116 million Americans have high blood pressure, which puts this huge percentage of people at an increased risk of experiencing some very frightening health outcomes, such as heart disease and stroke.
It goes without saying that many people try to lower their blood pressure to help reduce the risk of these potentially fatal effects. Some tried-and-true recommendations for managing blood pressure include limiting sodium intake, exercising, following the DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet. Within this diet, which is specifically designed to lower blood pressure, people are encouraged to eat several heart-healthy foods, including vegetables.
How vegetables play a role in regulating blood pressure
Vegetables are usually full of healthy blood pressure-supporting nutrients (such as fiber) and naturally low in sodium. Certain types of vegetables are also natural sources of calcium, magnesium, and potassium: three minerals that have been emphasized in Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet, as eating them in adequate amounts helps support healthy blood pressure.
Eating more vegetables — no matter what type — is always a good idea, regardless of whether you’re trying to support healthy blood pressure or otherwise. But if you are looking for #1 Best Vegetable To Include In Your Healthy Blood Pressure Diet, Beets deserve the big prize.
Beets are the #1 vegetable for healthy blood pressure
Surprisingly sweet, beautifully colorful, and incredibly versatile, the beloved vegetable that’s the shining star of salads paired with goat cheese, wraps, and even some fancy smoothies, might not be your top priority when considering what to eat when trying to keep it. Your blood pressure is healthy, but it should be. In fact, beets are one of the best foods you can eat if you have high blood pressure.
Not only do beets check many boxes when it comes to heart-healthy foods, including being naturally low in sodium, free of added sugars and free of saturated fat, but they contain a slew of other important factors that meet the guidelines when following the guidelines. The DASH diet, including being a source of the important minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Beets also contain dietary nitrates: natural chemicals that are converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, a chemical that relaxes the internal muscles of blood vessels and promotes increased blood flow. In contrast, vasodilators such as nitric oxide can help lower blood pressure.
In clinical trials, data has shown that drinking beetroot juice made from real beets may help lower blood pressure. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in Frontiers in Nutrition showed that drinking beetroot juice over a period of 3 to 60 days improved systolic blood pressure among the study subjects.
According to the results of a randomized, crossover trial, published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and DieteticsEating nitrate-rich vegetables, such as beets, had a positive effect on blood pressure measurements among young adults.
How to add more beets to your diet
If you are not a fan of beets, there is no need to force yourself to feed yourself servings of this popular root vegetable if you want to reap the benefits of consuming a natural source of nitrates. Including green leafy vegetables, radishes, and onions will also give your body a boost from this beneficial compound, allowing you to skip the beets altogether.
But if you’re a fan of beetroot, and your goal is to support your blood pressure the natural way, including this vegetable in your salads, smoothies, and as a main ingredient in classic borscht soup, it may help to see the results you’re trying. to see. Just make sure you have a stain stick handy when you dip (smear!).
So, sneak some beetroot into hummus, add some to your smoothie, or enjoy some in powdered form for a beetroot latte. Your heart will thank you for that.
Lauren Munker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren Manaker is a registered dietitian, book author, and award-winning recipe developer who has been in business for nearly 20 years. Read more