In the human body, nitric oxide widens blood vessels and aids blood flow. Beetroot is rich in nitrates, which the body converts to nitrite and then to nitric oxide. Amrita Ahluwalia, from The London Medical School (United Kingdom), and colleagues enrolled 8 women and 7 men with a systolic blood pressure between 140 to 159 mm Hg, who did not have other medical complications and were not taking blood pressure medication. The study participants drank 250 mL of beetroot juice or water containing a low amount of nitrate, and had their blood pressure monitored over the next 24 hours. Compared with the placebo group, participants drinking beetroot juice had reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure the effect was most pronounced three to six hours after drinking the juice but still present even 24 hours later. The study authors submit that: “Our observations … support the concept of dietary nitrate supplementation as an effective, but simple and inexpensive, antihypertensive strategy.”
Suborno M. Ghosh, Vikas Kapil, Isabel Fuentes-Calvo, Kristen J. Bubb, Vanessa Pearl, Amrita Ahluwalia, et al. “Enhanced Vasodilator Activity of Nitrite in Hypertension: Critical Role for Erythrocytic Xanthine Oxidoreductase and Translational Potential.” Hypertension. April 15, 2013
A cup of beetroot juice a day may help reduce blood pressure by as much as 10 mm Hg.
Routine dental cleanings and treating periodontal disease may reduce a person’s risks of ischemic stroke.
A diet rich in antioxidants may reduce a woman’s risk of heart failure by 42%.
Stroke and subclinical markers of vascular disease may be predicative of those older patients with type 2 diabetes who may develop cognitive decline.
Cognitive training exercises – and completing crossword puzzles and Sudoku – may help to prevent cognitive decline in aging.
Diets laden with fried and sweet foods, processed and red meats refined grains, and high-fat dairy products reduce a person's likelihood of achieving older ages
Post-workout aches and pains can be effectively relieved by a short bout of light exercise.
American Cancer Society urges that a coordinated effort to change individual health behaviors could prevent much of the suffering and death from cancer.
The indigestible carbohydrate content in barley kernels may increase satiety hormones and reduce subsequent energy intake.
Netherlands researchers suggest that men who have higher levels of the mineral selenium may be at a lower risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
The extent of a person’s energy expenditure is a key determinant in risk reductions for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and coronary heart disease
A diet rich in fish-source omega-3 fatty acids exerts an antihypertensive effect.
A large study of 500,000 older adults followed for about 12 years reveals that as coffee drinking increases, the risk of death decreases.
From Australia to Great Britain, researcher teams confirm that the more a person sits, the greater the risk of chronic diseases.
Vegetarians are less likely to develop ischemic heart disease, as compared to those who eat meat.
Soccer (football outside the US) helps men with high blood pressure to improve their fitness, normalize their blood pressure. and reduce their risk of stroke.
Rich in flavanols, cocoa consumption lowers insulin resistance and blood pressure, while boosting cognitive functions.
Supplementation with a polyphenol-rich grape powder reduces inflammatory markers involved in cellular damage.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant compound found abundantly in green tea, helps to improve blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
Pronounced difference between systolic and diastolic pressure may increase risk of cerebrovascular disease, in older men and women with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Tip #160 - Brew Better Health
Certain studies suggest that coffee mitigates disease by reducing inflammation in blood vessels and supporting the normal function of the blood vessel lining. Coffee also is a rich source of antioxidants and magnesium, nutrients that are key in maintaining cardiovascular and circulatory health.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA) studied 20 years of data collected on 41,736 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and 86,214 women involved in the Nurses’ Health Study. The team found that in general, regular coffee consumption was linked to a slightly lower risk of death from any cause, and from cardiovascular disease in particular. Among women, those who drank at least 2 to 3 cups per day were one-quarter to one-third less likely to die of heart problems or stroke than women who did not drink coffee. For men, a protective effect was seen when drinking 4 to 5 cups daily.
A team from the University of Kuopio (Finland) completed a 21-year long study involving 1,409 men and women, ages 65 to 79 years old at the study’s concluding point. The researchers found that those study subjects who drank 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day at midlife lowered their risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease by 65%, as compared to those who drank no or a little coffee.
Opt for drip brewed coffee – the kind that uses a paper filter. Coffee beans contain cafestol, a very potent dietary cholesterol-elevating compound. Whereas paper filters remove much of the cafestol during the drip brew process, French press coffee, Turkish and Scandinavian preparations, and espresso retain very high levels of cafestol.