Hypertension and Beetroot
Written by Annmarie Cannone, Naturopath. M. Hum Nutr, Grad Dip Naturopathy, B. App Sci (Naturopathic Studies)
Meet the author: Annmarie is a highly qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist having graduated from the University of Western Sydney with both undergraduate and post graduate degrees and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition.
Beetroot can be consumed in a variety of different forms such as raw, cooked or juiced. Quite often we consume the root portion of the vegetable with many also consuming the leaves in raw salads or by steaming or stir frying them.
This vegetable has a delicious earthy taste and has a significant amount of potassium and folate. It contains a unique group of red pigments called betalians, which can aid with improving the body’s detoxification processes and can possibly reduce inflammation.
Oldest archaeological proofs that we used beetroot in ancient times were found on the Neolithic site of Aartswoud in the Netherlands and in Saqqara pyramid, in Egypt. The Romans consumed the roots for medicinal purposes.
Beetroot root contains one of the highest levels of nitrate when compared to other vegetables. The nitrate content is determined by many environmental factors as well as the quality of the soil the vegetables are grown in.
This dietary inorganic nitrate has been shown to produce beneficial effects on the vascular system, including reducing blood pressure and regulating blood clotting.
Studies have indicated that consuming a glass of beetroot juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points among a small group of healthy men. Although the reduction appears to be small, when translated onto a public health scale, the reduction can equate to a 10% reduction in deaths due to heart disease.1
Beetroot is a delicious vegetable that can be added to the diet with much ease and they are a delicious addition to salads and juices.
- Coles L, Clifton P. Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Nutr J. 2012; 11:106