Monday, 21 November 2016 16:21

Good News About Beets

From the Spring, 2016 issue of the Integrative RDN, Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RDN, LD, CSSD, nutrition professor emerita at Georgia State University in Atlanta and editor and chief of Sports Nutrition: A Practical Manual for Professionals. Dr. Rosenbloom outlines the many health benefits of beetroot juice. Not only does beetroot juice lower blood pressure and lower pulmonary hypertension, it can improve athletic performance by lowering the amount of oxygen used by the muscle for a given work rate and increasing blood flow to exercising muscles.

Beetroot juice and a placebo were used for 6 days while testing moderate to high-intensity cyclists. In the beetroot group, there was a reduced the oxygen cost of moderate-intensity cycling by 19% and increased the time to exhaustion during the high-intensity cycling by 17%.

Exercise tolerance is being evaluated with peripheral artery disease, a cardiovascular disease causing decreased blood flow to the extremities. Dietary nitrates in as little as 0.5 Liter of beetroot juice, reaching a peak in 3 hours, correlating with a decrease in blood pressure, to a safe level.

Providing nitrates in a natural vegetable juice is possibly exciting news for athletes, as well as the hypertensive and those at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Some of the health benefits of vegetables could be the result of high nitrate content. The consumption of beetroot and other vegetable choices are considered safe and possibly effective treatment for high blood pressure. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet provides 20 mmoles of nitrate per day. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations determine the amount of vegetables ideal for consumption on a daily basis.

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