beets for women's hearts

Post-Menopausal Heart Health

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among women, especially after menopause. As women age, the risk of CVD increases significantly. One promising non-drug approach to improving heart health in older adults is consuming nitrate-rich foods like beetroot juice, which can boost nitric oxide levels and improve blood vessel function. This study aimed to see how short-term consumption of beetroot juice affects blood vessel health and resistance to damage in postmenopausal women at different stages of menopause.

The Study:

Researchers divided 24 postmenopausal women into two groups: those who were 1–6 years post-menopause and those who were more than 6 years post-menopause. Each woman drank either nitrate-rich beetroot juice or a placebo beetroot juice with very little nitrate every day for a week. The health of their blood vessels was measured before and after the week-long supplementation period, as well as after a simulated injury to the blood vessels.

The results showed that drinking nitrate-rich beetroot juice significantly improved blood vessel function compared to the placebo. However, this benefit did not last long after the last dose, and neither juice prevented the decline in blood vessel function following the simulated injury. This suggests that the protective effects of nitrate-rich beetroot juice depend on when it is consumed and how the body processes dietary nitrates over time.

Beets for Women’s Hearts

Incorporating beets into your diet is a simple and delicious way to support heart health. Here are five ways to add beetroot juice or beets to your daily meals, helping to promote cardiovascular health and overall wellness:

1. Beetroot Juice: Drinking beetroot juice is one of the most straightforward ways to benefit from the heart-healthy properties of beets. You can purchase pre-made beetroot juice from health food stores or make your own at home using a juicer. Consuming a glass of beetroot juice daily can help increase your nitrate intake, which boosts nitric oxide levels and supports healthy blood vessel function. For added flavor, mix beetroot juice with other vegetable juices or a splash of lemon juice.

2. Beet Salads: Beets can be a delicious addition to salads, providing a burst of color and nutrients. Roast or boil beets, then slice or dice them and add them to your favorite salads. Combine beets with leafy greens, goat cheese, walnuts, and a balsamic vinaigrette for a heart-healthy and satisfying meal. Beets can also be shredded raw and added to salads for a crunchy texture.

3. Beet Smoothies: Incorporating beets into smoothies is an easy way to enhance your diet with their heart-healthy benefits. Blend cooked or raw beets with fruits like berries, bananas, and apples, along with a handful of spinach or kale, for a nutrient-packed smoothie. Adding a scoop of protein powder or Greek yogurt can make the smoothie a complete meal, perfect for breakfast or a post-workout snack.

4. Beet Soups: Beetroot soup, such as borscht, is a traditional dish in many cultures and a great way to include beets in your diet. Simmer beets with vegetables like carrots, onions, and potatoes, and add broth to create a hearty and flavorful soup. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and fresh herbs. Beet soups can be served hot or cold, making them versatile for any season.

5. Roasted Beets: Roasting beets brings out their natural sweetness and makes them a delicious side dish. Peel and chop beets into bite-sized pieces, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in the oven until tender. Roasted beets can be enjoyed on their own, added to grain bowls, or used as a topping for pizzas and flatbreads. Combining roasted beets with other roasted vegetables creates a colorful and nutritious medley.

By incorporating beets into your diet in these various ways, you can enjoy their delicious flavor while reaping the benefits for your heart health. Beets for women’s hearts offer a natural and effective way to support cardiovascular function, particularly as women age and the risk of heart disease increases.

Resource:

  1. Jocelyn M. Delgado Spicuzza et al. Seven-day dietary nitrate supplementation clinically significantly improves basal macrovascular function in postmenopausal women: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover clinical trialFrontiers in Nutrition, 2024 DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2024.1359671

Call our clinic or book online with our NDs to talk about your heart health. 705-796-0000