Beetroot – The wonder vegetable

Researchers at the University of California have reported that drinking just a third of a glass of beet juice every day could make your trip to the gym easier.

Previous research found that due to the high concentration of nitrates in the vegetable, drinking beetroot juice before a workout could increase the body’s tolerance to a high-intensity routine. But studies didn’t stop there – researchers wanted to utilise their curiosity and see how regular consumption of beet juice could affect the body long-term.

The study looked at 14 men aged between 20 and 30.

They were asked to drink 70ml of beetroot juice every morning, for two weeks. Seven of the participants were given regular, shop-bought bottles and the other given nitrate-depleted juice.

Next, the men took part in a high-intensity cycling workout; the results showed that those who had consumed the nitrate-rich juice had lower blood pressure.

The nitrate-rich group also showed better blood flow and a stronger delivery of oxygen to their muscles.

Co-author, Charles Stebbins, PhD explains; “Because their hearts weren’t working as hard to pump blood into circulation, they could push themselves at the same intensity for a longer period of time.”

Don’t worry ladies, past research has confirmed that it is not just men who benefit from drinking beet juice, it was found that women drinking a daily dose of beet juice also show lower blood pressure during a workout.

We understand that beetroot may not be to everyone’s taste, especially in liquid form. Whilst it is not the tasty fruit juice you may be used to, you can add it to your morning smoothie or green juice. It won’t take over the taste and you will still get the essential nutrients.

If the wonder vegetable is still too intimidating, you can introduce these healthy veggies to your diet plan – 85 gram servings of celery, French parsley, rocket, spinach or cress, will give you around 250mg of nitrates – the same you would get from a small dose of beet juice.

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Written by Ellen Hoggard

Ellen is the Content Manager for Memiah and writer for Nutritionist Resource and Happiful magazine.

Written by Ellen Hoggard

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