Beetroot juice good for the brain

beetroot_juiceDrinking beetroot juice increases blood flow to the brain, according to researchers - a finding that holds great promise for combating the progression of dementia. (Pictured:Beetroot juice increases blood flow to the brain)

Scientists from Wake Forest University in the U.S were investigating the effects of nitrates found in the dark red vegetable.

Lead reseracher Professor Daniel Kim-Shapiro, said: ‘There have been several very high-profile studies showing that drinking beetroot juice can lower blood pressure, but we wanted to show that drinking beet juice also increases perfusion, or blood flow, to the brain.

‘There are areas in the brain that become poorly perfused as you age, and that’s believed to be associated with dementia and poor cognition.’

High concentrations of nitrates are found in beetroots, as well as in celery, cabbage and other leafy green vegetables like spinach and some lettuce. When you eat high-nitrate foods, good bacteria in the mouth turn nitrate into nitrite.

Research has found that nitrites can help open up the blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen specifically to places that are lacking oxygen. However, this was the first study to find it increased blood flow to the brain.

Co-researcher Professor Gary Miller, said: ‘I think these results are consistent and encouraging that good diet consisting of a lot of fruits and vegetables can contribute to overall good health.’

Post published in: Analysis

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