Comment: diet key for diabetics - eating beetroot can lower blood pressure
Release Date 30 October 2012
A study by the Health & Social Care Information Centre found fewer than half of diabetics achieve blood pressure targets. Julie Lovegrove, Professor of Human Nutrition and Deputy Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR) at the University of Reading, says beetroot consumption could help.
"In addition to drug therapy, diet has an important role to play in the management of high blood pressure. In particular, there is increasing evidence that foods containing dietary nitrate can be hugely beneficial.
"Research from the University of Reading has shown that drinking a small glass of beetroot juice (100ml) or eating four slices of bread containing beetroot can lower blood pressure. In one of the studies, volunteers consumed either four slices (200g) of bread containing 100g of beetroot, or a control bread containing no beetroot once, on two separate occasions. Three hours after eating the ‘beetroot bread', diastolic blood pressure was lowered by up to 7 mmHg when compared to the control bread.
"Dietary nitrate is a natural component of beetroot and a number of other vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and rocket. When dietary nitrate is eaten, it can contribute to the production of nitric oxide, an important substance that causes a relaxation of blood vessels and increased blood flow. This can lead to lowering of blood pressure and an improvement in blood vessel function."