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Beetroot Juice Helps Blood Vessel and Brain Functioning

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Beetroot juice

In a study at England’s University of Exeter published in Redox Biology, a team of researchers investigated the effects of adding nitrate-rich foods to the diet of older individuals. In this case, they chose beetroot juice. They found that after just 10 days there was a substantial change in the mix of bacteria in participants’ mouths (oral microbiome) towards a population associated with healthier blood vessels and brain functioning.

Certain oral bacteria play a role in converting nitrate to nitric oxide, which helps to vasodilate blood vessels for better blood flow and regulate neurotransmission (chemical messages in the brain). On top of beetroot juice, arugula, spinach, lettuce and celery are high in nitrates, too.

See also: Nitrates in Vegetables Help Build Muscle

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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