Nancy Dell: Nitrate foods lower blood pressure; Vitamin C for cataracts

Image (1) MercyMedicalCenterLogo_20120323115516_0_0.GIF for post 1006

1. I drank beetroot juice to lower my blood pressure. It worked but I hate the taste. Are there other veggies that lower blood pressure?
Rich, Internet

Beetroot juice can lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure around 10 points about 3 hours after drinking it.

Beetroot juice is high in dietary nitrates which convert to compounds in the body that relax arteries and improve your blood flow. This results in significantly lower blood pressure.

However, the taste of beetroot juice can be undesirable for some people. Luckily, other vegetables are also high in dietary nitrates. You want to consume 300 to 500 milligrams of nitrates a day to lower blood pressure. You can do so with:

300 milligrams of Nitrates

  • 1/3 cup raw spinach
  • 3/4 cup cooked collard greens
  • 3 cups raw leafy lettuce
  • 3 stalks of celery

It can be quite easy to do. So if you have high blood pressure try to eat 1 or 2 of these servings a day.

Can you take a supplement with nitrates to lower blood pressure? They are available but they can be harmful. Get the nitrates from food.

2. Does vitamin C help prevent cataracts?
Sue, Hadley

Cataracts cause cloudy spots in your vision. By age 80, 50 percent of people have cataracts. Some studies show moderate doses of vitamin C – 60 to 250 milligrams- may help to reduce the risk of cataracts when taken for 10 years or more.

However, more is not better and may be harmful. For example, one study in women who took a supplement with 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day for 10 years found a 46% increase in cataracts.

In a second study people took a multivitamin containing 60 mg of vitamin C had an 18% reduction in the risk of cataracts. You can get vitamin C from foods but if you supplement to reduce cataracts, don’t exceed 250 milligrams.

Comments are closed.