Beetroot juice, heart health and periods – what’s the link?

It seems that beetroot juice could benefit you in more ways than one!


Emma Thornton
Qualified Nutritionist (ANutr)
@EmmaThornton
Ask Emma


02 October 2018

What does the research say?

Full of intense flavour, the distinctive ruby red liquid that is Biotta Beetroot Juice, is an excellent source of potassium and nitrates, both of which are thought to be important for helping to manage blood pressure. Research has shown that consuming just 100g of beetroot juice, or beetroot juice enriched bread, could help to significantly reduce blood pressure in as quickly as 24 hours!1. Also of interest, the more that was consumed daily, up to a maximum of 500g, the bigger the effect it had. 

Beetroot juice has also seemed to spark some interest amongst our sports lovers out there too. If beetroot is able to dilate your blood vessels in order to affect blood pressure, then it’s likely that it’s also able to increase your oxygen availability. If your utilisation of oxygen improves, then you can bet that your endurance and overall sporting performance does too. Excellent! Beetroot juice as the new pre-workout then?

A small study on professional cyclists aimed to put this very idea to the test. They weren’t disappointed, and found that by consuming just 70ml of beetroot juice before a bout of exercise, athletes were able to significantly improve their oxygen utilisation and performance times2. Neat!

Female health

As well as the potential benefits for cardiovascular health, beetroot juice actually has quite an extensive array of vitamins and minerals to offer, and another one not to be ignored is its iron content. Iron is an essential mineral and helps to support red blood cell production, haemoglobin levels and the uptake of oxygen by all of your body cells – from brain cells to those in your skeletal muscles3.

So, it’s likely that the iron in beetroot juice is going to work well alongside the nitrates in terms of supporting your blood, oxygen uptake and stamina. But, not only that, sufficient iron intake is also extremely important for women of child-bearing age. As a result of having your period, you require a larger intake of iron compared to your male counterparts. If you aren’t quite achieving this (ill-health, poor diet, stress affecting absorption etc.) then you could be at risk of becoming anaemic.

Luckily, this is where our lovely beetroot juice comes in. A study recruited 60 teenage girls aged 15-17 years old and asked them to drink 100ml of freshly squeezed beetroot juice daily for just short of 3 weeks. Girls drinking the beetroot juice every day had significant improvements in haemoglobin levels vs. the control girls who weren’t having the juice4. What a result. By something as simple as drinking a small glass of beetroot juice each day, you could potentially significantly improve your haemoglobin levels which can then help to keep anaemia under control. This could have a positive effect on your energy levels and much more besides!

Biotta Beetroot Juice is a vegan-friendly source of iron too of course, and it won’t cause digestive upset like many of the prescribed iron products nowadays. Also, you have the added benefits of all the other vitamins and minerals naturally occurring in there too, (I’m thinking potassium, positive effects on blood pressure – bonus!). Plus, it’s got a deliciously subtle, earthy flavour which means it’s great straight from the bottle, or it also works well in recipes too – why not try making a beetroot bread or use it as stock for a risotto – very versatile, the choices are endless!

The option of some added ginger... 

Fancy trying the beetroot juice but are worried about the taste? My advice is to opt for our latest addition to the Biotta family Beetroot, Apple & Ginger. Our original earthy beetroot juice is combined with some naturally sweet Biotta Apple juice plus some warming ginger. The ginger element not only adds it’s own delicious twist, but did you know ginger has impressive health benefits to offer in itself? Firstly ginger is great for your stomach – it’s naturally antispasmodic and as a result has been shown in research to help quell nausea5. But ginger is also well known as an effective anti-inflammatory6 which means it’s a good all rounder; from heart health to period pains, anti-inflammatories are always a helpful addition to any regime! 

So, I hope this gives you a bit more of an explanation as to why everyone’s banging on about beetroot. For women with heavy periods, or those who are at risk of anaemia, for those who may or may not be slightly worried about their blood pressure, or for our fitness fanatics, could some Biotta Beetroot be a good option?

 

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22414688

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23846159

3. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20133360686

4. http://iosrjournals.org/iosr-jnhs/papers/vol2-issue1/C0210913.pdf

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1498536

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/

 

Originally published on 22/02/17, updated on 02/10/18

Healthy & nutritious dinner ideas

Get new recipes in your inbox every week. Sign up now

Bloated? Constipated? Join our 5 Steps to a Better Digestion plan now