You may be more familiar with common uses of beetroot for cooking, and sliced or grated in a salad; but the juice of beetroot has many health benefits. Daily consumption of beetroot juice could help to reduce blood pressure, according to new research data published in the journal, Hypertension.
People with high blood pressure who drank 250ml of beetroot juice (the equivalent of two solid beetroots) experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure. Research suggested that the low level of nitrate found in beetroot has a large effect on improving cardiovascular health. In the body the nitrate is converted to a chemical called nitrite and then to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a gas that widens blood vessels and aids blood flow.
The small-scale study involved eight women and seven men who had a systolic blood pressure between 140 to 159 millimeters of mercury, did not have other medical complications and were not taking blood pressure medication. Participants drank 250 ml of beetroot juice or water containing a low amount of nitrate, and had their blood pressure monitored over the next 24 hours. It was found that compared with the placebo group, participants drinking beetroot juice had reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure, even after nitrite circulating in the blood had returned to their previous levels prior to drinking beetroot.
Increasing one’s intake of vegetables with a high dietary nitrate content, such as beetroot, may be a simple lifestyle alteration for individuals suffering with Kidney Disease that could improve cardiovascular and holistic renal health. This may seem like an unlikely health strategy for most due to preparation time of beverage or assumed taste preferences. Addressing these concerns, making beetroot juice does not have to be a messy affair, for one can purchase beetroot juice pre-made and refrigerate it. Also, perceived taste of the beverage is often exaggerated. In fact beetroot does not have a strong taste, instead it has a sweet earthy flavor.