Chances are that when it comes to beets, you either love them, or you hate them. But even if they aren’t your cup of tea (so to speak), you may want to reconsider adding them to your diet. The great minds at the University of Reading, led by Professor Julie Longrove, recently conducted a study on the effects of beet juice on cardiovascular health.
They recruited 18 male volunteers who were instructed at random to consume 0, 100, 200 or 500 grams of beetroot juice in a single-blind, crossover-trial. Even though the volunteers all had normal blood pressure to begin with, the study found that consumption of the beetroot juice led to significant reduction in blood pressure. Once more, the more juice participants drank, the greater the drop. On average, drinking the 500 grams of juice led to blood pressure reductions of 22mmHg (systolic) and 18mmHg (diastolic) respectively.
Longrove and her colleagues noted that beets contain a number of compounds that are known to offer cardiovascular benefits (fiber, folate, vitamins C and K and more). But they believe that it is the nitrates found in beets that had the largest impact on the blood pressure reduction numbers.
So whether you love them or hate them, try adding more beets to your meals! It just might do your heart some good.