Beet Juice Boosts Fitness and Lowers Blood Pressure
By Sandy Schroeder
If you already eat beets, you are on the right track; however, the real magic turns out to be raw beet juice, according to WebMD.
Researchers say raw beet juice will give you a boost when you exercise and it will help lower blood pressure. The secret comes from the natural chemicals called nitrates found in beets. The body changes nitrates into nitric oxide, which helps improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
New Rules for Blood Pressure
The issue of blood pressure is even more significant with new lowered blood pressure markers, which means almost half of all American adults are now considered to have high blood pressure. Many do not even know their blood pressure is too high. If you didn't have high blood pressure before, it is possible you do now.
New guidelines in 2017 from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other health organizations lowered the numbers for the diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure) to 130/80 and higher for all adults. The former guidelines set the cut line at 140/90 for adults younger than 65 and 150/80 for 65 and older. Now 70 to 79 percent of men who are 55 and older are categorized as having hypertension. Check yours with your doctor to know where you stand.
Working on the Problem
Meanwhile, research in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension said drinking 2 cups of beetroot juice lowered blood pressure within an hour. After three to four hours, blood pressure was substantially lower and the effect lasted for 24 hours. The drop in blood pressure after drinking beet juice matched peak increases in blood nitrate levels. Another study found people who consumed beet juice for six days had more stamina during intense exercise.
Understanding Raw and Cooked Beets
Raw beets have 58 calories and 13 grams of carbohydrates in a cup. A cup of beet juice is about 100 calories with 25 grams of carbohydrates. The difference is in the processing.
You do not get as many nitrates when you eat cooked beets because cooking affects some of the nitrates. Of course cooked beats are still good for your health. You can also get nitrates from spinach, celery, lettuce, radishes, and Chinese cabbage. In addition to nitrates, beets are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, folate and antioxidants. Please note: Drinking beet juice may turn urine red, which is normal.
Overall, consider putting raw beet juice on your shopping list and serve beets fresh or canned, whole, sliced, baked or pickled. Enjoy raw beet juice the same way you might have tomato or pineapple juice and add beets to your salads or side dishes for dinner.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex.