Beetroot is one of the richest natural food sources of folate or folic acid which is a vital nutrient during pregnancy. This is one particular food that helps a lot in supporting fetus growth, reducing the risk of DNA damage in a fetus and removing toxins.
Back in the 16th century, beetroot was a popular remedy for treating anemia, thanks to its high iron content. It can also be eaten during pregnancy to keep iron stores up.
Beetroot contains betacyanin — the antioxidant pigment that provides the rich color, which helps in protecting DNA which is a main cause of fetus defects. Betaine, also present in beetroot (2), stimulates the liver cells to remove toxins that can interfere with development and which may cause nausea, fatigue and headaches.
Beetroot contains a healthy dose of the mineral potassium which helps keep blood pressure and fluid balance regulated (1). The trace mineral silica allows calcium to be effectively incorporated into new bone growth in a fetus.
Below is a summary of the benefits of taking beetroot during pregnancy:
- One of the best folate food sources to promote growth.
- Betacyanin and betaine help protect DNA from damage to minimize the risk of growth defects.
- Betaine supports detoxification to help prevent headaches, tiredness and nausea.
- Potassium helps regulate blood pressure (1) and may help prevent water retention.
- Silica works with other bone nutrients to promote skeletal health in mother and baby.
If you’ve set your mind on supplementing your diet with beetroot, look for products without added vinegar if you tend to suffer from yeast infections. Fresh beetroot can be steamed or boiled or roasted in a little olive oil. It can also be eaten hot or cold.
For convenience, you can also purchase organic beetroot juice from trusted brands such as Rabenhorst. Just remember to refrigerate your bottle of beetroot once you’ve opened it. The taste of raw organic beetroot juice can be a bit hard to stomach so if you’re unable to take it raw, then mixing beetroot with your other favorite fruit juices can make for an interesting cocktail.
Beetroot is also available in various other supplement forms such as Nature’s Way Beetroot Capsules or in just plain powder form. Activz’s Organic Whole Food Beet Powder which is organic and Non GMO can be added to your recipes for some beetroot goodness. Just remember not to expose the powder to high cooking temperatures which can destroy its various nutrients.
1. Webb, Andrew J.; Nakul Patel; Stavros Loukogeorgakis; Mike Okorie; Zainab Aboud; Shivani Misra; Rahim Rashid; Philip Miall; John Deanfield; Nigel Benjamin; Raymond MacAllister; Adrian J. Hobbs; Amrita Ahluwalia; Patel, N; Loukogeorgakis, S; Okorie, M; Aboud, Z; Misra, S; Rashid, R; Miall, P et al. (2008), “Acute Blood Pressure Lowering, Vasoprotective, and Antiplatelet Properties of Dietary Nitrate via bioconversion to Nitrite”, Hypertension 51 (3): 784–790, doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.107.103523, PMC 2839282, PMID 18250365, http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/51/3/784
2. a b A.D.A.M., Inc., ed. (2002), Betaine, University of Maryland Medical Center, http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsSupplements/Betainecs.html