Researchers say that drinking a cup of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure.
The researchers, from Barts Health NHS Trust and the London Medical School, who have been studying beetroot’s blood pressure lowering effects for years,
According to the study of 15 patients, drinking 250ml (8oz) cut high blood pressure readings by 10mm of mercury (mmHg) bringing some into the normal range, the journal Hypertension reports.
Most marked after three to six hours, the effect was detectable a day later.
Scientists say the nitrate in beetroot widens blood vessels to aid flow and many people with angina use a nitrate drug to ease their symptoms.
However, they warn that drinking beetroot juice can turn urine pink.
Prof Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which funded the research, said: “It supports current advice that we should all be eating plenty of green veg.
“But we need larger studies in patients to determine if nitrate-rich vegetables are effective at lowering blood pressure over the long term.”