People have been using beetroot for hundreds of years for their health benefits – but are beets good for high blood pressure? Let’s find out.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the main contributing factors in developing heart disease and stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that nearly half of all adults in the U.S. suffer from hypertension.
While the figures may not seem so bright, there are things you can do to lower blood pressure – including the consumption of beets. According to researchers, drinking one glass of beetroot juice per day can significantly lower blood pressure levels.
The Proof Is In The Research
Managing high blood pressure and maintaining healthy levels is essential if you want to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, hypertension is a major risk factor in developing kidney disease.
However, according to a meta-analysis of 16 trials, beets can help improve blood pressure – especially if you have hypertension. The 2013 study in The Journal of Nutrition explains the factors that make beets so beneficial.
Beets are rich in dietary nitrate, a compound that naturally converts into nitric oxide once inside the body. In turn, nitric oxide (NO) widens, relaxes, and dilates blood vessels, resulting in better circulation and blood flow.
According to the study, “inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure.”
As the senior research advisor in another study, Dr. Shannon Amoils of the British Heart Foundation had this to say:
“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 is in the November 2014 issue of Hypertension. As part of the study, 64 participants ages 18 through 85 were put into two groups.
One group drank nitrate-rich beet juice and the other drank nitrate-free beet juice. Moreover, all participants had high blood pressure and half were taking medication for the condition.
The study went on for 8 weeks with 2 weeks of observation at the start and end of the trial period. The participants who drank nitrate-rich juice saw their blood pressure reduce by 8/4 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).
During the last observation phase, this group didn’t drink and saw their levels go back to their “normal” high range.
The study concludes as following:
“These findings suggest a role for dietary nitrate as an affordable, readily-available, adjunctive treatment in the management of patients with hypertension.”
Treating Hypertension with Beets
According to Professor Amrita Ahluwalia of the vascular pharmacology department at QMUL, the study shows promise. She said:
“This research has proven that a daily inorganic nitrate dose can be as effective as medical intervention in reducing blood pressure and the best part is we can get it from beetroot and other leafy green vegetables.”
Prof. Ahluwalia was one of the researchers in the study and believes the next step is to conduct a larger study that will replicate the findings. If you are looking to increase your daily dietary nitrate intake, it’s best to avoid boiling vegetables.
The process of boiling can dissolve the nitrate in the water, so it’s better to roast, steam, or simply drink beets in juice form. Another alternative is to try beet supplements like HeartBeet Complete.
HeartBeet Complete contains beet powder, l-arginine, l-citrulline, turmeric, CoQ10, and key vitamins and minerals that boost circulation. By combining these ingredients, HeartBeet Complete helps increase nitric oxide production like no other supplement on the market.
If you’re looking to promote healthy cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels, and overall heart health, add HeartBeet Complete to your daily routine.