Beet Juice Benefits
Drinking One Glass of Beet Juice Can Decrease Blood Pressure
By Brenda Morales
Beets provide many health benefits to the body. Beet juice is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Study after study has explored beet juice’s virtues, but a new study now proves its effectiveness in decreasing blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects more than 30% of Americans today, and sadly this statistic is projected to increase in the years to come. High blood pressure is often referred to as the silent killer because several people can have high blood pressure without ever knowing it or experiencing any symptoms.
Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against the arterial walls as it passes through the body. When blood pressure raises above normal levels the force of blood in the body is chronically elevated and can lead to serious health problems including stroke and heart attack.
There are several contributing factors for the cause of hypertension and doctors cannot identify one exact cause for an individual’s high blood pressure. The risk of high blood pressure increases with age, stress, being overweight and/or physically inactive, excessive drinking, smoking, use of certain medications such as NSAIDs, and eating foods high in saturated fats and sodium. Also, people who have a family history of high blood pressure are at greatest risk.
Fortunately, high blood pressure can be controlled effectively. The first step is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Your doctor may prescribe medication if blood pressure readings are consistently elevated.
Also, incorporating beets to your daily diet may help reduce blood pressure. A study published in Nutrition Journal confirmed the positive effect of adding beet juice to a person’s diet. The study analyzed 15 men and 15 women who drank approximately 17.6 ounces of beet juice, and within hours their systolic blood pressure (top number reading) had decreased by about 4-5 points.
Researchers say that the high dietary nitrate contained within beetroot juice helps lower blood pressure. After consumption of beet juice, through biological process the nitrates in beet juice are converted to nitric oxide in the body, which cause blood vessels to relax and expand allowing better blood flow and therefore decreasing blood pressure.
Nitrates can also be found in leafy green vegetables as well, but beet juice is packed with the most antioxidants. Drinking plain fresh beet juice can be really strong for most people, therefore I recommend mixing it with fruits for sweetness or other vegetables, such as carrots, celery, spinach, and/or cucumber.
Getting a juicer would be a great investment for your health because juicing extracts water and nutrients from produce for easier absorption in your body. If you own a juicer, try the following beet recipes and remember to drink one glass of beet juice a day to help lower blood pressure.
Beetroot Juice with Pineapple & Cucumber
1 beet root
1 large cucumber
Cut all ingredients to fit your juicer, juice, and enjoy!
1 tall celery stalk
1 large handful of spinach
1-2 apples (depending on how sweet you want your juice)
Juice apple, lemon, celery, and spinach first then juice beet and enjoy!
Recipes adapted and modified from:
“Beetroot Juice with Cucumber and Pineapple” http://www.rawfoods-livingfoods.com/beetroot-juice.html
“Beet-le Juice: Fall in Love with This Autumn Recipe.” http://www.fitsugar.com/Beet-Juice-Recipe-25572140