It’s sad, but it is a fact: one thirds of high blood pressure sufferers don’t even realize they have a condition. They probably do not even know the solution – the humble beetroot juice – is just there to keep their blood pressure down.
In the United Kingdom, one in three adults suffers from hypertension. According to the Blood Pressure Association, about 350 heart attacks or strokes could have been prevented everyday had they known they have high blood pressure.
And surprisingly, most people turn their backs away to the best food that could help keep their blood pressure down – beetroots.
Nitrates are also found in the soil – it’s what plants need in order to grow. And vegetables like beetroots also have this nutrient, lots of it.
A regular dose of beet juice – about 250 ml – could do wonders for people with high blood pressure because of its high nitrate content. It also has effects similar to that of aspirin. It protects the lining of the blood vessels and prevents blood clots.
According to researchers who conducted a study on the effects of beetroot nitrate to humans, a chemical reaction happens when beetroot is mixed with a naturally occuring bacteria in the mouth.
The nitrate from beets is converted to nitrites in the mouth. It travels down to the stomach and when it reaches the acidic environment of the stomach, another change occurs – the nitrite is converted to nitric oxide which, in effect, dilates the blood vessels, increasing the blood flow and ultimately, lowers the blood pressure.
Nitric oxide also inhibits platelet aggregation and endothelial dysfunction.
For a glass of beet juice, that’s a lot of benefits. So the next time you see beets in your green grocers, think of what it could for you. It’s certainly tastier than taking aspirin, beta blockers, statins, and ACE inhibitors.