High Blood Pressure – A Scary Diagnosis
Many have heard the old saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but has anyone ever said anything positive about the beet?
Surely those that have hypertension, (more widely known as high blood pressure) would have loved to know that the beet is a natural remedy for that pesky red-faced weasel that seems to creep up on us the older we get. It is a nasty illness that leaves us tired or with a pounding headache. Symptoms of blood pressure problems vary with each sufferer, but the risk to one’s life remains the same for all.
Beets are one of many vegetables that are high in dietary or inorganic nitrate. When they enter the digestion system, nitrates become nitric oxide, which is a gas in your blood that can aid in widening blood vessels and aid in proper blood flow. Research scientists aren’t quite sure whether or not this effect can be maintained over longer periods; their studies do show that a mere 8 ounces of beet juice was able to raise nitrate levels 1.5 times in patients with hypertension in one of the cheapest ways yet known.
The American Heart Association journal Hypertension performed tests and released their studies that proved that along with adequate exercise and a doctor’s care, beetroot juice can lend a helping hand to anyone who suffers with high systolic blood pressure. The beet is something to think about when aiming to lower your blood pressure.
8 Foods To Reduce High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
Beets – Not Just For High Blood Pressure
It is certain that beets contain a high amount of nitric oxide producing nitrates, but beets are considered by many sources to be one of nature’s healthiest foods. Take a look at the list of the daily value of beneficial nutrients that the raw beet contains in just a one-cup dose.
- Folate 37%
- Manganese 22.5%
- Fiber 15.2%
- Potassium 12.6%
- Vitamin C 11.1%
- Tryptophan 9.3%
- Magnesium 7.8%
- Iron 6%
- Phosphorus 5.4%
- Copper 5%
More Health Benefits of Beets
Beets contain powerful nutrient compounds that not only reduce blood pressure, but also protect against heart disease, birth defects in the fetuses of expecting mothers, guard against certain cancers but especially reduce the chances of colon cancer.
Even in the unusual pigment of the beet there resides natures own aid to the promotion of optimal health. These pigments contain betalains and there are two basic types: betacyanins and betaxantins. Betacyanins are the pigments that produce a reddish-violet color and betaxantins are the pigments that produce a yellowish color. In redish-violet leaning beets, the betacyanin levels are higher just as in yellow beets the betaxantin levels are the dominant betalain variety. All betalains originate from the same molecule, which is betalamic acid and is what produces the unusual attribute of a higher nitrate level than other vegetables.
Not only do betalains provide a blood pressure relieving nitrates benefit, but they also function as antioxidants and anti-inflammation agents inside the human body.
Beets have so many benefits that it would be hard to list them all here, but the most beneficial aspect of the beet, other than being natures blood pressure lowering answer, is the beet’s support of phase-two detoxification.
Phase-two detoxification occurs in our body’s cells and hooks to activated unwanted toxic substances by using small nutrients. This process hooks these toxins with what is known as GSTs and GSTs neutralize them into water-soluble substances to be released by the body by way of the bladder and urine. Beets and more particularly the betalains that color beets have been shown to stimulate GST activity within our cells.
Beets just have more reasons to make them a regular part of a family’s food regimen than not. Not only will beets optimize health, but beets act as an early measure to guard against all cancers by detoxifying the body and casting out cancer causing agents before they even begin to affect healthy cells.
High Blood Pressure – But I Hate Beets
Ok, let’s just face the facts about beets and beet juice. Maybe the reasons nobody made up a clever rhyme about the beet is that the beet just doesn’t taste as wonderful as the apple. In fact, in my opinion, the beet is downright nasty. When my mother put them on my plate as a child, I would have done anything to make them go away. I have never met anyone who felt much different about the beet’s taste as I feel about it. But isn’t that the way of life? The things that are good for us taste terrible and the things that we want more of will usually lead to a shorter lifespan.
Thank goodness that the modern juicer has become such a popular kitchen appliance. If you don’t have one, let me be the one to tell you that the juicer not only is an appliance that makes for an easy processor of fruits and veggies to ensure that you and your family are getting all the minerals and vitamins you need, but the juicer is magical in making those not-so-tasty varieties into drinks that end up being asked for by the more finicky of your children (or adults). I can’t tell you how often I’ve snuck a beet into my children’s bellies when they thought they were getting a tasty snack most likely bad for them. The sheer joy of seeing your family down healthy drinks as if they are consuming ice cream and cake is something I’d recommend for every parent.
Let me share a few recipes I have had a lot of success getting my two teens to drink and ask for again later. The secret is to not tell them what is in the juice and in this case, what they don’t know is better for them than what they’d be drinking if they got to decide it on their own.
Rate the Taste
Low Blood Pressure Blueberry Smoothie
Here is a smoothie recipe that is sure to please. If you need someone to be willing to lower his or her blood pressure without complaining too much about the taste, this mixer smoothie will be sure to please. Though it isn’t a juicer recipe, it is made in a blender and is just as easy. It has both carrots (also high in nitrates) and beet juice and the taste is absolutely divine.
- ½ cup of cold unsweetened carrot juice
- ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- ¼ cup peeled and grated raw beet
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup unsalted raw whole almonds
- ½ cup ice cubes
- ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed limejuice
- ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
Add ingredients to your blender and blend at the highest setting until thoroughly blended. Makes one serving for your most finicky blood pressure patient.
