- Adriano dos Santos
Drop your blood pressure with beetroot
Beetroot is delicious and a great remedy for high blood pressure. Do you suffer of high blood pressure? Then using beetroot daily could help in the treatment. And high blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for the development heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.
Studies have shown that beets can significantly lower blood pressure by up to 4–10 mmHg over a period of only a few hours.
The effect appears to be greater for systolic blood pressure, or pressure when your heart contracts, rather than diastolic blood pressure, or pressure when your heart is relaxed. The effect may also be stronger for raw beets than cooked beets.
These blood pressure-lowering effects are likely due to the high concentration of nitrates in beets. In your body, dietary nitrates are converted into nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels, causing blood pressure to drop.
Blood nitrate levels remain elevated for about six hours after eating dietary nitrate. Therefore, beets only have a temporary effect on blood pressure, and regular consumption is required to experience long-term reductions in blood pressure.
This smooth and velvety beetroot soup is absolutely delicious. It’s really easy to make and you only need 6 ingredients. I love the vibrant colour that the soup takes on and it’s wonderfully contrasted both in colour and flavour by the fresh sprigs of dill garnish.
17 oz (500g) raw beets (approx 4 beetroots)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion chopped
1 stick of celery chopped
4 1/4 cups (750ml) vegetable stock/broth (low sodium is best)
2 tbsp dill chopped
Salt and pepper
Sprigs of dill
Yogurt or dairy free yogurt
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Top and tail the beetroot, then wash them and cut into small chunks. Place them onto a baking tray and drizzle with half the oil and stir to coat. Roast for 30 minutes or until cooked through and they begin to darken.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until soft but not browned.
Stir in the roasted beets and stock/broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the chopped dill and puree the soup with a hand blender or carefully transfer to a blender and whiz.
Serve in bowls with a drizzle of yogurt and sprinkling of dill.