Just over 92 million Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease, with 1 in 3 deaths in the U.S. as a result. The combined direct and indirect costs are estimated to be over $316 million dollars. The human costs are even more significant: time lost with loved ones and diminished or total inability to engage in activities of daily living.
Hypertension and Atherosclerosis
High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the walls of your blood vessels become damaged, hardened, or constricted, and the pressure from blood moving through your veins, arteries, and capillaries becomes too high. Atherosclerosis, a condition where your arteries narrow and become less flexible, can cause significant damage to your blood vessels as well as cause a heart attack and stroke.
Super Foods for a Healthy Heart
If you are suffering with cardiovascular disease, a healthy diet can significantly help your heart health by improving circulation, lowering high blood pressure, and strengthening your heart. The key to a healthy diet is the consumption of vegetables with high nitrate contents such as green leafy vegetables like celery, lettuce, and spinach – and red beetroot. These foods have been shown to have cardiovascular protective properties.
In particular, red beetroot juice has been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, and is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
The Power of Beets
Red beets, or Beta vulgaris rubra, have been used throughout history for treatment of heart conditions. Beets contain high levels of dietary nitrate (NO3), which converts to nitrite (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) in your body, which relaxes and dilates your blood vessels. Studies have shown that supplementation with beetroot juice can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure, increase vasodilation, and decrease blood pressure. As little as a single glass of beet juice has been shown to reduce blood pressure in adults with high blood pressure.
It Gets Better
Beet juice can optimize your liver’s health and function. That’s because beet juice thins bile and allows it to flow more easily through your ducts and into your intestines.