by Shawn S. Cardiovascular related illness is the #1 killer in the industrialized world due to unbalanced lifestyle factors, nutrient-deficient diets, lack of exercise, and stress. We’ll call these the Fatal Four. Addressing all sides of the Fatal Four statistically brings vast benefits and reversal of symptoms to many heart disease sufferers. According to new research, there’s one thing you can add to the diet department that can change your state of health almost immediately. Researchers at The London School of Medicine have discovered that drinking just 500 ml (or 2 cups) of beet juice a day can significantly reduce blood pressure. In fact, they were able to isolate the specific compound in the beets responsible for this improvement. Beets contain interesting phytochemicals known nitrates. These nitrates found in the beetroot juice interact with your saliva and bacteria on your tongue which convert them into nitrites. When swallowed, these nitrites are converted into nitric oxide in your gastrointestinal tract or re-enter your circulation as nitrite. This amazing process, via the human body interacting with the beet nutrients, creates a sort of time-release blood pressure reducing effect. Healthy test subjects were found to have blood pressure reduction within just one hour, but the greatest decrease was seen 3 to 4 hours later. Another study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that drinking beetroot juice boosts stamina and can help you exercise up to 16% longer. The foundational aspects of exercise are all about the cardiovascular and muscular systems. The dietary nitrates in beets have 2 distinct physiological effects. 1) It widens blood vessels, which reduces blood pressure and allows blood to flow more freely. 2) It directly impacts muscle tissue, reducing the amount of oxygen your muscles need to perform activities. This is powerful information to have in your hands. Whether you’re looking for an athletic advantage, wanting to reduce your heart disease risk, or you simply want to provide your body with optimal nutrition, beet juice has some remarkable benefits. WARNING: If you’re drinking beetroot juice by itself, you may actually lower your blood pressure too much if you’re not adjusted to it. It’s a wonderful idea to add some celery, beet greens (they come with it!), or other alkaline produce with it to give it some balance. Or, you can simply take time and build up on your straight beet juice intake, pay attention to how you feel, and enjoy the health benefits that come along with this wonderful root veggie. One more thing to take note of is the Doctrine of Signatures which states that every food in nature can teach you what it’s beneficial for based on the way it looks, smells, tastes, and/ or how it functions in nature. There is no other food that has such a startling resemblance to our blood than beet juice. And it begs you to ask yourself the question: “Is this just an accident?” Well, based to our modern scientific research, it’s proving over-and-over again what our great health teachers of the past have known all along. Now go make some beet juice! Leave me a comment below and let me know if you’ve ever juiced beets before or if you have a favorite juice recipe. To you and your health!