Beet Juice for Lower Blood Pressure: Why and How to Use It

If you have high blood pressure you are at a risk for serious health conditions such as stroke, heart attack or chronic heart failure. People who suffer from high blood pressure are also at risk for kidney disease. The CDC reports that high blood pressure is either a contributor or primary cause of more than 1,000 deaths in America daily. Because high blood pressure has such an impact on society, any possible dietary benefits are researched in depth. There is new research suggesting that beet juice can help lower blood pressure, really?

Can Beet Juice Help Lower Blood Pressure?

A study conducted in 2008 found that just two cups of beet juice daily may lower blood pressure. Nitrates are found in abundant supply in beets and play the big role. This is also true of leafy greens such as dark lettuces, spinach and kale.

In one study, 14 volunteers drank water or two cups of organic beet juice in a half an hour. Blood pressure was checked every fifteen minutes for an hour before they had the juice and every fifteen minutes three hours after they had the juice. They were then checked every hour for six hours and again at 24 hours after they had the juice.

When compared to those who drank water, the ones drinking beet juice saw a decrease in blood pressure an hour after they consumed it. The lowest points were reached about two and a half to three hours after drinking the juice and the effects continued for as long as twenty-four hours.

Why Beet Juice Works?

Nitrate found in the beet juice gets converted by the tongue’s bacteria into a chemical called nitrite. When this gets in the stomach, it turns into nitric oxide which hits the blood stream as nitrite once again. These studies showed blood pressure to be at its lowest when nitrite levels in the bloodstream were highest.

The researchers state that the nitrites work to protect from endothelial dysfunction, causing blood vessels to have trouble expanding and contracting with the blood flow. They will have anti-platelet properties as well.

The studies show that drinking beetroot juice and consuming other veggies rich in nitrates is a simple and effective way to maintain your cardiovascular system. It is an ideal approach to add to the modern battle to lower blood pressure.

Healthy Liver

Beet Juice is an ideal tonic to cleanse your liver. When you have more toxins in your body, your liver works overtime. A toxic liver increases blood pressure. Consider a car that has sludge build up in the oil. This sludge will cause the car to work harder, and will often increase your engine pressure. If your liver is toxic, your blood can be like that, causing your heart to work extra hard to get blood to move through your body. If you cleanse the liver, your blood will follow, and thus the reason for a decrease in blood pressure.

How to Take Beet Juice for Lower Blood Pressure

Is It Better to Eat the Beets or Drink the Juice to Lower Your Blood Pressure?

For many instances, the whole food is the best to eat because you get all the fiber, nutrients and healthy benefits. In the case of beet juice and blood pressure, it’s a little different. You may get the best benefits from actually drinking the beet juice. If the beet is fermented or cooked, you will find that there are less of the healthy nutrients that help to decrease blood pressure.

How Much Juice to Drink?

For the best results, you should drink about two cups of beetroot juice every day. In fact, there are numerous doctors who were surprised by the significant decrease in blood pressure when even a small amount of beet juice is drank. You can choose to juice your own beets for cost savings and to have the freshest juice, or you can get a bottle from the health food store. Beets are a very effective detoxifier and therefore you should only start with a small amount of juice, such as a quarter cup and then increase over time.

It's also important to note that you shouldn’t take less blood pressure medication or alter it until you have spoken with your doctor. Let your doctor know that you are using a natural method to lower your blood pressure and verify how well it is working before reducing the amount of medication you are taking.

Aren’t We Supposed to Avoid Nitrates in Our Food?

It is true, there are cured foods such as bacon and hot dogs that are full of nitrites. These are compounds that are known for causing cancer. Spinach, radishes and beets have nitrates that occur naturally. These are what convert to nitrites during the digestion process. Naturally occurring nitrites aren’t harmful for your body, and are very safe when eaten. Those that are added to hotdogs are far more dangerous and need to be minimized.

Cautions for Drinking Beet Juice

You should note that the dark color present in the juice could make your bowel movements or urine redder in color and the change is harmless. The beets are high in oxalates and therefore those who have trouble with oxalate kidney stones should avoid beet juice.

If you are considering beet juice for blood pressure, please note the patients in this study weren’t on nitroglycerin, or phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (like Viagra), or nitrate preparations.  When inorganic nitrates are combined with these medicines a dangerous blood pressure drop can be seen.

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