Drinking Beetroot juice or eating beetroot can lower your blood pressure in just a few hours, whatever your age; and this is especially true for older, overweight people and males.
Do you want to get your blood pressure down fast? Then eat a daily dose of beetroot or drink beetroot juice.
Researchers Coles and Clifton from the Baker IDI heart and diabetes laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, have shown that consuming beetroot juice can bring your blood pressure down by approximately 5 points, just 6 hours after a juice drink
In a 2012 randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled cross-over study, volunteers consumed either a beetroot and apple juice mix, or a placebo juice. Their blood pressure was then monitored at hourly intervals.
A month later they repeated the trial in reverse. The blood pressure was monitored over the following 24 hours (1).
Within 6 hours of drinking 17.6 oz of juice (75% beetroot, 25% apple) systolic blood pressure in the men had fallen 4.7 points. The fall in women was not as marked but researchers observed that the women were taking more drugs anyway – for example, oral contraceptives.
The reason is nitrates. Beetroot (and green leafy vegetables) contain nitrates and these cause the formation of nitric oxide in the body, which dilates blood vessels, helping blood to flow more easily.
The researchers commented that people could eat beetroot, and they felt that if beetroot were consumed on a daily basis, results could be even better.
In a second study (2), researchers, being concerned that previous studies had focussed on young, healthy adults, a group of researchers set out to study less healthy people to see if beetroot had a positive effect on their health – and it most certainly did.
Subjects were given either beetroot or blackcurrant juice for a month.
After three weeks, those on daily beetroot juice concentrate had a significant reduction in blood pressure. When the supplementation was stopped for a week, blood pressure rose again.
In 2018, there was meta-analysis of studies (3) on beetroot with hypertension concluded that “this easily found and cheap dietary intervention could significantly decrease the risk of suffering cardiovascular events and, in doing so, would help to diminish the mortality rate. BRJ supplementation should be promoted as a key component of a healthy lifestyle to control blood pressure in healthy and hypertensive individuals”. The researchers also noted that the benefits were greater for men.
Beetroot does, however, have a high natural sugar content. Some experts recommend fermenting the beetroot, using sauerkraut and the probiotic ‘mother’. This fermentation process would use up all the sugar after about 5 days. Beet Kvass, as the fermented juice is called, is prized in Russia for its health benefits in lowering blood pressure, cleaning the gallbladder and liver and boosting gut health. Tolstoy described how Russian soldiers took a glass of the sour juice for its protective health benefits before venturing from their barracks during the cholera epidemic.
Go to: Review – medicinal mushrooms and health
- Effect of beetroot Juice in lowering blood pressure; Nutri J Dec 2012, 11;11 Leah T Coles et al
2.A. Jajja; A. Sutyarjoko; J. Lara; K Rennie; K. Brandt; O. Qadir and M. Siervo: http://www.nrjournal.com/article/S0271-5317(14)00192-4/abstract?cc=y
3.Dietary nitrate from Beetroot juice for hypertension; Biomolecules, 2018; Nov 2; Diego A Bonilla Ocampo et al.