How To Beet High Blood Pressure
A recent study at London's Queen Mary University found that drinking a cup of beet juice each day is just effective as taking blood pressure medication when it comes to lowering high blood pressure levels. Even better, beet juice only affects the blood pressure of people with abnormally high pressure (hypertension). So even people with healthy blood pressure levels can enjoy these deep-red beauties.
But that's not all. Beets have also been shown to improve exercise endurance. These benefits are thought to be mediated by compounds in beets called nitrates. Natural plant nitrates help boost blood levels of nitric oxide (NO). NO is an important chemical messenger the body uses to signal blood vessels to relax. By relaxing, blood is able to flow at maximum volume through vessels. That means more oxygen and nutrients for hard-working muscles.
Beets also contain vitamin C, and the potent anti-inflammatory compound, betaine. And don't forget the natural pigment compounds, called proanthocyanidins. These colorful compounds give beets their purplish-red color, and like most plant pigments, they're powerful antioxidants with protective properties. They appear to exert anticancer activity in the body. Beets are also rich in dietary fiber and essential minerals.
Given all that, maybe it's time you gave these inexpensive root vegetables a place of honor at your healthy table.
Ghosh SM1, Kapil V, et al. Enhanced vasodilator activity of nitrite in hypertension: critical role for erythrocytic xanthine oxidoreductase and translational potential.Hypertension. 2013 May;61(5):1091-102. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.00933. Epub 2013 Apr 15.