I once had an 87-year-old patient who gave me his recipe for a drink he called “Blood.”
Now, before you get too grossed out, let me explain…
Yes, his bright red juice looked a lot like blood. But this name was appropriate for another reason.
The superstar of his drink was beetroot juice – an ingredient that can actually boost blood flow throughout your entire body.
Just one glass of beetroot juice a day can help protect your heart and brain, boost your stamina, and ease your aching joints all day long.
It’s incredible stuff!
Now, I’ve been an advocate for beetroot juice for a long time. It’s what I would call a “super juice” – particularly when it comes to safeguarding your cardiovascular system.
The secret lies in its high nitrate content.
Nitrates stimulate the production of nitric oxide (NO) in your body. This is a compound that helps your blood vessels relax and expand, allowing blood to flow freely throughout your body.
This is great news for you. It means lower blood pressure, reduced arterial stiffness and less chance of plaque build-up. This, in turn, slashes your chances of a heart attack or stroke.
You’ll also get more blood flow to the parts of your brain that need it the most. In particular, it fuels the white matter in your frontal lobes… the areas of the brain associated with dementia and mental decline.
Plus, you may even find a little beetroot juice each day can enhance your bedroom activities. The reason is simple: When your blood is flowing smoothly and freely to your genitals, it increases your ability to experience arousal.
These are some pretty impressive reasons to start drinking this super juice. But they’re only the tip of the iceberg.
Power-Up Your Stamina and Endurance
The NO boost you get from beetroot juice can go a long way when it comes to powering up your exercise sessions. This is especially true if you lack stamina and endurance, or if you lose your breath quickly while working out.
That’s because higher NO levels reduce the amount of oxygen your lungs need during physical exertion. NO also boosts energetic function of your muscles. This helps to increase both exercise tolerance and performance… letting you exercise longer before reaching exhaustion.
At the same time, beetroot juice greatly reduces the load on your vascular system during exercise.
Just 500 ml (480ml is a pint) before working out can result in lower blood pressure, more efficient oxygen uptake and better blood circulation to the brain.
I know of Olympic athletes who drink a glass of beetroot juice before workouts to help with their performance.
Say Goodbye to Aching Joints
In addition to its nitrate content, beetroot juice is also high in something called betalains. These are the antioxidant pigments that give beets their red color. And they’re a powerful weapon when it comes to inflammation.
For example, as little as 50 mg of beet root extract for 10 days can reduce osteoarthritis pain by about 33%.
It can also help you with aching knee joints. Not only does it cut down on knee pain, it also improves knee function.
So there you have it. A single glass of beetroot juice each day can provide every single one of these health benefits. And it’s such a simple thing to do.
But I have to warn you. The taste is something that might take a little getting used to. Some folks describe it as bitter; others say it has an “earthy” taste.
That’s one reason why my patient’s recipe for “Blood” is so important. He found a way to make beetroot juice with attitude!
His secret was the addition of lemon juice and apple juice. Then – the real trick – he added a little bit of ginger. When I had my first taste, I just said, “Whoa!” Attitude, indeed…
However, if you still don’t care for the taste, there’s nothing wrong with substituting it with a supplement made from a red beetroot extract. You’ll still get all of the health benefits.
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Pietrzykowski Z, et al. Betalain-rich red beet concentrate improves reduced knee discomfort and joint function: a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot clinical study. Nutr Diet Suppl. 2014;6:9–13.