Improving Nutrient Absorption

The acid in your stomach and the probiotic microbes in your digestive tract play an important role in breaking down and absorbing the nutrients in your food.

If you eat beets or drink beet juice, and your urine turns pink, you may have low stomach acid. This discoloration of your urine, to red or pink, after eating beets is called beeturia. It’s caused by the betalain pigments in the beets being excreted instead of being absorbed. When your stomach acid is too low, your body can’t metabolize and assimilate beet pigments properly. Chances are the same thing is happening for many other nutrients you are eating.

Low stomach acid can contribute to weight gain, reflux, indigestion, gas, skin issues, asthma, allergies, and lethargy. If you have beeturia and you are experiencing any of these health issues, you might want to consider taking some of the following steps to improve your stomach acid:

  1. Try a good probiotic supplement and digestive enzymes.
  2. Eat more raw foods to increase your enzyme intake.
  3. Add warming spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cumin, coriander, chili, and fennel seed to improve digestion.
  4. Drink a small cup of miso soup with ginger or a tablespoon of lemon juice or cider vinegar in warm or room-temperature water, 15 minutes before meals (not with food).
  5. Soak a teaspoon of flax seeds in a small cup of water overnight and drink it in the morning to soothe and hydrate your digestive system.
  6. Temporarily avoid excess fruits, especially bananas, as well as cold or frozen food.
  7. Eat fermented vegetables, non-dairy kefir and kombucha.
  8. Eat raw coconut, which helps to kill pathogens like candida in your digestive tract.
  9. Drink green smoothies, green juices, and nettle tea, and eat sea vegetables for easily absorbable nourishment.

Beeturia may also indicate problems with iron metabolism. People with iron deficiency, iron excess, or problems with the metabolism of iron are more likely to experience beeturia. If you experience beeturia and also suspect iron deficiency, iron excess, or iron metabolism to be a problem affecting your health, consult with your healthcare provider. 

Note: If you have red urine and you haven’t had any beets or any other red or purple foods, seek medical attention immediately.


This blog uses the latest nutritional data available from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), and the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration), as well as nutritional data provided by food growers and manufacturers about their products. We believe the information on this website to be accurate. However, we are not responsible for typographical or other errors. Nutrition information for recipes is calculated by Living Cookbook based on the ingredients in each recipe based on statistical averages. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

This blog is not a substitute for the services of a trained health professional. Although we provide nutritional information, the information on this blog is for informational purposes only. No information offered by or through this blog shall be construed as or understood to be medical advice or care. None of the information on this blog should be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. Consult with a health care provider before taking any product or using any information on this blog. Please discuss any concerns with your health care provider.

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