Many people eat about twice the recommended level of salt in their daily diet.
This makes the level of sodium in their bodies very high. These people are more likely to have high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
One way to solve the problem is to eat more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables, which can lessen the effects of sodium on cardiovascular health.
However, many people don’t follow the suggestion. It is important to find new ways to prevent salt-induced high blood pressure.
In a recent study from UCSF, researchers found that eating a small amount of beetroot may help prevent high blood pressure caused by a salty diet.
They also found that dietary nitrate supplements have similar health benefits.
The study is published in the journal Hypertension. The lead author is Dr. Theodore W. Kurtz, a professor of laboratory medicine at UCSF.
The team fed salt-sensitive rats salt along with small amounts of beetroot juice or dietary nitrate.
Dietary nitrate is found in the root and leafy vegetables such as beetroot, spinach, lettuce, and celery.
They found that both the juice and the nitrate supplement were more than 100 times more potent than potassium in protecting against salt-induced high blood pressure.
This finding may provide a new method for reducing salt-induced high blood pressure simply by adding a nitrate concentrate to certain salty foods.
Future work will test the method on humans to see if simply eating beetroot or dietary nitrate could help fight high blood pressure.
The team also suggests that people who need to control blood pressure should eat diets rich in fruits and vegetables, such as the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet.
Both diets could help prevent heart disease and stroke. Root and green, leafy vegetables are features of the DASH diet.
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