High blood pressure is the result of arteries narrowing – a process that’s caused by poor lifestyle decisions. This causes the heart to have to work harder to pump blood around the body, thereby raising your blood pressure. While this may seem harmless, consistently high blood pressure hikes your risk of heart disease.
Volunteers were randomised to receive 500 g of beetroot and apple juice or a placebo juice.
Volunteers had blood pressure measured at the beginning of the study and at least hourly for 24 hours following juice consumption using an ambulatory blood pressure monitor (ABPM).
Volunteers remained at the clinic for one hour before resuming normal non-strenuous daily activities.
The identical procedure was repeated two weeks later with the drinks not consumed on the first visit.
“Salt raises your blood pressure. The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure,” warns the NHS.
According to the NHS, you should aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful.
“Eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, and plenty of fruit and vegetables also helps lower blood pressure.”
According to the health body, you should aim to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
It adds: “If you do need to lose some weight, it’s worth remembering that just losing a few pounds will make a big difference to your blood pressure and overall health.”