My name is Lee Chilvers and I run Chilvers Reprographics, a print finishing and binding company in the UK. I have suffered from high blood pressure for the last 23 years and have always been prescribed drugs for it, which came with a multitude of side effects. Recently I discovered a much more natural treatment which helped tremendously.
As you may know, there are several different types of high blood pressure drugs on the market. And they all work in different ways. But all of them work by attaching to and affecting a receptor on your cells.
That receptor was not placed there to receive the drug. I assure you that you have no genetic deficiency of any petrochemical drug. That receptor is there to receive a natural compound or mineral. And once you start taking blood pressure drugs, you usually have to take them for life.
One of the newest high blood pressure drugs is Nebivolol or Nebilet. This drug works as an antioxidant. It reduces oxidative stress on your cardiovascular system. And it can restore levels of nitric oxide.
High oxidative stress and a deficiency in nitric oxide can cause a variety of health problems. They can cause heart attacks, stroke and heart failure, as well as kidney failure and diabetes. However, this drug is simply an expensive knock-off of one of nature’s most recently discovered secrets.
It’s well known that a diet rich in fruits and veggies reduces blood pressure and heart disease risks. But we still don’t know all of the mechanisms involved in this healing. However, researchers recently discovered one mechanism that responds to a very common food.
In this groundbreaking study, researchers in London tested 14 healthy volunteers. They received either 16 ounces of beet juice or water. Within one hour, the blood pressure of those taking the beet juice fell sharply.
In fact, it fell by 10.4 points systolic and 8 points diastolic. That’s a big drop. It beats the results from most drugs. And, even better, their blood pressure stayed down for 24 hours.
But that’s not all the improvement the researchers found. The beet juice protected the all-important endothelial cells as well. These are the cells that line your arteries. Protecting them protects your heart from heart attacks.
The researchers also found that the beet juice lowers the clotting tendencies of platelets. That can protect you from strokes.
So how does the lowly beetroot do all this?
The researchers had been perplexed by conflicts in fruit and veggie research. These foods are rich in antioxidants. Yet studies on antioxidants and blood pressure are conflicting at best. This group hypothesized that the mechanism could be the metabolism of nitric oxide or NO.
NO is a crucial short-lived chemical that’s absolutely required for keeping your arteries open and relaxed. You might even be more familiar with it from the popular drugs. These petrochemical drugs slow the degradation of NO in the male reproductive organ. Greater NO means more arterial dilation, blood flow, and, thus, better performance.
These researchers discovered that beets fit into the NO equation. They are rich in nitrates. Nitrate is NO3 (nitric trioxide). But nitrate never changes form in the human body. Your stomach absorbs most of it, and then you eliminate it in your urine.
So how does your body get from NO3 to NO when it can’t chemically convert NO3? It turns out that NO3 in blood is pulled out of your blood and is concentrated by your salivary glands.
They secrete concentrated NO3 into your saliva. On the back of your tongue reside symbiotic bacteria. These microbes are capable of stripping one oxygen from NO3 and converting it to nitrite or NO2 (nitric dioxide).
When you eat beets or drink its juice, swallowing doesn’t give enough time for the bacteria to do their thing. But saliva is in your mouth constantly, giving the germs time to act on the concentrated NO3.
The bacteria take off one oxygen atom and generate the NO2. So when you swallow, you’re swallowing NO2. And the acidic juices in your stomach can easily convert NO2 into large quantities of NO.
Here’s how the researchers proved this. They had some subjects spit out all their saliva after drinking the beet juice. In those who did, there was no drop in blood pressure. That is strong evidence that the NO2 generated in saliva was the key.
Regardless of how beets make it happen, the research is clear: Beets can lower your blood pressure.
Beets are cheap. They’re easy to grow (if I can do it, you can too). They store easily. You can juice them. And you can eat them raw or cooked. I now add a medium sized beet to my salad dressing blend.
It makes it deliciously sweeter and provides plenty of beet material to my salads. The Russians swear by borscht. I love it (even if it is cooked). A wonderful compound in beets, betaine, is relatively heat stable. And nitrate is totally heat stable. So if you prefer beets cooked, go for it.