Beet kvass is thought to have originated in the Ukraine. This is a cultured/fermented beverage occasionally sold in upscale natural foods stores and health food stores (typically at a premium) but can be easily made at home with a minimum of time or difficulty. Still, if you want to simply purchase some to try, Zukay makes an excellent one, along with numerous other delicious and innovative cultured beverages.
Although beets themselves are typically high in sugar (in fact, most table sugar is actually made with GMO sugar beets and not sugar cane), the fermentation process removes all or most of the sugar from the finished product and is otherwise used to feed the healthy probiotic bacteria in it that are generated the process. The result is a healthy, low sugar/no sugar probiotic beverage with all the inherent benefits associated with beets, themselves. It’s a win-win!
Beets (especially in the form of kvass, sans the sugar) have been purported and demonstrated to have a wide range of benefits. Among them includes cardiovascular benefits (lowering systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points), improved high intensity exercise tolerance and muscular contractile efficiency during exercise, positive cholesterol/lipoprotein modifying effects, hepato-protective effects, anti-inflammatory effects, numerous unique antioxidant benefits , brain-boosting benefits, the enhancement of phase II hepatic detoxification, impressive anti-microbial effects and even anti-cancer benefits   . The cardiovascular, brain-boosting, some of the anti-inflammatory and exercise intensity tolerance benefits seem to be associated with enhanced nitrous oxide (NO) activity following its consumption. In one study, just 500 ml of beet juice generated a significant drop in blood pressure associated with increased plasma nitrate (NO) concentrations! It can also help improve methylation and reduce homocysteine levels.  Beetroot (Beta vulgais L.) has even shown promise in the neutralization of calcium oxalate (oxalic acid), thereby helping to inhibit the formation of oxalate crystals associated with kidney stones!
The presence of betaine in beets (found most concentrated at the part of the bulb that connects to the stems, at the very top—always include this part of the beet in your kvass recipe), has a few different health benefits. It can help improve digestion and the flow of digestive juices, it can help thin sluggish or congestive bile in a way that can improve its flow and function digesting fats, and it also has unique anti-inflammatory benefits. A report from ‘World’s Healthiest Foods’ stated the following:
“[Betaine’s]… presence in our diet has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. As a group, the anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shown to provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits for other body systems.”
Beets are also considered an excellent blood tonic and it has been used to help cleanse the liver, promote regularity, improve systemic alkalization and even help treat kidney stones.
What’s not to love?
Beet kvass can be made in a couple of different ways (using a starter culture or simple “wild fermentation”, relying on naturally occurring bacteria from the soil and surrounding environment). Other ingredients could also technically be added. Purchasing a starter culture isn’t absolutely necessary, but there can be significant benefits gotten from a really good one. Dr. Joseph Mercola sells one in particular that has some rather exciting benefits. Called “Kinetic Culture”, this probiotic culture is specifically formulated to boost vitamin K2 production from bacterial fermentation! Using a culture can also promote a bit more piece of mind, ensuring that only beneficial bacteria end up in your kvass.
This beverage is then strained off from the beet and imbibed in small amounts as a daily tonic.
- Drink a small glass (just a few ounces) daily.
- Add to salad dressing
- Use as the base of a cold soup (such as my Medicinal/Probiotic Lithuanian Šaltibarščiai (cold beet) Kvass Soup)
My favorite beet kvass recipe is in my new book, Primal Fat Burner!
PS. Check out my NEW online program, Primal Power 52!
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