Beets: A Healthy Bile Builder

by lydia on October 4, 2013

Beets can be a wonderful health promoting food. Beets provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detox support in the body.  Today, I want to talk about why that is the case. I often recommend beets to many of my clients, namely clients with obvious liver or gallbladder issues. The reason beets help with liver/gallbladder issues is that they support healthy bile flow.

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How Beets Support Healthy Bile

Beets contain betaine and are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, phosphorous, as well as carotene and B complex.  Betaine is a substance that helps to protect the liver and stimulate the flow of bile. Betaine also plays a role in reducing levels of homocysteine in the blood, according to the National Institutes of Health. Homocysteine is a toxic substance in the body that can lead to osteoporosis and heart problems. The betaine is found in the peel and flesh of the beet, but is mainly concentrated in the top of the beet where the leaves connect. Traditionally, beets have been used as a ‘folk remedy’ for liver disorders. Betaine is essential for proper liver function, fat metabolism and to help promote the flow of bile. Betaine can actually help protect the liver from the impact of alcohol on the liver, making beets (or betaine) an excellent support for detoxification.

Healthy Bile & Bile flow

Fats in the diet require adequate bile production from the liver and adequate bile release from the gallbladder to be properly emulsified and digested. What is Bile? Bile is a soap like substance secreted by the liver. Bile salts emulsify the fats from our food. By increasing the surface area of the molecules, lipase (or fat splitting enzymes) digest fats and absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K more efficiently. Bile is made from cholesterol, it sequesters cholesterol and is a main way in which we eliminate cholesterol from our bodies. When our bile acid levels are high, our body stops making more cholesterol. When our bile acids are low our bodies can make up to 15 times more cholesterol. Bile also helps make calcium and iron more absorbable.

Bile is also the fluid into which the liver excretes toxins for removal. After the bile is produced in the liver, it goes to the gallbladder for storage, and eventually heads into the small intestine for removal. Bile is secreted by the gallbladder through hormone messages when we eat a meal containing fats. After the intestines absorb these fats they are then used by the body to build cells, hormones and prostaglandins. This only happens fully if our digestion is working properly.

Toxins are excreted from the liver through bile fluid, when the flow is encouraged and enhanced, the liver can remove those toxins/poisons more effectively. Bile an the toxins it contains, is incorporated into the stool. When the stool does not move through the intestines easily and timely enough, wast products accumulate and clog the bowel. When constipation occurs, bacteria in the intestines split the toxins that are bound up in the bile, in turn causing re-absorption of these already detoxified poisons. A clogged bowel actually irritates the lining of the large intestine, allowing waste products and other toxins to be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Waste remaining in contact with the intestinal wall for a long period of time can cause chronic inflammation and other serious complications.

Beet Recipes

Beets

Beets are just one of the many foods that can help to support proper healthy bile flow and detoxify the body. I personally love beets and have several recipes for their use. Beets are in season summer through winter. Be sure to purchase organic beets with the tops and use both. Consider taking the very top of the beet where the leaves attach and shredding it up as a slaw to eat daily if possible, especially if you have a sluggish gallbladder.

Beets have a tremendous regenerating effect on the body, and for those recovering from digestive ailments beets help to can be used a digestive aid. It is an excellent tonic for the blood as it alkalizes the blood, promotes regularity, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones. Beet juice or beet kvass is also helpful in healing the gallbladder, or important for those without a gallbladder as it helps to thin out the bile. If the bile is too thick the liver and gallbladder get congested and problems start to occur. The betaine in beets is what aids digestion, as well as helps to promote healthy stomach acid and juices. The nice thing about drinking beet kvass is you get all the nutritive value of the beets without all the sugar content and the added benefit or lactic acid bacteria.  Beets are also loaded with minerals, fermenting them only enhances their nutritive properties.

Here are a few  beet recipes to try:

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim Lute November 10, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Hi, thank you for this article.
I have hyper functioning gallbladder. I’ve followed a strict 10mg or less fat a day for 3 weeks. No processed food or meat. My pain rages on from gallbladder.
even eating beets & cucumber, or other small meals, of fruit,veggies & quinoa.

They want me to have surgery. I was SO hopeful I could heal naturally. Do you know if I have any hope to keep my gallbladder? given that pain comes no matter what I eat.
Thank you for your time & thoughts

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Angi November 16, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Loomis BIL diet omits cucumber. My worst GB attack was after eating a large batch of homemade gazpacho. NOT giving up my GB. Search for Dr. Loomis BIL diet. The guidelines are well-researched but not all-inclusive. Top offenders should be found in his “thou shalt not” category. I hope this helps.

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Lynn January 13, 2015 at 2:13 pm

There’s a doctor in Britain who has had great success. He believes that allergies to foods cause constriction of the bile duct causing it to backup and become painful. By going on a food allergy elimination diet his patients have had a success rate in the upper 90%. Near immediate relief can come from the diet and then the offending foods discovered as they are added to the diet one by one. when the pain returns you’ve found your culprit(s). Please google Britain gallbladder food allergies etc. together.

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Cathy Jo March 25, 2015 at 9:10 pm

Google Stone Free pills .. that is what my daughter uses to control gallbladder attacks and it works great ! Its all natural .. made of herbs .. and helps heartburn too!

Reply

Norma Carlyon June 8, 2015 at 4:37 pm

I am 77 and had my gall bladder removed after a rupture of the gallbladder… when I was 30.
Do you think this could be the reason I am on 80 mg of Lipitor, 40 in am and 40 in p.m.? So if I stopped slowly the Lipitor, what should I take to take place of the scary Lipitor..?

Reply

lydia June 8, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Hi Norma –

Sorry to hear about your gallbladder situation – unfortunately, it’s all too common anymore.

I can’t say WHY your gallbladder ruptured for sure – but I can say most people need a lot more support to keep their gallbladder healthy than they realize.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you a recommendation to stop your medication or a replacement for it. I would say try adding in some beets for sure it can’t hurt and then you can see if there are improvements. No one has a Lipitor deficiency -that’s for sure 😉 Nutrients and support for missing organs will be key.

Also, head over and read this post too:

http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2012/04/are-you-digesting-fats/

Hope that helps some!

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