A glass of beetroot juice a day could save your life, according to Hypertension, the journal of the American Heart Association.
Beetroot is rich in antioxidants and contains calcium and phosphorous while providing nearly 5mg of vitamin C per 100mg. So it's all good for you.
According to the journal patients who drank a glass of the juice once a day were found to have significantly lower blood pressure just 24 hours later. Researchers at the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University in London compared patients who were given a 250ml glass of beetroot juice a day with those who took nitrate tablets. They found that the two methods were equally successful in reducing blood pressure.
The nitrates in the juice produce a gas known as nitric oxide which widens blood vessels and arteries and lowers blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects 16 million of us and is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
Scientists have already shown how drinking beetroot juice can boost stamina. Last year researchers from the University of Exeter and Peninsula Medical School found that it could have as much effect as a punishing training regime. They found that healthy young men were able to increase their stamina by up to 16% after drinking a glass of beetroot juice for a week.
There is one side effect. Those who consume large amounts are likely to experience purple urine, or beeturia as it's known to scientists. A small price to pay I'd say.
Beetroot juice stains anything it touches so make sure you're wide awake before pouring your daily 250ml. I'd drink it before getting dressed for the day.