Beetroot and Blood Pressure

Got high blood pressure?  Tired of taking that maintenance pill to keep your pressure down?  Beetroot could be the solution to your problem.

 

Just half a liter of beetroot juice can dramatically lower one’s blood pressure in as little as an hour after ingestion.

This effect was associated to the nitrate-content of beetroot.  According to researchers in London, foods rich in nitrate like beetroots are converted to nitrite when mixed along with the bacteria in the mouth and tongue.

When it reaches the acidic environment of the stomach, another chemical reaction occurs.  The nitrate in the saliva would be converted to nitric oxide and will then enter the circulation again as nitrite.

This process resulted to the dilation of the blood vessels, thus decreasing blood pressure by increasing the blood flow.  The reduction in blood pressure happened at the same time the levels of nitrite in the saliva are at its highest.

Aside from significantly decreasing blood pressure, bioactive nitrites also inhibit platelet aggregation and endothelial dysfunction.  It’s a natural and low-cost way of treating cardiovascular disease.

The researchers claim that all these findings taken together suggest that the ingestion of dietary nitrate underlies the beneficial effects of a vegetable-rich diet, by the conversion of nitrate to nitrite.

In the research, although the beginnings of the drop in blood pressure happened an hour after ingestion, its peak occurred three to four hours after the beet has been swallowed.  However, it didn’t stop there.  It went on dropping even for 24 more hours.

However, be careful of using beets to cure your hypertension if you also have hyperkalemia.

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