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Drink Your Beetroot and Help Your Heart Beat Better

Persons with high blood pressure may be able to lower it without a prescription drug by simply drinking a cup of beetroot juice every day, Express reports. Your blood pressure, which regulates the force and rate of your heartbeat, responds to the nitrates in the juice, and that daily cup could “significantly lower the blood pressure of people with hypertension,” a British Heart Foundation study showed.

It’s true that both the greens and the beet roots are high in nutrients that can help reduce your blood pressure, as well as your risk of cancer. The leaves of the plant are especially rich in nitrates, which your body processes into nitric oxide, which then widens and relaxes your blood vessels, effectively lowering your blood pressure and affecting how your cells use oxygen. Researchers have identified reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure that are dependent upon the dose taken. The more beet juice study participants drank, the greater the blood pressure response and the lower the amount of oxygen required to maintain a moderate amount of exercise.

Additionally, beets have anti-inflammatory properties with phytonutrients that have powerful anticancer properties — so much so that beetroot extract is currently being studied for the treatment of pancreatic, breast and prostate cancers. Not only that, still other research suggests that beets may be a powerful ally in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, by decreasing damaging oxidation of neurons by as much as 90 percent.

When it comes to how to eat your beets, I prefer them raw and include about 1 to 2 ounces of raw beets in my smoothie each day. (One caution, however: If you have diabetes or are insulin resistant, carefully monitor how raw beet juice affects your overall health, as 36 percent of each beet is simple sugars that can interfere with your insulin levels.)

The good news is that with summer here, now is the perfect time to grow some beets in your own backyard garden or even in a pot, which I talk about in my article, “How to Grow Beets, and Why You Should.” I’ve also include a couple delicious recipes for using both your beets and their greens.
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