Beet Bread Shows Heart-Health Potential

September 13, 2013

Bread might deliver beets (and their nutrients) in a compliant-friendly fashion.

Beets are earning recognition for their rich sources of heart-healthy nitrates, which can convert into nitric oxide that helps blood flow through the human body. But very few people eat beets regularly-at least in the United Kingdom. To find a more practical way of incorporating this nutrient into the local diet, UK researchers are exploring the heart health potential of beet bread.

In a crossover trial, 23 healthy men were assigned to eat bread with or without 100 g of added beetroot. After consumption, each subject was monitored for changes to blood pressure and vasodilation, the ability of the blood vessels to widen for steady blood flow. Consumption of the beet-enriched bread appeared to lower diastolic blood pressure and support vasodilation in the smaller networks of blood vessels, which are often implicated in heart disease.

The heart-healthy benefits of beet still need backing from larger studies-especially since previous study results have varied-but these UK researchers did conclude that beet might possibly serve as a new aid in the management of hypertension. And delivering beet in bread could make compliance a whole lot easier.

To learn more about natural ingredients that support nitric oxide, look for Nutritional Outlook’s October 2013 sports feature.