Each month we will post information about simple things that you can do within your diet to make it more heart friendly. Diet plays an important role in health and disease and we should all try to eat more healthily. This month we will focus on beetroot.
Beetroot is not something people immediately think of as being a “super food” but it is in fact very heart friendly. Beetroot contains high levels of nitrate which in turn is converted by the body into Nitric Oxide in the blood. Nitric Oxide acts to widen blood vessels and lower blood pressure. You may be surprised to know that Nitric Oxide is the active component of the GTN spray that patients with angina regularly use. A daily dose of 250ml of beetroot juice or 1 to 2 cooked beetroot (approx. 100g) has been shown to increase blood levels of Nitric Oxide. Research is currently under way investigating whether Beetroot juice improves angina control.
We recommend to our patients that they try adding beetroot into their daily diet. There is no guarantee that it will make you feel any better but it will certainly contribute to making your diet more heart friendly!