Anemia, typically caused by low levels of iron, is the most common blood disorder in the United States, affecting over 3 million Americans. The symptoms can be mildly annoying to life-threatening. What we eat and drink can improve anemia, and this beet juice for iron recipe is one way to help!
What’s In This Article?
What is Anemia?
You may have heard of low iron but still be wondering exactly what is anemia. It’s a condition of the blood that happens when the body produces fewer than normal amounts of healthy red blood cells (1). Red blood cells are responsible for carrying hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that supplies oxygen taken in by the lungs to all areas of your body. While there are several types, iron deficiency anemia is the most common.
Signs of Anemia
When the body doesn’t receive enough oxygen, signs of anemia can begin to manifest (2):
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Pounding/”whooshing” sound in the ears
- Cold hands or feet
- Pale/jaundiced skin
Anemia Risk Factors
There is a range of anemia risk factors from disease to diet. Let’s review them here (3):
- Chronic Conditions and Diseases – There are a whole host of anemia-increasing conditions: cancer, alcoholism, diabetes, and kidney failure are all examples.
- Dietary Deficiencies – A higher risk for anemia is associated with low levels of iron, vitamin B-12, and folate.
- Pregnancy – Being pregnant can lower both iron and folate levels, so increases the risk of anemia.
- Inhibited Small Intestine Nutrient Uptake – Diseases that cause this, like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome, can increase the risk of anemia.
- Menstruation – Heavy periods, which lead to chronic blood loss, can increase anemia risk.
- Family History – There are inherited forms of anemia that can be passed on, like sickle cell anemia.
- Age – Individuals over 65 are at an elevated risk for anemia.
Why Choose Beets for Anemia?
With risk factors directly related to certain nutrient deficiencies, turning to beets for anemia is a good option. Why? Beets possess an anemia-beating trifecta of nutrients that may help your blood increase its ability to deliver oxygen. These are iron, folate, and vitamin C.
Iron is the key to making hemoglobin, that all-important oxygen carrier that travels by red blood cells to every bit of your body (4). So when you’re deficient in iron, your body can’t make enough hemoglobin, and anemia can be the result. Beets provide iron and are also known to stimulate iron absorption in the small intestine (5).
Like iron is to hemoglobin, folate is to blood cells. Folate, vitamin B9, helps your body make red blood cells which are the carriers of the ever-important hemoglobin. Again, not enough folate means not enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia (6).
Vitamin C acts as a booster for iron, facilitating its absorption through the small intestine and into the bloodstream, specifically for non-heme (plant-based) iron (7, 8). Strawberries, oranges, and lemons in this juice shot recipe also give a good dose of vitamin C to help increase its ability to get that all-important iron into your system.
Best Juicer for Beets
I made these Berry Beet Blast Iron Juice Shots using the Nama J2. It’s the best juicer for beets and handles all other produce like a dream!
The Nama J2 is easy and fast to use, gives good juice yield and nutrient extraction, and is very quick to clean. What makes it so easy and fast to use is its 5 1/4-inch hopper. Just fill it up, close the lid, and walk away! If it fits, you can juice it! Even whole beets are no match for the Nama J2!
Its large hopper and auto-cutting blade mean very little produce prep. This combination saves you a ton of time by allowing you to do other things while it juices. I use this time to clean up my prep area, so all I have to do once it’s done is clean the juicer. Cleaning is super fast, too, thanks to its minimal, well-designed parts.
Nama backs up this excellent juicer with its 4-year parts/15-year motor warranty. I absolutely recommend the Nama J2 for anyone interested in a great juicing experience. It has a permanent place on my counter and I simply love it!
Here’s the Recipe!Print
More Juices for Anemia
Help your body get the oxygen it needs with more iron-boosting juice recipes!
- Try another take on beet juice shots with this molasses-infused recipe.
- Here’s a super simple recipe perfect for beginning juicers and juice feasters, alike!
- This juice recipe talks about how beets are also good for lowering blood pressure.
Post a comment below if you try this recipe. We’d LOVE to hear from you!