Nitrate Supplement May Lower Blood Pressure in Healthy Young Adults
High blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading killer in the United States. A recent study suggests that supplements containing extracts from nitrate-rich foods — including beetroot, celery stem and leaf, and red spinach — may help lower blood pressure in young men with normal blood pressure.
Participants in the study included 45 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 40 who were randomly assigned either a nitrate-rich drink containing between 240 and 280 mg of nitrates per two ounce serving or a prune juice drink as a control.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 67% increase in blood levels of nitrates and nitrites in the supplement group, as well as an average 9% decrease in diastolic blood pressure over the 14-day study period. There were no significant changes for flow-mediated dilation, sleep quality, or total mood state.
Researchers from Arizona State University conducted the study. It was published on September 16, 2018, in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.
Beetroots are perhaps the most popular nitrate-rich food. They can be steamed, sautéed, or juiced to add a colorful, healthy addition to any meal. If beetroots aren’t to your liking, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cucumber, garlic, pumpkin, radishes, and string beans are all great sources of nitrate as well.