The Healthier Clementine
This is a pure pick me up and has a great flavor that any member of your family will fall in love with. The raspberries and citrus flavors mixes with the honey’s sweetness to fool any beet hater into consuming it gladly.
It makes a great morning pick up and can be a great detoxifier when drank in between meals.
- 8 Clementine
- 2 Large Grapefruit
- 2 Cups Chopped Beets
- 2 Cups of Raspberries
- 1 Large Chopped Ginger Root
- Throw the grapefruit and clementine in the juicer and set the juice aside.
- Force the beets, raspberries and chopped ginger through the juicer. Mix this juice with the citrus juices.
- Taste the mixture and add honey to taste.
Strawberry Dreams – Heart Smart Heaven
Strawberries and beets go so well together I’d have to choose this recipe as my favorite and my family’s favorite beet juice drink. It is a heart smart drink and the best thing about it is nobody can tell that the beet is such a major ingredient in it. I think that your loved ones will agree with me.
- 1 Pint of Strawberries
- 1 Cup of Chopped Beets
- 2 Ribs of Celery
- 1 Cup Plain Yogurt
- ¼ Cup Strawberry Preserves
- 2 Large Strawberries for Garnish
- Rinse your strawberries and beets well. Discard the beet tops if wilted or if they are good, use them too. Cut beets and strawberries into large chunks. Rinse celery and cut into 1 or 2 inch lengths.
- Push celery, beets and strawberries through your juicer. Process until completely juiced.
- Pour juice into a mixer and add yogurt and preserves. Blend for 30 seconds and pour mix into serving glasses.
- Serve drink immediately with your large strawberries as garnish.
Good for You Doesn’t Have to Taste Bad
In the end, it only matters what we put into us, not how it tastes. Masking the beet with better flavors will be sure to get your loved ones eating one of the healthiest vegetables coming from our gardens. I can’t blame my loved ones for not wanting to eat the beet if I never wanted to eat it myself.
By using our minds and our kitchen appliances, we can ensure that our family members prevent disease and lower their blood pressure without the chore of forcing down the tastes that they don’t enjoy. With these recipes we can accomplish our family’s health and in a way that doesn’t get us booed out of our own homes.
Enjoy your beets and try your own mix of tastes. Your family’s health is in your hands. Give it the best chance you can with nature’s best medicine, the beet.
© 2013 JRs
JRs (author) from United States on May 08, 2016:
You're very welcome. Thanks for reading.
Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on May 08, 2016:
My mouth is watering reading this hub. I love smoothies. I have not tried smoothies with beet roots yet. Thanks for sharing the information.
JRs (author) from United States on May 07, 2016:
What a treat
Pretty purple but tastes like feet.
Oh how I love it when it's sweet.
With banannas and strawberries
we crave to repeat.
If you answer wrong
You must confess your defeat.
Whats your answer then?
(Now you say The Beet!)
RTalloni on May 07, 2016:
These beet smoothies are a great way to take advantage of the many benefits of this vegetable. Though high blood pressure is not an issue, we began adding beet to our daily prescription flax mixture this year because of its other advantages. But now you have me wanting to make up a beet rhyming riddle… :)
Pait on January 04, 2015:
What a neat artilce. I had no inkling.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on January 18, 2014:
I am really going to go for the raw beet and see just what it can do. Great hub, informative and very eye appealing! Up and sharing.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 15, 2014:
Beetroot is such a wonder vegetable, I make a beetroot salad every time our neighbor gives us a few. I now know more about this vegetable.
JRs (author) from United States on December 22, 2013:
Thanks Jan. Some love 'em, they're just not in my taste index lol. Thanks for reading. Oh and Jan, I'll be adding some on Google PR and those bots we discussed in the forums and how pages are viewed by those bots. Might help with those types of questions. I'd like to help everyone make editor choice hubs. I got one and all I did was follow a guide on making a page that pleases Google's penguin and panda algorithms. It seems HP loves being Google friendly.Thanks again.
Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on December 22, 2013:
Excellent hub, JR. Great writing, very engaging, just enough personal examples to connect with your audience. This is very informative about the use of beets to lower high blood pressure. And those recipes were icing on a well-baked cake! Would you believe I actually love beets? Yes, the pickled ones that come in a jar. I will buy some during my next grocery visit and start eating them more regularly for the health benefits. Thanks for a superb hub, voted up, useful, awesome, and sharing!
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 15, 2013:
my dad has high b.p.; 170/70...he hates fruits... maybe i should advise him to try beetroot for for b.p. Thanks
JRs (author) from United States on December 15, 2013:
Thanks. Yes, I can't stand their earthy taste but masking the taste works for me. They are even good mixed with tomato and celery and carrots. Alone though, I just never could take it. Thanks again.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 14, 2013:
Very useful and informative hub!
You are so right about goodness of Beetroot not only to lower BP but for other health benefits as well. When my kids were younger, it was an uphill task feeding them Beets in its original form. I used to make smoothies as you have shown above, which was loved by them. Mostly it was Carrots and Beetroot smoothie.
I loved the combination choice of yours and I will try that as well.
An overall informative and healthy hub! Thanks! Voted up!