Drinking 500 milliliters of beet juice a day may significantly lower blood pressure, says a British study that found that healthy people’s blood pressure decreased within an hour of drinking the juice, BBC News reports.
The reduction in blood pressure was even more pronounced three to four hours after drinking the beet juice, and some degree of reduction continued for up to 24 hours. The findings were published online in the journal Hypertension.
NaturalNews reports that Beetroots, also known as beets, are packed with blood pressure-reducing, heart disease-preventing nutrients that help maintain healthy active function and boost overall endurance levels in those that consume them. And a new study out of the University of Exeter (U of E) has found that not only do beets benefit athletes by boosting their performance, but they also help the elderly and people with heart or lung diseases to live more active, physically-functional lives.
Published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the study builds upon a previous one conducted by the university that found that beet juice increases exercise capacity by 16 percent in athletes that drink it. Except this time, these same benefits were found to apply to non-athletes as well, including those that have trouble performing everyday physical activities.
“As you get older, or if you have conditions which affect your cardiovascular system, the amount of oxygen you can take in to use during exercise drops considerably,” explained Katie Lansley, a Ph.D. student from the Sport and Health Sciences department at UofE, and author of the study. “What we’ve seen in this study is that beetroot juice can actually reduce the amount of oxygen you need to perform even low-intensity exercise.”
Beet juice not only dilates blood vessels to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, but it also reduces the amount of oxygen muscles need during physical activity. This muscle effect makes it significantly easier for people of all ages, no matter what their health condition, to perform both low- and high-intensity physical activities. In fact, researchers noted that those who drank beet juice required 12 percent less effort to walk than those who did not drink it.
Based on a comparison between whole beet juice and beet juice that had its nitrates filtered out, the team was able to conclude that the natural nitrates are the primary active ingredient in beet juice that bring about improved overall performance and heart function.