Patients who drank a glass of beetroot juice a day had significantly lower blood pressure within just 24 hours.
According to Daily Mail
, researchers at William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University in London compared patients who drank a 250ml glass of beetroot juice a day with patients who took nitrate tablets.
It was found that both methods, the beetroot juice and the tablets, were equally successful in reducing blood pressure in the patients. This led the researchers to conclude that the naturally occurring nitrates in beetroot cause its beneficial effects.
Amrita Ahluwalia, Professor of Vascular Biology at the William Harvey Research Institute, said: "We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure indicating that it is the nitrate content of beetroot juice that underlies its potential to reduce blood pressure.
"We also found that only a small amount of juice is needed - just 250ml - to have this effect, and that the higher the blood pressure at the start of the study the greater the decrease caused by the nitrate.
"Our previous study two years ago found that drinking beetroot juice lowered blood pressure; now we know how it works."
Beetroot juice can be found in health food stores or you can make your own juice at home.
advises mixing other juices with the beetroot because of its strong flavor. Adding carrot, apple, celery, cucumber or pineapple are among the recommended juices to add.
Argo Products warns that beetroot juice can turn stools and urine red. It can also temporarily paralyze your vocal chords, make you break out in hives, increase your heart rate, cause chills or a fever if drunk by itself, undiluted. Pregnant women should not drink beetroot juice without first consulting with their physician.