Beet juice has been shown to lower blood pressure. Scientists believe that the high nitrate content of beets leads to creation of nitric oxide in the body. This compound helps relax blood vessels and improves circulation.
A new study from Wake Forest University suggests that beet juice may also be good for the brain. More than a dozen older adults followed prescribed diets including 16 ounces of beet juice a day. Some of the diets were high in vegetable-derived nitrates, from spinach and leafy greens, while others were low. MRI pictures showed improved blood flow to the brain when the diet was full of leafy greens and beets.
Although this research is preliminary, the investigators are excited about the possibility that increased blood flow to important parts of the brain might reduce the risk of dementia and help with recovery from strokes. Getting people to drink beet juice might be a challenge, however, as it is an acquired taste.
[Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry, online Dec. 2010]

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  1. Helena Tiare
    Reply

    This is what I do sometimes, it´s very tasty!
    In blender – one sliced red beet, ½ fig, 3 small slices fresh lemongrass, 5-6 mint leaves, 2 slices fresh ginger, 0.5 oz agave syrup, 10 oz passionfruit juice (not a tart one) blend at high for 15 secs, strain 3 times, bottle and chill in fridge 20 min before use.

  2. Beetbeatsbad
    Reply

    Why not mix beet juice with some Orange juice or another juice one can tolerate. Buy beets and throw them in the juicer. Buy fruits and/or juice something extra with it.
    A beet juice fruit blend has worked faster, better and longer than coffee for me (maybe for you too!)
    Beet juice admittedly tastes awful, but it makes me feel too good. So I mix and make the best of it

  3. Frank
    Reply

    I would like to know more of the recommended beet root powder intake.
    Any information out there?
    Peoples Pharmacy response: In this study, the dose was less than one cup beet juice per day.
    Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2013 Jan 15;304(2):R73-83. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00406.2012. Epub 2012 Nov 21.
    Effects of short-term dietary nitrate supplementation on blood pressure, O2 uptake kinetics, and muscle and cognitive function in older adults.
    Kelly J, Fulford J, Vanhatalo A, Blackwell JR, French O, Bailey SJ, Gilchrist M, Winyard PG, Jones AM.
    Source
    Sport and Health Sciences, St. Luke’s Campus, Univ. of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.
    Abstract
    Dietary nitrate (NO(3)(-)) supplementation has been shown to reduce resting blood pressure and alter the physiological response to exercise in young adults. We investigated whether these effects might also be evident in older adults. In a double-blind, randomized, crossover study, 12 healthy, older (60-70 yr) adults supplemented their diet for 3 days with either nitrate-rich concentrated beetroot juice (BR; 2 × 70 ml/day, ∼9.6 mmol/day NO(3)(-)) or a nitrate-depleted beetroot juice placebo (PL; 2 × 70 ml/day, ∼0.01 mmol/day NO(3)(-)). Before and after the intervention periods, resting blood pressure and plasma [nitrite] were measured, and subjects completed a battery of physiological and cognitive tests. Nitrate supplementation significantly increased plasma [nitrite] and reduced resting systolic (BR: 115 ± 9 vs. PL: 120 ± 6 mmHg; P

  4. SP
    Reply

    I tried this and couldn’t tolerate it. It caused me severe flushing.

  5. James White
    Reply

    Raw Beet juice for best effects, there was a study where it was baked into bread which lowered blood pressure (listed on nih.gov) however all the studies show raw works best do to heat De-naturing some elements.

  6. Cathy
    Reply

    Hi, I recently purchase “organic” beet powder from Amazon.com The recommended amount to consume is 1 tsp Three times a day. I mix it with a 1/4 cup of warm water first, otherwise it is like undissolved jello!) Then I mix in juice, or put it in soup.
    It does not taste bad as someone mentioned. Also, one person mentioned about that “beets contain oxalates which can negatively affect the kidneys.” I believe that is only in the tops (greens,) of the beets and is why one should not boil them, as the oxalates are released through cooking. In organic beet powder, I think the beets are dried, and minimally processed. Don’t know why calcium would be needed as one person posted… maybe someone could clarify that?

  7. Sheree S.
    Reply

    The instructions on my bottle of beet root juice call for 1 oz in the morning on an empty stomach. I have been taking it about 6 weeks and my blood pressure has dropped considerably. However I just learned abut the oxalates and wonder how long I should wait to take calcium. Is an hour or two enough time? Also there’s a big difference in 1 oz and 8 oz’s, which dosage is correct? Thank you. You provide a most valuable service.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: TWO HOURS SHOULD BE ENOUGH TO WAIT.
    IF ONE OUNCE IS WORKING FOR YOU, STAY WITH THAT DOSE. (BEET JUICE IS PRICEY.) THE RESEARCHERS OFTEN START WITH A DOSE OF FOOD THAT IS HIGHER THAN NECESSARY. FOR EXAMPLE, THE EARLY CHOCOLATE RESEARCH WAS DONE WITH 100 GM/DAY, ABOUT 3 OUNCES. THAT IS A LARGISH CANDY BAR. FURTHER RESEARCH HAS FOUND THAT 5 OR 10 GM/DAY, A VERY SMALL PIECE OF CHOCOLATE, CAN HELP MOST PEOPLE. THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING SIMILAR GOING ON WITH BEET JUICE.

