Beetroot is one of the healthiest vegetables and there is no denying that. It is rich in nutrients and is loaded with health benefits. Now, a recent research study has noted that drinking a glass of beetroot juice daily could help people suffering from coronary heart disease.
The research presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester noted that a regular glass of beetroot juice can reduce signs of inflammation in blood vessels which is known to be high in people with a heart condition.
The researchers studied 114 healthy volunteers - 78 people were given a typhoid vaccine to temporarily increase inflammation in their blood vessels, and others were given a cream to create a small blister on their skin to study localised inflammation. The volunteers drank 140ml of beetroot juice daily in the morning for seven days. Half of them drank juice that was high in nitrate whereas the other half drank juice with the nitrate removed.
The groups who drank nitrate-rich juice had higher levels of nitric oxide in their blood, urine and saliva. The researchers also found that people who were given a cream to create a small blister and drank nitrate-rich juice, their blisters healed more quickly. The numbers of inflammatory white cells in fluid samples from the blisters were also lower after three days.
Nitric oxide is naturally produced by the body and is really essential for good health. It helps regulate blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory effects on the body. People who suffer from heart disease have low levels of nitric oxide. Beetroot is rich in nitrates.
The researchers believe that the increased levels of nitric oxide helped speed-up recovery. They are now planning to conduct clinical trials involving people with heart disease to see if a high-nitrate diet has similar effects and can reduce the risk of heart attacks.