A glass of beetroot (Beta Vulgaris) juice a day could keep your hypertension in check, recent research has revealed. A team of scientists at the Queen Mary University of London, has revealed the reasons behind why this root vegetable is so effective in treating high blood pressure.

The usually deep-red roots of beetroot are eaten boiled either as a cooked vegetable, or cold as a salad after cooking and adding oil and vinegar, or raw and shredded, either alone or combined with any salad vegetable.

The study reveals that the nitrate content of beetroot juice is the real reason why blood pressure is lowered. Hypertensive patients who were provided a glass of the juice reported a decline in blood pressure within twenty-four hours, says the study report published in the American Heart Association Journal.

The study reveals that the nitrate content of beetroot juice is the underlying cause behind the lowering of BP. The study, published in the American Heart Association journal, 'Hypertension', has found that blood pressure came down within 24 hours among patients who took nitrate tablets or drank beetroot juice.

Beetroots are rich in the nutrient betaine, which is important for cardiovascular health. It functions by acting with other nutrients to reduce the concentration of homocysteine, a homologue of the naturally occurring amino acid cysteine, which can be harmful to blood vessels and thus contribute to the development of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Blood pressure patients who were taking nitrate tablets will welcome this research as they can now do away with medication and cure their ailment using naturally available stuff. What's more, curtailing BP also goes a long way in avoiding killer diseases like heart attacks and strokes.  

Lead researcher Amrita Ahluwalia, professor of vascular biology at Queen Mary's Research Institute, claims that the study amply demonstrated the fact that nitrate in a glass of beetroot juice provide as much benefits to a BP patient as taking a tablet of the nitrate.

She revealed that the researchers gave nitrate capsules or beetroot juice to healthy volunteers and compared their blood pressure responses and biochemical changes in blood circulation. Both the doses were found to be equally effective in containing blood pressure.

The team reported that only 250 ml of beetroot juice was required to control blood pressure. The beetroot treatment is likely to find many takers in the developed world and some countries like India where there are reportedly more than 100 million people suffering from the disease.