  8. Dorothy W.
    Reply

    I buy fresh beets, wash and clean them thoroughly, slice them thin, and boil them in enough water to cover them completely. When they are tender, I remove them from the water and eat them with vegetable salads. I save the water in which they have cooked for my grandmother taught me that the cooking water absorbs the rich nutrients in vegetables.
    I drink this “beet juice water”; 1/2 cup while still hot like tea or soup. The taste is mild and slightly sweet. Hope this helps in your search for beet juice.
    to the Graedons:
    thanks for this site and your articles which have helped me find natural options for many of my ailments.

  9. susan p
    Reply

    I was able to find beet juice at a local health food store, but it was very expensive. And every recommendation I’ve seen is for 8 oz per day. If you buy it in a bottle, it would have to be cooked, so I would think cooked and canned beets would also be effective. But how many beets would you need to eat to get the benefit? Eventually we will get the answers, but my hypertension won’t wait.

  10. KB
    Reply

    This MIGHT be interesting. We need to know more — especially cooked or uncooked, squeezed or unsqueezed, and how much of whatever. People are asking about pill forms but we are hearing more about eating things in their natural entirety. What happens if we add another element like lemons? Oh dear, It is all rather complicated. Like life. Do you ever update this website with answers? A new online reader, KB
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE PROVIDE ANSWERS WHEN WE HAVE THEM, BUT CAN’T ANSWER ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS. WE ASSUME, HOWEVER, THAT EATING BEETS WOULD WORK NEARLY AS WELL AS DRINKING JUICE. BUT BECAUSE JUICE IS MORE CONCENTRATED, YOU MIGHT NEED A COUPLE OF LARGE SERVINGS A DAY.
    WE’LL WRITE ABOUT THIS AGAIN IF WE FIND MORE INFORMATION.

  11. EJ
    Reply

    Adding fresh lemon juice improves the taste of shredded beets. People should also be warned that red beets will color the stool, so they shouldn’t be alarmed.

  12. Barbara
    Reply

    First, it is good to know beets are helpful in relationship to blood pressure. But there is a lot that must be presumed. One, fresh juice from raw beets/with or without beet tops? Are cooked beets helpful too? At the same time, we have to realize the way things work. Information is published verbatim from a variety of scientific sources. It is published directly without analysis or adjustment from the original sources. What we see is what we get.
    We have to research from there. Thank you for sharing direct research from its source.

  13. Fran
    Reply

    I bought some beet juice at a Whole Foods grocery store today for $4.79. I plan on substituting it for a glass of red wine at our Xmas holiday when everyone else is toasting the holidays. I really like beets, so I’m hoping that the juice is tolerable to my taste buds.

  14. Brent B.
    Reply

    Beets are phenomenal for endurance but don’t get carried away by eating too many or drinking too much beet juice, since they contain oxalates which can negatively affect the kidneys. Just make them a consistent and moderate part of your diet and you should be ok. I believe Biotta is a brand of beet juice. Thanks for making this information exchange available and happy holidays to everyone!

  15. LAD
    Reply

    I love beets. I load up at salad bars and frequently enjoy a dish from my eastern European background that consists of shredded beets with horseradish and sour cream.
    Is the beet juice in the study raw? And can cooked beets serve the same purpose? How much beet juice would be ingested from a beet that is about two inches in diameter?

  16. LaVonne
    Reply

    I forgot to say – Beet Powder stirred into water is very pleasant tasting.

  17. LaVonne
    Reply

    I began taking Beet powder several days ago & was amazed at how it helped my Blood Pressure & generally felt better too. A tsp a day was too much to start. It loosens my bowels. So I have been taking 1/2 tsp per day & still feeling good. Maybe I need to work my way up to 1 tsp per say.
    I had read about Beet powder recently & picked up a 6 oz container at my Neighborhood Produce/Grocery market. (Caputo’s Fresh Markets in Chicago)
    I forgot what it was good for & where I had read about it. I had to do a search to find out it’s properties – eHow had the best info on properties of
    Beet Powder.

  18. CNS
    Reply

    I drink eight ounces of water with one teaspoon of beet juice twice a day. It consistently lowers my systolic pressure by about 10 points. The beet juice can be ordered from wheatgrass.com.

  19. victoria l.
    Reply

    where can I buy beet juice???? vblo

  20. Senior Diva
    Reply

    Why wasn’t the article finished! Can we, for example, substitute beet capsules with the same results? Anything you publish that gives the reader half of the information needed to make a decision is not fair to those of us who follow your advice.

  21. Bob C.
    Reply

    The taste of beet juice turns me off, I just cant tolerate it, it tastes like beets to me, which I dislike. Is there such a thing as a beet capsule, and would it taste any better and still do the same job?
    Thank You
    Bob

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