Can drinking beetroot juice help you conceive? Intake of beetroot juice may help lower inflammations that can damage the ovaries and uterus, and boost the production of nitric oxide which can stimulate ovulation [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], and help to relax the blood vessels and improve blood flow to the reproductive organs.
This may benefit women as it improves their fertility and chances of pregnancy. Also, beetroot is rich in folate, and incorporating it into your diet can aid baby development and prevent neural tube defects.
This article provides, a science-based outlook on how beetroot juice can affect fertility and pregnancy, beetroot nutrition, and possible side effects.
What is Beetroot
Beta vulgaris rubra also known as beetroot red beet, table beet, garden beet, or just beet, is a root vegetable that is a member of the Chenopodiaceae family. It is native to Europe and Western Asia but is now grown worldwide. Beetroot is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and has been linked to several health benefits, including improved heart health, reduced blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.
Beetroot juice Nutrition
|Raw Beets Nutrition (100g)|
|Fiber, total dietary||2.8||g|
|Vitamin A, RAE||2||µg|
|Vitamin A, IU||33||IU|
Benefits of beetroot for fertility
What are the potential benefits of beetroot juice for fertility? Intake of the Juice or extract offers several benefits both for men’s and women’s fertility, here are some of them
Boost women ovulation
How does beetroot affect women’s ovulation? The extract is rich in Inorganic nitrate [7, 8] which can increase the production of nitric oxide, a compound that is found to stimulate ovulation as well as promote blood flow by signaling the smooth muscle surrounding the endothelium of the blood vessels to relax, leading to proper blood circulation.
- How coconut water can affect Ovulation: Benefits and Risks
- Cooked Or Raw Jute Leaves During Pregnancy Better? Here are the Benefits and side effects
May Boost menstruation
Beetroot extract is rich in Inorganic nitrate [7, 8] which is readily converted into nitric oxide. More importantly, a study finds that nitric oxide can initiate and maintain menstrual bleeding, induce tissue breakdown and vascular relaxation, inhibit platelet aggregation, and relax the myometrium, all of which help to control menstrual bleeding [9, 10].
May lower inflammation
It is believed that inflammation can cause damage to the ovaries and uterus. However, beetroot juice or extract contain betalain [12, 13, 14 ], a compound with anti-inflammatory property [15, 16] that can help lower inflammation .
However, this claim has a contrary opinion as some studies say intake of beetroot juice for a long time may increase lipid peroxidation which promotes inflammation . Others say it has anti-inflammatory properties.
However, more human-centered research is needed to confirm the link between beetroot and inflammation.
Improves erectile function in men
To maintain a lasting erection during sexual intercourse, steady blood flow to the male reproductive organ is needed and nitric oxide makes sure of this by promoting vascular relaxation, as well as preventing platelet aggregation.
Enhances physical performance
Beetroot extracts are rich in inorganic nitrate which can be converted into nitric oxide. Numerous studies have shown that nitrates, which are naturally found in beets and other vegetables, can improve physical performance, particularly during high-intensity endurance exercise.
How do nitrates work? They are converted into nitric oxide in the body, which helps to relax and widen blood vessels. This allows more oxygen to flow to the muscles, which can help to improve endurance and performance.
In one study, cyclists who drank beetroot juice before a race were able to ride for 16% longer than those who did not drink the juice. Other studies have shown that beetroot juice can also improve running, swimming, and rowing performance.
Beetroot juice benefits for pregnant women
Beets are a healthy and nutritious food that can provide pregnant women with several health benefits such as keeping off constipation due to its fiber content, as well as aiding baby development. Here are detailed benefits of beetroot during pregnancy.
Prevent neural tube defects
Anencephaly and spina bifida are two developmental issues that may be experienced by babies during development, this can be prevented if pregnant women consume sufficient amounts of folic acid needed during this stage of pregnancy,
However, drinking beetroot juice or incorporating the extract into the diet may provide a good amount of folate that can help prevent neural tube defects.
More importantly, the CDC recommends the intake of folate-rich food like beetroot accompanied by another prenatal supplement that contains folic acid to meet the recommended daily intake of 400 micrograms.
During the possibility of iron deficiency resulting fatigue and weakness may ensue, this may require the intake of iron supplements or iron-rich diets. Beetroot is a rich source of iron, a mineral that aids blood formation. This is beneficial as it prevents anemia during pregnancy. In addition to that, the extract promotes nitric oxide production which aids proper blood circulation.
Overdose of iron can cause an upset stomach, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea , or even more complex complications during pregnancy. As such, experts recommend 30 to 60 iron daily .
Promotes fetal growth
According to findings, blood flow across the placenta can improve fetal growth and development. Interestingly beetroot extract contains 3 important nutrients that aid fetal growth:
- An iron mineral that aids blood formation.
- Inorganic nitrate is converted to nitric oxide which promotes blood flow to the placenta
- Folate which aids fetal development.
Lowers the risk of preeclampsia
According to a recent study on pregnant mice with high blood pressure, those who were fed beetroot extract showed a significant reduction in blood pressure and improved vascular function  than the control group.
Another study found that the blood pressure-reducing property of beetroot is attributed to its rich nitrate composition .
For clarity, this study is on animal models, which means the human model should also be used to confirm this mechanism in humans.
Risks of eating beetroots during pregnancy
Are there risks of drinking beetroot juice during pregnancy? No serious pregnancy issue is linked to beetroot juice. However there are some minor concerns they should be aware of, and as well consult health experts if they notice any.
May cause Beeturia
Beeturia: a harmless condition that ensues after eating beetroot. This can be quite alarming and may raise concern, and sometimes may be a symptom of an iron deficiency .
Excess may lower nutrient absorption
Beetroots are said to have oxalate, a compound with antinutrient properties. This can impact nutrient absorption which is not good for pregnant women. There are claims that oxalate may increase the risk of kidney stone formation [30, 31].
Beetroot is generally safe for most people to consume. However, some people may experience side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and bloating. If you experience any of these side effects, stop consuming beets and talk to your doctor.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.