High blood pressure is the primary cause of 1,000 deaths in the U.S. daily. However, beets and blood pressure go hand in hand when it comes to a healthier life.
Beets and High Blood Pressure
Beets are not new when it comes to treatments. Since the Middle Ages, a variety of conditions, especially those involving blood and digestion, have been treated with beetroot.
However, there’s been a resurgence in the way the medical field uses beets.
Based on new research, experts have determined that drinking one glass of beet juice a day can help reduce high blood pressure significantly.
Beets and Blood Pressure Medication
High blood pressure is not only related to heart attacks, strokes, and chronic heart failure – it is also a significant risk factor for kidney disease.
Beets help to lower that risk through its various nutrients.
One of the most important compounds found in beets is dietary nitrate. By converting nitrate into nitric oxide, the body can relax and dilate blood vessels.
According to the research, supplementing with beetroot juice can help promote a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure, like the effects of medication.
One major study published in Hypertension agrees with those findings.
Funded by the British Heart Foundation and carried out at Queen Mary University of London in the U.K., the trial found these results:
“This interesting study builds on previous research by this team and finds that 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.”
The study consisted of 64 people between 18 and 85 years old.
All the participants had high blood pressure. One half was taking medicine for it (but had not reached their target blood pressure).
The other half wasn’t taking any medication for their high blood pressure.
Participants were divided into two groups: the active group and the placebo group.
Both groups drank 250 mL of beet juice, except one group’s juice was nitrate-free (the placebo group).
After taking beet juice daily for 4 weeks, the participants in the active group saw improvements in their vessel dilation capacity.
They also saw reduced artery stiffness – both of which are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Participants in the placebo group saw no changes in blood pressure, vessel function, or artery stiffness.
The researchers concluded that “these findings suggest a role for dietary nitrate as an affordable, readily-available, adjunctive treatment in the management of patients with hypertension.”
Beets and Blood Pressure Medicine
The researchers noted that the reduction in blood pressure from taking beet juice was close to that achieved by medicine.
While this particular trial was small, the potential is great.
According to Dr. Shannon Amoils, senior research advisor of the British Heart Foundation, “the possibility of using a natural product, rather than another pill, to help lower blood pressure, is very appealing.”
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