Dangerous superfood: beetroot juice can harm and save

Beetroot juice is good for people with high blood pressure

Beetroot juice is good for people with high blood pressure

A photo: Shutterstock

Beetroot juice is not the most popular drink, says nutritionist Elena Solomatina. And in vain, it may well claim the title of superfood. We tell what is so valuable about it.

The substances that it contains contribute to the expansion of blood vessels, and, accordingly, a decrease in pressure. They also improve the speed of thinking, speed of reaction and generally help keep the brain youthful. So, the nitric oxide molecule (they are rich in beets) is a real neurotransmitter, that is, the “conductor” of the nervous system.

Beetroot juice is useful for people with high blood pressure, especially those whose pressure is still approaching the borderline of the norm. If you start drinking beetroot juice in time, then it may be possible to avoid pills or reduce their dosage. But for those who have a tendency to low blood pressure, beetroot juice is not recommended.

Also, beetroot juice contains amino acids necessary for health: lysine, arginine, valine, histidine, betaine. A specific rich dark red color to beets and beetroot juice gives betacyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant, and according to a recently published study by American scientists, reduces the risk of developing prostate and breast cancer. Also, this substance significantly lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood and significantly reduces the activity of inflammatory processes, prevents damage to cell membranes, and the development of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, according to Solomatina, beetroot juice prevents the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the vessels.

But Elena Solomatina does not advise considering beetroot juice as a medicine: this is an excellent prophylactic, but juice cannot replace the medications prescribed by the doctor.

What about vitamins? In beet juice, for example, almost the entire group of vitamins B. These vitamins are beneficial for the nervous system, useful for the absorption of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Beetroot juice is rich in folic acid (vitamin B9). This substance is a means of preventing atherosclerosis. Also, doctors recommend taking folic acid and women. Especially during pregnancy, since folic acid is responsible for the formation of the neural tube of the fetus.

Beetroot juice is rich in vitamin C. Which is good for maintaining immunity, as well as for additional production of collagen, which strengthens blood vessels, bones and joints. Beetroot juice, along with the antioxidant betacyanin, is also beneficial for fighting inflammation thanks to this same vitamin. Also, beet juice contains bioflavonoids that protect vitamin C from destruction in the body.

There is a lot of vitamin A in the juice, but in the form of carotenoids, that is, the metabolic precursors of vitamin A, but there is not much vitamin E. But, says Solomatina, there is magnesium, potassium: the latter lowers blood pressure due to the diuretic effect, and also strengthens the heart muscle.

There are also many organic acids in beetroot juice. On the one hand, this is good, because it stimulates digestion, but people with stomach diseases need to be careful.

Where to get beetroot juice? It doesn’t seem to be sold in stores. Cook by yourself! To do this, you need to take beets, without mold, severe damage and rot. We clean it, then rub it on a grater. Then squeeze the juice through cheesecloth or sieve. You can also use a juicer. After squeezing, the saucepan with juice should be put in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. This moment, says Solomatina, is extremely important. The fact is that freshly squeezed juice contains a lot of essential oils that can irritate the gastric mucosa. But if you wait, the essential oils will evaporate, and the concentration of nitric oxide will increase.

Preparing beetroot juice with a large margin, say, a week in advance, does not make much sense. After a few days, it will lose a significant part of its beneficial properties. Therefore, it is better to cook it in the morning, let it brew, and drink at lunch and dinner.

Sometimes beetroot juice is still sold, but homemade is healthier. Factory technologies retain many valuable properties of beetroot juice, but still, additives, flavor enhancers, and preservatives are indispensable. The main thing is not to have too many of them, therefore, when choosing juice in a store, be sure to pay attention to its composition.

Last tip: drink carefully. Even if you do not have diseases of the stomach or urinary system, drink no more than 50 grams for the first few days. See how your body reacts. Will the stomach lining become inflamed? If everything goes well and nothing hurts, you can double the dose, and then again. What is the optimal dose? Everything is individual, says Solomatina. But in liters it is not shown to anyone.

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