High blood pressure is an extremely common health concern, but one that can often be managed through natural means. Today I want to recommend one food that can help you get your blood pressure numbers back into the healthy range: beets.
Beets are high in nitrate, which the body turns into a gas called nitric oxide. This is important for lowering blood pressure in two ways:
- Nitric oxide relaxes the smooth muscles in your blood vessels. This helps your arteries stay properly dilated.
- Nitric oxide also has an anti-platelet effect that helps prevent blood from thickening and clotting.
Together, these support easier blood flow, which means lower blood pressure.
A good way to get beets into your diet is through juicing. I suggest starting with a few ounces a day and gradually increasing that amount to about a cup. (Do this over a week or so.) A study at Queen Mary University of London found that when individuals with high blood pressure consumed a cup of beet juice a day, their blood pressure levels returned to normal within 24 hours.
To make your own beet juice, combine two or three ounces with an equal amount of carrot juice, then gradually increase the proportion of beet juice.
Raw or cooked beets are also beneficial. No matter how they are prepared, beets retain their nitrate level. So, if you’re looking for a safe, natural way to avoid blood pressure medications, beets are a pretty good option.
And if you don’t like beets? There are other vegetables that, depending on the condition of the soil in which they’re grown, are also high in blood pressure–lowering nitrate. They include:
- Mustard greens
- Turnip tops
- Chinese cabbage
- Regular cabbage
- String beans
Make them a regular part of your blood pressure–lowering diet.