If you like beet juice, here's another reason to drink up: It helps lower blood pressure, according to a study in the journal Hypertension, which included 64 people with elevated blood pressure. A daily cup (8 ounces) lowered systolic pressure by 8 points, on average, and diastolic pressure by 2 to 5 points over four weeks; improvements in blood vessel functioning and arterial stiffness were also observed.
The researchers attributed the benefit to nitrates in beets, which cause blood vessels to dilate, since a placebo beet juice beverage that contained no nitrates had no effects. The blood pressure reduction was "of clinical significance," they also noted, coming close to that of taking a single antihypertensive drug at standard dose. Other vegetables contain nitrates too, but beetroot juice is an especially rich source; borscht is another option.
See also: It's Hard to Beat Beet Juice.