Why do I get diarrhea from beetroot?
Beetroot is very healthy: it contains valuable fiber, vitamins and minerals . But not everyone can tolerate the root vegetables. If you have frequent diarrhea after eating beetroot, there may be a number of causes that are best discussed with a doctor.
Maybe you suspect an allergy? While this is very rare, it can lead to digestive problems such as nausea , abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Other allergy symptoms such as itching in the mouth, runny nose, sneezing, rash or an anaphylactic reaction such as shortness of breath are possible.
Furthermore, allergic symptoms can occur due to a cross allergy . Pollen allergy sufferers in particular often have an allergic reaction to certain proteins in food.
More likely than an allergy, however, is that your symptoms have another cause :
- Beetroot contains a lot of oxalic acid . Usually, the amounts you ingest through your diet are not a concern. In high doses, however, oxalic acid can be toxic and possibly trigger intolerance reactions.
- In addition, root vegetables such as beetroot are nitrate-rich foods. Bacteria convert nitrate into nitrite that is harmful to health . In addition, nitrate can produce potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines. The preparation can reduce the nitrate content. You can find out more about this below.
- If you eat extremely low in fiber in general , too much beetroot can lead to stomach pain, cramps, constipation, and watery stools. It is better to increase your fiber intake gradually so as not to overwhelm your digestion.
- If you can tolerate fresh beetroot but develop cramps, stomach ache , gas, gas, or diarrhea after consuming pickled beetroot , you may have histamine intolerance or intolerance . Although beetroot contains little histamine in its raw state, the pickled variant is one of the foods rich in histamine.
- With processed – for example pickled – beetroot, it is also conceivable that you can tolerate the vegetables themselves, but not the vinegar or other ingredients such as spices. In traditional recipes, onions are often added to pickle the beetroot.
What can I do if I have diarrhea caused by beetroot?
Whether you should completely eliminate beetroot from your diet or whether you can continue to eat it depends on the cause of your symptoms. On the other hand, the method of preparation often plays an important role.
If your diarrhea is allergy-related – your doctor can determine this with the help of skin and blood tests – it is better to avoid beetroot and all foods that contain them. This can include, for example, juice, canned food, salads, soups and possibly also the beetroot sprouts.
To get your allergy symptoms under control, the doctor can recommend appropriate treatment and, if necessary, prescribe medication :
- Oral antihistamines relieve allergic runny nose, sneezing, itching and swelling of the mucous membranes.
- Ointments and creams with cortisone help relieve itchy rashes and reddened skin.
- Severe allergic reactions are treated with epinephrine .
- In the long term, desensitization can cause your body to reduce its hypersensitivity to the allergen and you can enjoy beetroot again without any problems in the future.
How can I make beetroot more digestible?
If your diarrhea is caused by histamine intolerance, use fresh beetroot instead of the pickled variety.
In order to reduce the oxalic acid and nitrite content in beetroot, however, you should cook the vegetables rather than eat them raw . Because some of the two substances migrate into the cooking water, please do not use this any longer, but throw it away.
Oxalic acid-containing foods such as beetroot, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, black tea and spinach are also best prepared with dairy products . These reduce the availability of the acid in the body. More on this in the article Diarrhea from Spinach .
The best way to go with nitrate-rich foods is to consume foods that contain vitamin C , such as a glass of orange juice. Incidentally, seasonal, outdoor or organically grown vegetables are usually not so heavily contaminated with nitrate.
Tip: You shouldn’t keep nitrate-rich foods warm for unnecessarily long, but cool the leftovers as quickly as possible and consume them after a day.
Beetroot diarrhea: causes and help
In rare cases, if you get diarrhea after eating beetroot, it could be caused by an allergy . Often there are other allergy symptoms such as itching in the mouth, runny nose or rash . Oral medications and ointments help relieve this discomfort. You should avoid consuming beetroot if you are allergic.
If other causes are to blame for your diarrhea, another type of preparation could also relieve symptoms such as diarrhea: If you have histamine intolerance, it is best not to use pickled beetroot, but fresh beetroot, which hardly contains any histamine. On the other hand, oxalic acid and nitrate , which are toxic in large quantities and can also cause discomfort, can be reduced by cooking.