Short Answer: Beets are good for constipation. Because they have fiber and nitrates, and they can soften stools and stimulate bowel movements.
Constipation is a condition that affects your digestive system.
In constipation, your body has difficulty passing stools or has infrequent bowel movements.
This can lead to various health problems, such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures, fecal impaction, and diverticulitis.
One of the key factors in managing constipation is diet.
What you consume can affect your stool consistency, frequency, and ease of passage, which can impact your constipation symptoms and overall health.
To effectively manage constipation, you should consume fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, and avoid low-fiber foods like processed meats, cheese, white bread, and pastries.
Now, beets are a type of root vegetable that have a deep red or purple color and a sweet, earthy flavor.
People usually eat them raw, cooked, pickled, or juiced.
Beets are good for constipation because they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance that softens stools and helps them move smoothly through the intestines.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools and stimulates bowel contractions.
One cup (136 grams) of boiled beets can give you 3.4 grams of fiber, which is 14% of your daily needs.
Of this, 1.7 grams are soluble fiber and 1.7 grams are insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber can improve constipation by increasing stool moisture and reducing straining.
Insoluble fiber can improve constipation by increasing stool frequency and reducing transit time.
Furthermore, beets are a source of nitrates, which are compounds that can be converted into nitric oxide in your body.
Nitric oxide is a molecule that relaxes and widens blood vessels, improving blood flow and oxygen delivery.
Beets are a nitrate-rich food and nitrates are good for constipation.
Because, they can enhance the function of the muscles in the digestive tract and increase the motility of the colon.
You can eat one to two cups of beets per day safely.
More than that can cause some side effects, such as red urine or stools, stomach upset, or kidney stones.
Also, you shouldn’t eat beets if you have low blood pressure, kidney disease, or a history of kidney stones to prevent complications.
Because, they can lower your blood pressure too much, increase your urine oxalate levels, or worsen your kidney function.
You can buy fresh beets in your local market or can order them online.
Always choose firm, smooth, and unblemished beets.
Because, they are fresher and have more nutrients.
You can store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing constipation effectively.
I always recommend my constipation patients to follow a constipation-friendly diet to improve their digestive health, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.