One of those vegetables that can be eaten both raw and cooked, beetroots (Beta vulgaris) are rich in fiber, manganese, potassium, iron, folate (vitamin B9) and vitamin C. Even their leaves are edible and can be cooked just like spinach.
Betanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its strong red color, is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent LDL (bad cholesterol) oxidation and DNA damage. They are rich in dietary nitrates that enhance physical performance by increasing stamina and improving the use of oxygen.[2,3,4] This is because beetroots enhance the efficiency of mitochondria, the organs within a cell responsible for producing energy.
Beets For High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a condition that leads to abnormally high blood pressure levels which can be detrimental to the heart and blood vessels. Prolonged periods of elevated blood pressure is one of the strongest risk factor for stroke, heart disease and premature death globally.
Eating vegetables such as beetroots can increase nitric acid formation, which relaxes the arteries and lowers blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of hypertension and heart disease.[7,8] Numerous studies suggest that beets can reduce blood pressure by 3-10mm/Hg over a period of three to six hours.[7,9,10,11]
The blood pressure-lowering effects of beetroot can be attributed to the increase in nitric oxide levels, a molecule that causes blood vessels to dilate and relax.[12,13,14,15]
How To Take It
- Wash and chop the beets into thin slices. Eat as a salad with your meals to manage your blood pressure levels.
- Alternatively, you can juice three beetroots and have a glass of it twice daily to reduce your risk for hypertension and heart disease.
- Here are some other delicious recipes you can try.
Energy-Boosting Beet Juice
Beet & Herb Salad
Yogic Diet: Beet & Sprouts Salad
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2. Jones AM, Vanhatalo A, Bailey SJ. Influence of dietary nitrate supplementation on exercise tolerance and performance. Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser. 2013;75:27-40. doi: 10.1159/000345815. Epub 2013 Apr 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 23765348.
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6. Ezzati M, Lopez AD, Rodgers A, Vander Hoorn S, Murray CJ; Comparative Risk Assessment Collaborating Group. Selected major risk factors and global and regional burden of disease. Lancet. 2002 Nov 2;360(9343):1347-60. Review. PubMed PMID: 12423980.
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nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite. Hypertension. 2008 Mar;51(3):784-90. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.107.103523. Epub 2008 Feb 4. PubMed PMID: 18250365; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2839282.
8. Machha A, Schechter AN. Inorganic nitrate: a major player in the cardiovascular health benefits of vegetables? Nutr Rev. 2012 Jun;70(6):367-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00477.x. Epub 2012 Apr 19. Review. PubMed PMID: 22646129; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3367800.
9. Siervo M, Lara J, Ogbonmwan I, Mathers JC. Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation reduces blood pressure in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Nutr. 2013 Jun;143(6):818-26. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.170233. Epub 2013 Apr 17. Review. PubMed PMID: 23596162.
10. Hobbs DA, George TW, Lovegrove JA. The effects of dietary nitrate on blood pressure and endothelial function: a review of human intervention studies. Nutr Res Rev. 2013 Dec;26(2):210-22. doi: 10.1017/S0954422413000188. Epub 2013 Oct 18.
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11. Coles LT, Clifton PM. Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutr J. 2012 Dec 11;11:106. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-106. PubMed PMID: 23231777; PubMed
Central PMCID: PMC3545899.
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13. Kelm M. Nitric oxide metabolism and breakdown. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1999 May 5;1411(2-3):273-89. Review. PubMed PMID: 10320663.
14. Umans JG, Levi R. Nitric oxide in the regulation of blood flow and arterial pressure. Annu Rev Physiol. 1995;57:771-90. Review. PubMed PMID: 7539996.
15. Bruckdorfer R. The basics about nitric oxide. Mol Aspects Med. 2005 Feb-Apr;26(1-2):3-31. Epub 2005 Jan 24. Review. PubMed PMID: 15722113.