Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Arthur investigates...Beetroot

There has been quite a buzz about beetroot recently (beets) with it being reported to reduce high blood pressure and increase exercise performance. So, is there anything in it and how might it affect arthritis?

It seems that the high nitrate content of beetroot helps dilate blood vessels and so helps get your blood flowing. But, it's not alone in having these properties, other vegetables such as spinach and radish have a similar effect. Beetroot also contains anthocyanins, a chemical pigment which gives it it's rich rich colour. Anthocyanins are found in other deep red and purple fruit and vegetables and have been linked to helping reduce inflammation.

Eating beetroot might be useful then for people with inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, as they have both been linked to increased incidence of high blood pressure and heart disease. But the benefits aren't unique and we should all be enjoying lots of lovely blackberries, redcurrants, spinach and any other pretty coloured fruit and veg as part of a healthy diet.

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