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Beetroot can be natural boon for blood pressure

The Herald-Dispatch - 9/10/2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75 million American adults suffer from high blood pressure. Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to an increased chance of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and even heart failure.

While my first suggestions are always a heart healthy plant-based diet plan, like the Dr. Dean Ornish diet, and a greater focus on stress management that incorporates a daily mindfulness practice, new research is showing that a compound found in some vegetables can help manage hypertension.

Dietary nitrates found in many vegetables can be converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator, meaning it dilates and relaxes blood vessels. While many leafy greens contain nitrates, it is beetroot, due to its high concentration of nitrates, that is the subject of most of the clinical research.

One study showed that consuming around 8 ounces of beetroot juice a day for four weeks was enough to bring some participants' blood pressures back into normal range. Keep with it though, because after stopping the juice for just two weeks, participants saw a return to their pre-trial blood pressure rates.

While juicing your own beets will certainly be the freshest option, many prefer picking up a bottle of beetroot juice from their local health food store. Powdered beetroot can be added to a smoothie or juice of your choice, and supplements containing beetroot extracts are popping up on the shelves.

Love it or hate it, if you are looking for natural blood pressure support, then the mineral rich flavor of beetroot is a flavor worth tasting every day.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist at Healthy Life Market who has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for more than 12 years. He can be contacted at travislemonmh@gmail.com.


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