In recent years, the correlation between beetroot and blood pressure has become very important for hypertension patients and hypertension researchers. The claim we are about to make is scientifically proven that beets really lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Beets, considered as one of the so-called functional foods because of their health benefits, also appear to have significant cardiovascular health benefits. Moreover, this vegetable would help in the fight against cancer thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules.
Beet, as it is called in the United States and whose botanical name is also Beta vulgaris rubra, is the same vegetable called beetroot or red beetroot in other parts of the world. Beets consist for 88% of water. Don’t be fooled by this enormous amount of water.
The advantages of beets for lowering blood pressure are due to their content of inorganic nitrates. Our body uses the nitrates in vegetables and plants to lower blood pressure.
A study published in the Lancet in 2001 showed that a decrease of 5 mmHg in systolic blood pressure leads to a 10% decrease in cardiovascular mortality in the population. This is important and underlines the importance of a possible blood pressure drop as a result of beet or other high blood pressure treatment.
Scientific research confirming the relationship between beetroot and hypertension
In a critical study published by Nutrients in 2015, the beetroot claims, among other existing and promising health benefits, to preserve the endothelium by rejuvenating it by playing with a nitric oxide (NO) donor. The endothelium, which is the cellular lining of the blood vessels, does not need NO to function properly.
The study adds that nitric oxide decreases with age, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension, especially in the elderly. It is expected that NO reduction will lead to endothelial dysfunction, which is itself the most important risk factor for high blood pressure.
A general nutrient study shows that beets maintain a normal NO intake, preventing endothelial dysfunction, which becomes a risk factor for hypertension when exhausted.
Another study, conducted in January 2012 and published in the Nutrional Journal, was a randomised controlled trial with free adults. The study confirmed the positive correlation between beets and high pressure. If you are interested, free people are people who lead an unlimited or independent lifestyle. In this case, it was left to the study participants to check their daily life and diet.
The participants in the study, 15 women and 15 men from Melbourne, Australia, took 500 g of beetroot juice, reducing the systolic pressure (maximum amount) six hours after taking the juice. Systolic pressure dropped about 4-5 mm Hg. What can be established in this study is that the downward effect of beet juice was stronger in men than in women.
Researchers are not sure whether the fluctuations in the effect of blood pressure reduction in favour of men are due to gender differences or to the fact that women were older (about 49 years) than men (about 36 years). The researchers concluded that beet juice, taken as part of a normal daily diet, lowers blood pressure in men.
Despite the results of the study, which for inexplicable reasons appear to be biased towards men, this should not exclude women from taking beet juice as part of their daily diet to better control hypertension.
Beets and blood pressure monitors
Although Melbourne’s study suggests that other medications used by some women in the study may compromise the effectiveness of beet juice and cause virtually no change in blood pressure, this cannot be definitively reconciled.
Beet is a natural remedy for a number of diseases, including high blood pressure, and is used in addition to medicines, for example in the treatment of liver disease and liver fat.
There is a lack of publicly available information on known specific interactions of hypertension medications. Suffice it to say that excessive consumption of beetroot can exacerbate kidney disease. Beets have also been reported to reduce the body’s calcium content. Calcium has been shown to be useful in lowering blood pressure.
Canned beets, gherkins and blood pressure
Not everyone has access to fresh raw beets. Canned beets or pickled beets are therefore a good option. Canned beets can be used to lower blood pressure, but there is a high risk of increased sodium intake. For example, a cup of beetroot can contain between 157 g and 375 g of sodium.
In combination with other daily sources of sodium, maintaining a daily dose of canned beetroot is likely to exceed the maximum dose of 2300 mg per day for healthy people or less than 1500 mg per day for people already suffering from hypertension.
Pickled turnips, on the other hand, are turnips that have been preserved in spice mixtures that may contain salt water or vinegar, for example. The marinade preserves the flavour and nutritional value of fruit and vegetables.
When brining beets with salt water, there is a risk of excessive sodium consumption. There are several ways to reduce sodium intake with canned or cured beats to reduce sodium consumption during the day. Rinsing beets before eating or using them in recipes can also help remove excess sodium.
It is important to remember that the link between beetroot and blood pressure is only one of many proven health benefits.
The information on this website is not intended to replace medical advice.
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