People with high blood pressure are more likely to experience heart attacks and strokes. That is why doctors emphasize blood pressure control. They often prescribe medication to achieve this goal. Some people would prefer to use natural approaches, however, such as exercising, following a DASH diet and drinking beet juice. How much does it take to make a difference?
How Much Beet Juice Do You Need to Drink?
Q. What is the proper amount of beet juice to consume to help lower blood pressure? I have heard that 1/3 cup per day is sufficient, but I have also read that one needs to drink two cups daily.
In addition, is there a low-sugar alternative? I need to watch my sugar intake.
A. Some studies show that people who drink 250 ml (about a cup) of beet juice daily lower their blood pressure (Hypertension, Feb. 2015). As you have noted, other studies have used other amounts of beet juice to lower blood pressure significantly. One recent study found that 140 ml daily of nitrate-rich beet juice lowered previously uncontrolled hypertension (British Journal of Hypertension, March 2018). That is less than a cup, so the exact answer on your quantity question has not yet been determined.
Sugar in Beet Juice:
Beet juice does contain sugar, approximately 12 grams in a cup. Some people have turned to powdered beet extract to get around the problem of too much sugar. We don’t have good data on exactly how much of this extract you would need to get your blood pressure under control.
Can Beet Juice Be Yummy?
Another reader is wondering how to make beet juice palatable. Here’s the question:
Q. I have read in your column that beet juice can lower blood pressure. I do take a low dose of valsartan to keep my blood pressure close to normal. I would like to add a natural approach to help control my hypertension, but I really dislike the taste of pure beet juice. Do you have any recipes that might disguise the flavor a little bit?
A. You could put it in a smoothie. Dilute the beets with apple juice, carrot juice and ginger. Of course, if you need to be careful about your sugar intake, you’ll need to limit apple or carrot juice. Both contain sugar, but they are tasty. Moreover, ginger imparts a lot of flavor with very few calories!
We are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment for a variety of other nondrug ways to lower blood pressure. We have many more details and other food suggestions including eggplant water and curcumin scramble in our book, Recipes & Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy.