anyone who likes to eat beetroot in a salad should always be on the safe side. The reason: beetroot is usually eaten in salads in combination with other vegetables. If we eat beet with other vegetables containing vitamin C, Jopp believes that there should be enough vitamin C present.
So can you eat beetroot raw?
In its raw state, we most likely consume beetroot in juice form or as a beetroot salad. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with healthy people if they take in enough vitamin C at the same time. As long as there is no kidney disease, you can eat beetroot raw without hesitation.
Our expert is Andreas Jopp. The best-selling author and health coach have published numerous books on protein and weight loss, vitamins and minerals, fats, and health. His new book “On / Off Gesundheit. Recreating the body through nutrition”.