Beets and blood pressure have long been linked together. There are several reasons for this. High blood pressure is known to be hereditary. It is also believed that it can develop in people taking prescribed medications or in people who have other risk factors. Being overweight may increase blood pressure as well. In fact, women who are overweight have a three times greater risk of developing high blood pressure.
Based on new studies, experts have calculated that drinking one glass a day of fresh beet juice can actually help lower high blood pressure (hypertension) dramatically. Beets definitely help to reduce that risk due to its many beneficial ingredients. One of those beneficial ingredients is dietary fiber. Since it helps to improve digestion, it reduces the risk factor for heart attacks or heart failure. Other studies have shown that it can even lower cholesterol and could be helpful in the prevention of cancer.
Another ingredient found in this vegetable is oxalate which acts as an antioxidant and lowers the levels of cholesterol. Nitrates are also found in vegetables like beets. However, many nitrates produce oxalates that eventually combine with the cholesterol and create more oxalate which then combine with other chemicals that are harmful to the cardiovascular system. Drinking beet juice or consuming beet vegetables can minimize this chemical reaction and can prevent high blood pressure or even heart attacks and heart failure from happening.
Finally, another great thing that beet juice does is that it creates nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is needed in the body because it makes sure that the blood vessels are properly maintained and opens up the vessels so they can carry more oxygen and other essential elements to the different parts of the body. A high amount of nitric oxide can actually help reduce hypertension. This is why some physicians even advise their patients to drink at least six ounces of beet juice each day to lower their blood pressure.
High blood pressure can be caused by a lack of potassium. Potassium is needed for many functions in the body and especially in regulating blood pressure. Beets are rich in potassium, so eating two to three beets a day is actually very beneficial to people suffering from high blood pressure. One serving of beets contains about 47 grams of potassium, which is about equal to about one teaspoon of table salt.
Another way that beet juice can lower high blood pressure is by providing dietary nitrates. Beets are rich in dietary fiber and several studies have actually shown that people who consume high amounts of dietary fiber are less likely to suffer from high blood pressure. Dietary nitrates come from beets and other leafy vegetables. Many of these dietary nitrates are also found in other foods, including egg yolks and fish.
One of the reasons that beetroot is helpful for treating hypertension is that it contains natural nitric acid. This chemical is a compound that converts excess acid in our bodies into uric acid, which is a harmless substance that helps protect our kidneys and bladder. Another compound that beetroot contains is called betaine, which is similar to blood thinners like aspirin. It has been found to be very beneficial for lowering your blood pressure and preventing clots from forming. It can also be used as an alternative to synthetic blood thinners such as warfarin and heparin.
Beets also contain folate, an important mineral that helps prevent anemia and other diseases. Although folate is found in plenty in fresh fruits and vegetables, it is difficult to absorb from the leafy greens and the other dark-skinned vegetables that are the source of folate. Many of the supplements on the market, such as Allicin, contain beetroot as an ingredient. If you’re not sure whether or not a supplement containing beetroot would be good for you, check with your doctor before taking any supplements. He might be able to recommend an appropriate supplement based on your particular nutrient needs. It’s especially important to be cautious if you’re taking any medications, as some side effects, especially for medications, can be associated with the use of supplements.