According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly a third of adult Americans have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) – a condition that drastically increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Dietary choices have long been linked to this issue, with many healthcare professionals attributing its prevalence – at least in part – to the excessive amount of salt so many of us consume on a regular basis. In addition, Denver and Houston residents concerned about high blood pressure should seek out food products that may actively combat this medical concern.
Recently, scientists from The Barts and The London Medical School in the United Kingdom revealed that drinking a cool glass of beetroot juice could potentially reduce the blood pressure of individuals with hypertension. The active agent behind this effect, the scientists explained, is a compound called nitrate – which is found in many other fruits and vegetables. A press release published by ScienceDaily stated that this element, when consumed, is first converted into nitrite, and is then released into the blood stream as nitric oxide.
"Our hope is that increasing one's intake of vegetables with a high dietary nitrate content, such as green leafy vegetables or beetroot, might be a lifestyle approach that one could easily employ to improve cardiovascular health," said Amrita Ahluwalia, Ph.D, a lead researcher involved with the project.
This isn't the first time that beetroot juice has been singled out for its aging longevity benefits. In 2010, scientists from Wake Forest University in North Carolina revealed that this drink may be able to preserve the mental faculties of older individuals as they aged. Another study published by British researchers that year indicated that eating more beets promoted a more active lifestyle.
More research is necessary to confirm this connection, but it certainly doesn't hurt to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet in general. Denver and Houston residents who wish to learn more about how to age gracefully should consult our specialists today.