Surprising Juice Lowers Blood Pressure, Improves Heart Health
- New research reveals this juice can boost your heart health and lower blood pressure
- Discover how only a few ounces a day can tell heart failure to “beet” it!
- Plus, a few easy ways to start enjoying this hearty juice today!
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
“Actually, that tastes really good! How did you make it?!?”
Over the weekend, I had my friend try a new type of juice. Due to its magenta color and earthy smell and the fact that he’s not one to try new “health” foods with excitement, it was quite the challenge to get him to take the first swig.
But he was happy he did!
In fact, he loved this heart-healthy concoction so much, he finished the entire glass and asked if I would make him another one. So I did, partially because I was jazzed that he liked a healthy treat and also because it’s good for his heart health.
And I made myself one too because a recent study shows that this cardiovascular supportive tonic may protect me well into old age. Maybe more so than my friend.
“Beet” It, Heart Failure!
So what was this earthy delight we were so enjoying?
And recent research shows that folks who drink beet juice may have a significantly lower risk of a heart issue called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). HFpEF happens when the left chamber of the heart pumps with each beat. This heart malfunction happens mostly in older women.
The most prevalent symptom of HFpEF is exercise intolerance or shortness of breath and fatigue accompanying a normal exertion level. And according to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where the research was conducted, it’s the “most rapidly increasing cardiovascular disorder” in the U.S.
It’s thought that beetroot juice is heart-protective for people with HFpEF due to its high content of antioxidants and naturally occurring nitrates, which can improve blood flow.
To shed some light on its potency, scientists performed a randomized, double-blind safety study on 19 participants with HFpEF to see if beetroot juice could help boost exercise tolerance.
First, blood pressure and aerobic endurance were measured in the participants. Next, they were split into groups that received either beetroot juice over the course of a week, or a single beetroot juice dose. After the dosing, the scientists tested the participants’ aerobic tolerance and blood pressure again.
Those taking the single dose of beetroot juice showed no improvement.
However, the daily doses of beetroot juice improved participants’ aerobic performance by 24 percent in just one week. This means that drinking beetroot juice daily may help have a significant impact exercise endurance and heart health!
Plus, the juice also reduced resting systolic blood pressure by 5–10 mmHg.
Dalane Kitzman, MD, professor of internal medicine at Wake Forest Baptist and senior author of the study, reports:
Although larger trials need to be conducted, these initial findings suggest that one week of daily beetroot juice could be a potential therapeutic option to improve aerobic endurance in patients with HFpEF, which has implications for improving everyday activities and quality of life.
While this is great news for everybody, it may be most significant for women, since they have a higher chance of suffering from HFpEF.
And that’s why I will continue to drink my beetroot juice every morning. You should too! Here’s how to get started.
Juice Your Way to a Healthier Heart
If you have a mechanical juicer, follow the instructions in your owner’s manual.
But if you’re juicer-less like me, there’s still an easy way to get fresh beet juice. But be warned, juicing a beet can be a messy job.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is cover your work surface with wax paper or plastic wrap and put on some gloves.
Then finely grate one bunch of beets onto a cheesecloth-lined surface. Be sure to have wax paper under the cheesecloth. There is no need to peel the beets, but be sure to wash them thoroughly. The finer your grate, the more juice you will get.
Collect the grated beets in the cheesecloth and tightly twist until the top is closed. Squeeze the juice into a large glass storage container.
This juice can be stored in your fridge for up to three days. And since you only need a few ounces to get your heart juices flowing, you only need about 2½ shots a day!
If juicing your own beets isn’t your thing, there is an easy shortcut. Beetroot powder is available. All you have to do is add it to water and voilà! You’ve got all the health benefits and none of the mess. Well, unless you spill it.
While I would like to say I juice fresh beets every morning, I don’t always have the time. I use the beetroot powder and find it just as satisfying and delicious as the fresh stuff.
Vitacost has several brands to choose from, but I prefer Starwest Botanicals. Click here to check it out.
Managing editor, Living Well Daily
Written By Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.
View More Free Articles
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, About 6.2 million adults in the United States have heart failure. When you visit your mainstream doc’s office, he’ll tell you that heart failure is the result of clogged arteries, high blood pressure, diabetes, being overweight, lung problems, and heart valve problems. It can make you feel like your health...
I have arthritis in my spine. What would you suggest to help manage it? –George from Cedar Rapids, IA George, Believe it or not, many people learn that they have spinal arthritis as they age. It’s very common. There’s a lot you can do to help keep it from advancing or even reverse some of...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, There is a plague of anxiety sweeping the nation. And who could blame us? Anyone with half a brain SHOULD feel anxious about the state of the world. But like any other epidemic, just because something is going around doesn’t mean you should accept it. More importantly, having anxiety does...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you or someone you love suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), you already know how the disease can turn your life upside down. The stiffness and mobility problems slowly strip away your independence… and leave you in pain. Talk to your mainstream doc and he’ll just shrug their shoulders –...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you’re a woman, chances are you have heard about the BRCA gene (BReast CAncer gene). Scientists have known for a long time that a mutation in one of two breast cancer genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2, increases the risk of getting breast cancer. But, men, listen up – just because...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Some people might shrug when you tell them you have knee pain… but that’s only if they haven’t experienced firsthand. Chronic pain from osteoarthritis is no joke— it can destroy your life. Joint pain makes moving incredibly difficult and can keep you from doing the things you love. Before you know it,...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Inflammation is supposed to be a normal response for your body. It’s one of the key defenses protecting you. Inflammation can sometimes be our friend… when it helps fight off infections and clears away debris, that is. The problems start when inflammation blazes out of control or lasts longer than...
I have psoriasis, and I was wondering what supplements or natural treatments there are out there. –Bill from Riverside, CA Bill, As you probably know, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease where the body attacks the skin as if it were a foreign invader. Psoriasis affects about two percent of the U.S. population. Normal, healthy...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, I’m on a personal mission to rescue coffee from the hands of the nutritional puritans who think that anything fun is not good for you. Despite what the mainstream would have you believe, the news on coffee has improved in recent years. Researchers have pinpointed many powerful plant nutrients, like...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Some suggest pretty complicated ways to keep your brain healthy as you age. Going back to college… doing complicated puzzles… taking what feels like 30 bottles of pills a day… It can make you feel like giving up before you’ve even started! But what if there was something MUCH easier...