The Beet Goes On
Aug 06, 2009 11:35PM
Professor Amrita Ahluwalia and her team reported 10 millimeters of mercury (mmHg, the standard unit used to measure blood pressure) reductions in systolic blood pressure levels two and a half hours after consumption and 8 mmHg drops in diastolic pressure levels three hours after consumption. Researchers believe that the beneficial agent countering hypertension is the dietary nitrate found in beetroot, which is converted to nitric oxide, a compound that opens blood vessels in the body.
Beet juice is available at most health food stores, but it is also easy to make. At the market, select beets that are small and firm, with deep maroon or burgundy coloring and unblemished skins. Remove the tops, boil the roots, cool, peel and juice, adding a little water or vegetable or fruit juice to dilute. Flavor by serving over ice, with a twist of mint or lime.
Source: Queen Mary, University of London, 2008