First thing in a morning, most of us have no trouble reaching out for the nearest mug of caffeine. And it's a habit many of us suscribe to unfailingly every day. But recent research has discovered that switching allegiance to an altogether different daily drink could in fact do wonders for your heart and overall health.
The study by Queen Mary University of London, funded by the British Heart Foundation, found that drinking one 250ml glass of beetroot juice every day could signifcantly lower the blood pressure of people who had trouble with high blood pressure. This means that if your BP digits are higher than they should be, a glass of the pink stuff could help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
The study found that the levels of reduction in blood pressure from people who drank the beetroot juice was similar to the reduction you might get from some types of blood pressure. What's more there were no adverse side effects on the patients glugging all this extra veg.
It's all to do with a chemical called nitrates that are packed into beetroot as well as other leafy greens like kale and cabbage.
But before you stick the contents of your veg cupboard in a pan, there is one thing to bear in mind. “For those looking to work dietary nitrate into their daily diets, the trick is not to boil the vegetables – as dietary nitrate is water soluble – so steam, roast or drink them in a juice instead" said Professor Amrita Ahluwalia, who led the research.
- You can find out more information about blood pressure on the British Heart Foundation website
- There's more health advice in every issue of Yours, out each Tuesday