Monday, 27 May 2013

Just beet it

Greeting readers! Apologies for the extended absence - I was busy getting married to hot doc!

Anyone's who's organized a wedding will know how crazy it is, but thankfully I'm back in the normal non-wedding world again which has also given me a chance to catch-up on some nutrition reading.

There's always lots of research on individual nutrients, but there is also increasingly research on using whole foods to treat disease.  This is partly in recognition of the fact that whole foods contain a variety of nutrients that work together in synergy.  The great thing about this kind of research is that unlike the usual high science, this research can translate into changes you can make day to day that will have an impact on your health.

So on that theme I want to talk about beetroot, which has been shown in a recent study to lower blood pressure.  The research by the University of Reading showed that drinking a small amount of beetroot juice, equivalent to eating two small beetroots, lowered blood pressure in people with elevated levels.

The problem with alot of widespread conditions such as blood pressure, is that GPs have targets to treat these as quickly as possible so will have you on blood pressure lowering drugs before you even have a chance to ask about any alternatives. But if you can treat yourself with food then this would always be preferable to using synthetic drugs which have numerous side effects and don't address the underlying reason that you got your condition in the first place.

If you or someone you know has high blood pressure, they should start eating some beetroot pronto (or even better if you have a juicer add it raw to your morning fruit juice), but more importantly if you have any health condition you should be finding out what you can do about it with food rather than just relying on medication to get you back to top health.  Food Is Better Medicine Than Drugs is a great place to start - Patrick Holford is the authority on this subject and brilliant at making the information accessible to the non-scientist - it might save you a few trips to the GP!

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