Here is how beetroot can help keep blood pressure down

Beetroot. Photo from Pixabay
Beetroot. Photo from Pixabay

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is an integral part of living a long and healthy life.

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is an integral part of living a long and healthy life.

Unchecked high blood pressure reduces the health of our blood vessels over time, affecting the blood supply to every organ in our body.

The more pressure on the arteries, the less elastic they become, meaning that high blood pressure will perpetuate high blood pressure.

Too much pressure on the blood vessels can lead to one of them bursting, which can have fatal consequences.

Normal blood pressure should be between 120/80 and 140/90 but if you have other health conditions that affect the health of your arteries such as high cholesterol or diabetes, it’s better to stay at the lower end of that spectrum.

High blood pressure doesn’t have any visible symptoms, so it’s important to get it checked to keep yourself informed of your health.

Some people prefer to try and manage their blood pressure without medication and this is often possible.

I usually recommend talking to your doctor about using lifestyle and dietary adjustments alongside herbal medicine before trying medication.

If you’re interested in managing your blood pressure with herbal medicine, the most effective results I see from an over the counter remedy that comes from beetroot.

Beetroot is rich in nitrates which help to widen blood vessels, reducing the pressure on the arterial wall and improving circulation.

Beetroot capsules are the easiest and most inexpensive way to use beetroot but the original research on beetroots effect on blood pressure was done on beetroot juice.

If you enjoy beetroot juice, 1 glass a day is enough to increase your daily nitrates.

If you’re a hard core beetroot fan, you can get this amount of juice by eating around five large unpickled beetroots a day. Just keep in mind that you’re likely to notice some colour changes when you pay a visit to the loo.

Beetroot capsules are much more convenient and I find that they work for approximately 70-80 per cent of people that try them. Using beetroot is an excellent way of managing your blood pressure and keeping out of the doctor’s office, but it’s important to keep an eye on it.

Get your blood pressure tested every so often to make sure that it’s at a safe level.

I offer free blood pressure checks at my practice in Morecambe and many GP surgeries now include a machine that allows you to test your own.

Beetroot capsules work in as little as 1 week but it’s important to note that they only work while you’re using them.

If you ever decide to stop using beetroot, you should find an alternative way to manage your blood pressure.

More permanent changes can be made if you stay active, maintain healthy a weight and eliminate habits like smoking, alcohol and excessive salt consumption.

Losing weight can be done by increasing your intake of vegetables and reducing the amount of high fat and high sugar foods that you eat.

By eating more fibre and reducing these unhealthy foods, you may also improve your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of diabetes and high cholesterol.

These two conditions are often associated with high blood pressure, so by working on your diet, you will be taking a much more holistic approach to your health care, rather than simply swallowing pills, be they herbal or pharmaceutical.

Another herb renowned for improving the health of the heart is hawthorn.

While training, an older herbalist told me that she ensures every patient with a history of high blood pressure is on hawthorn.

Due to the consistent success I get with beetroot, I don’t use hawthorn as much as she did but a few years ago I had a patient that wouldn’t respond to beetroot or any of the lifestyle changes we’d discussed.

She’d previously suffered with negative side effects from her blood pressure medication, so as a last attempt before her doctor insisted her efforts had been unfruitful, I gave her high doses of this hedgerow herb and found that her blood pressure normalised within two weeks. So while beetroot is amazing, sometimes it’s the old fashioned remedies that work the best.

For more information, contact Nicola on 01524 413733.