About a third of American adults have high blood pressure. That’s one out of every three people, and it greatly increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. However, new research out of the U.K. finds there is a quick and easy way to lower your blood pressure by about 8/4 mmHg.
The clinical trial included 64 patients between the ages of 18 and 85. Half of the patients were taking anti-hypertensive drugs, but failing to reach their target. The other half had high blood pressure, but was not taking medication.
Each of the patients was randomly assigned to receive 250 ml of beetroot juice each day or a placebo for four weeks.
The patients taking beetroot juice lowered their blood pressure by about 8/4 mmHg. This brought many of them back into the “normal” range for blood pressure. The patients on beetroot juice also showed a 20 percent increase in vessel dilation capacity and around a 10 percent reduction in arterial stiffness.
How does it work?
Beetroot—and other leafy green vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage—contain high levels of inorganic nitrate. When you consume these types of foods, the inorganic nitrate converts to nitric oxide, which expands and relaxes the blood vessels for improved blood flow.
Lead author professor Amrita Ahluwalia concludes: “These findings are exciting because we’ve now tested the effectiveness of dietary nitrate in reducing blood pressure in 64 patients, over a sustained period of time, and found it works. Plus it’s so easy for patients to work this into their daily lives and see a positive benefit.”
“For those looking to work dietary nitrate into their daily diets, the trick is not to boil the vegetables—as dietary nitrate is water soluble—but steaming, roasting or drinking in a juice all has a positive effect,” she adds.
SOURCE: Daily beetroot juice lowers blood pressure, scientists find. News Release. Queen Mary University of London. Jan 2015.