What if drinking beetroot juice could help reduce your high blood pressure? This cardiovascular-strengthening root not only helps lower high blood pressure, but it reduces high cholesterol, and high blood sugar too.
According to Dr. Shannon Amoils at the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in the UK, “a daily glass of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension – even those whose high blood pressure was not controlled by drug treatment.”
Beets are an excellent source of dietary nitrate, which gets converted by the body into nitric oxide and helps improve blood flow throughout the body by opening up the vessels and allowing for more oxygen flow (thus, lowering blood pressure).
In this study, 68 patients with hypertension were randomly assigned in a 4-week double-blind (clinicians nor patients knew whether the beetroot juice they were given was the placebo or active supplement), placebo-controlled clinical trial. The test group was given dietary supplementation of nitrate-containing beetroot juice (250mL daily) and the placebo group given nitrate-free beetroot juice (250mL daily).
After the 4-week intervention period, the researchers found a reduction in blood pressure of 8/4 mmHg in the active supplement group. 8 represents systolic pressure, when the heart is pumping, and the 4 represents diastolic pressure, when the heart is relaxing.
Just 2 weeks after patients stopped drinking the beetroot juice, their blood pressures returned to their previous high levels.
The treatment group also experienced a 20% improvement in blood vessel dilation and a 10% reduction in artery stiffness, two factors which significantly reduce one’s risk for heart disease.
The placebo group (whose beetroot juice did not contain nitrate) did not experience any change in blood pressure, blood vessel function or artery stiffness during the entire study.
So, instead of attempting to lower your hypertension with pills, why not try some beetroot juice? Drinking just one glass (250mL) of beetroot juice per day could help your heart, arteries and veins in numerous ways!