Beetroot is an edible taproot portion of beet plant cultivated as one of the several varieties of beta vulgaris and is known by various names like table beet and garden beet.
Due to the abundance of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc in beetroots, they provide numerous health and beauty benefits. Despite these benefits, consume beetroots in moderation to avoid the major side effects of eating too many beetroots.
Side Effects of Eating Too Many Beetroots
(1) Might Cause Beeturia
“Betalain”, an antioxidantal compound present in the beetroot protects our cells and tissues from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals, and also provides other benefits like improving the cardiovascular system, helping with detoxification, providing cognitive benefits, strengthening the immune system, etc.
Betalain is also responsible for giving dark pinkish or red pigmentation to the beetroot.
Consuming beetroot or beetroot juice in large doses may increase the level of betalain in our body.
A high level of betalain may lead to poor iron metabolism in our body.
It can also lead to Beeturia, a non-threatening condition in which the color of urine changes to pink or reddish-pink.
(2) Might Increase The Risk Of Kidney Stones
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in the beetroot protect our vital organs like the liver and kidneys from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals.
They also help with the efficient elimination of toxins, pollutants, and other unwanted substances from our body, and reduces the burden of detoxification from these vital organs to some extent, and allows them to focus on other functions they need to perform.
However, the oxalates present in the beetroot combine with the calcium in our body and give rise to calcium oxalate, a kind of kidney stone.
As per the Harvard Health Blog, consuming beetroots in excessive quantity may lead to oxalate burden, and this may increase the risk of kidney stones. People with a history of kidney stone problems are more likely to be affected by this in comparison to individuals with no history of kidney disorders.
The oxalate in the beetroot increases the excretion of urinary calcium oxalate, and further increases the risk of kidney stones
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(3) Might Cause Allergic Reactions
Beetroot contains several vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and dietary fibers, etc that provide several health and beauty benefits.
However, these benefits can’t be enjoyed by individuals who are allergic to beetroots.
Some common symptoms of beetroot allergy are skin rashes, hives, itchiness, chills, constriction of vocal cords, difficulty in speaking and swallowing, etc.
(4) Colored Stools
Excessive consumption of beetroot or beetroot juice may change the color of stool to pink or reddish-pink because of the strong pigmentation effect of the betacyanin ( that converts to betalain) in the beetroots.
Excessive intake of beetroots may also lead to “Melaena”, a condition in which our body passes tarry or black stools because of the altered blood.
If a person is consuming beetroot for a long time and passing colored stool, then it is suggested to stop consuming beetroot for a couple of days to figure out if the red color of the stool is because of the beetroot pigmentation or there is some underlying health issue like blood in the stool.
The change in color of the urine and stool because of the high pigmentation effect of the beetroot might hide off serious health problems like blood in the stool.
To avoid the issue, eat beetroot in moderation and take regular breaks.
(5) Not So Good For Diabetic Patients
The low level of carbohydrates and the presence of dietary fibers in the beetroot aids in regulating blood sugar, and is thus beneficial for people with diabetes.
However, beetroots have a high glycemic index of 64. Eating too many beetroots over a short time may neutralize the blood sugar-regulating effect of the beetroots, and may increase the risk of hyperglycemia.
Also, if you are already taking medication for regulating blood sugar, then you should consume beetroot only after consulting with your doctor to ensure that there is no food-drug intolerance.
(6) Not So Good For Pregnant Women
The abundance of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, etc. in beetroot plays an important role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidantal compounds in the beetroot protect the uterus and the fetus growing in the womb from free radical damage.
Folate, an essential mineral in beetroot aids in the neurological development of the fetus, and reduces the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida.
Other nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium, etc also help during pregnancy.
However, a large intake of beetroot should be avoided during pregnancy.
In excessive amounts, betaine, an antioxidant compound in the beetroot may cause adverse effects during pregnancy.
A high level of nitrates due to overeating beetroots may increase the risk of nitrate toxicity in pregnant mothers, and as well as the fetus.
The risk of nitrate toxicity is higher around the 30th week of pregnancy.
(7) Can Cause Gouts
Vitamin C, an antioxidantal and anti-inflammatory compound present in the beetroot is very effective for providing relief from the pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory problems like arthritis, rheumatism, and gouts, etc.
However, excessive intake of beetroot may increase the oxalate levels in our body, which could contribute to the formation of excessive uric acid in our system.
A high level of uric acid in our body may increase the risk of gouts, and other common symptoms like extreme joint pains, shinny red joints, and high fever.
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(8) Might Increase The Accumulation Of Minerals
Vital nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, etc in the beetroots provide numerous health and beauty benefits.
However, excessive intake of beetroot might increase the accumulation of iron in our system, and thereby increases the risk of hemochromatosis.
Hemochromatosis is a condition in which our body accumulates too much iron ( due to poor iron metabolism), and gives rise to symptoms like lethargy, reduced hormone production, abnormal heartbeat, and arthritis, etc.
(9) Too Much Dietary Fiber Is Bad For Stomach
The laxative properties of the dietary fibers in beetroot improves bowel movement and provides relief from constipation and other gastrointestinal issues like abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, bloating and flatulence, etc.
However, in excessive quantity, dietary fibers may lead to problems like poor absorption of nutrients, abdominal pain, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage, etc.
Dietary fibers are known to absorb excess water from our system.
A high intake of dietary fibers ( by over-consuming beetroot) without drinking plenty of water may increase the risk of dehydration. This could harm our health with symptoms such as poor digestion, poor absorption of nutrients, hardening of stool, stomach cramps, and so on.
(10) Too Many Antioxidants Are Bad For Our Health
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in the beetroot protect our cells and tissues from free radical damage and minimizes the risk of various cancers like lung cancer, colon cancer, abdominal cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc.
They also provide several other benefits like improved cardiovascular health, stronger immunity, helps with detoxification, better skin health, improved respiratory health, etc.
Despite these benefits, it is better to consume beetroots ( and the antioxidants they contain) in moderation as the high level of antioxidants in our system can do more harm than good.
As per a study published in the Journal of the Cancer Institute, smokers who took excessive beta-carotene supplements were more likely to develop lung cancer in comparison to smokers who didn’t.
According to another study conducted by the office of Dietary supplements, a high level of vitamin E in our system can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
In moderate quantity, antioxidants target the free radicals, stabilizes them, and reduces the risk of various cancers.
However, in large doses, antioxidants even start targeting the healthy cells, unstabilizes them, and thereby increases the risk of various cancers.
(11) May Cause Hypotension
Potassium, a vital mineral in the beetroot is a natural vasodilator that relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and thus provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a silent killer that affects millions of people around the world and is a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
However, excessive consumption of beetroot should be avoided as the high level of potassium in our system may drop our blood pressure to an abnormally low level, and thereby increases the risk of hypotension with symptoms such as fatigue, lightheadedness, blurry vision and depression, etc.
If you are already taking medication for managing your blood pressure levels, then it is better to consume beetroots only after having a word with your doctor to ensure that there is no food-drug interference.
The information contained in the post is for general purposes only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.