Can You Eat Beets Raw? Here’s What You Should Know

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Monika Grabkowska

Beets are healthy and versatile, and add a nice pop of color to any dish. But can beets be eaten raw? We’ll explain what you should know about eating raw beets. 

Can You Eat Beets Raw?

Yes, you can eat beets raw. Raw beets are a very healthy food that provides your body with many important nutrients. Plus, they taste great and can be used to add color to any spread.

Buying fresh, regional produce and storing it properly will help you reap the nutritional benefits of raw beets. Additionally, if you briefly cook or blanch the beets, the oxalic acid content will drop considerably. Just be careful not to cook them too long — otherwise you’ll start to lose those valuable nutrients. 

Raw Beets: Superfood Qualities 

can beets be eaten raw
Try adding puréed beets to hummus for a sweet, earthy, and pink take on the classic spread. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Geraud Pfeiffer)

Beets are full of important nutrients including fiber, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. They are also among the highest vegetable contributors of folic acid — one average sized beet contains 25 percent of the daily recommended intake. 

However, this only applies to raw beets. When boiled or roasted, they lose many valuable nutrients. That means that not only can beets be eaten uncooked, but it’s actually healthier to eat them this way. There are so many delicious ways to do so, like adding beets to salads or smoothies, or making vegetarian sushi rolls!  

Disadvantages of Eating Raw Beets 

In addition to many valuable nutrients, beets also contain oxalic acid, just like rhubarb or spinach. Consuming too much oxalic acid has been linked to the development of kidney stones. This acid also makes it difficult for your body to absorb calcium. If this is a concern for you, you can lower the oxalic acid content in beets by cooking or blanching them.

Note: If you have kidney problems, or want to feed small children, it’s best to cook the beets first. If you have any reservations about eating raw beets, contact a medical professional first.  

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Rote Bete roh essen: Was dafür spricht und was dagegen

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