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Red beet power


Performance enhancing, blood pressure lowering, vasodilating - these are just some of the proven positive effects of beet. Oliver Neubauer, nutritionist at the University of Vienna, is currently investigating in a clinical FWF study whether the miracle vegetable can also have preventive medical and therapeutic effects.

Red beets are among the particularly healthy vegetables because of the substances they contain - vitamins, minerals, etc. "What is less well known is that their nitrate content also has a wide variety of positive effects on the human body. For example, it has been shown to lower blood pressure and dilate blood vessels," explains nutritionist Oliver Neubauer, a member of the Active Ageing research platform at the University of Vienna: "In our current clinical study, we are also investigating an entirely new aspect, namely the potential anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects of plant nitrate."


Nitrate from plant versus animal foods
Some readers may now be somewhat skeptical, as nitrate concentration in food has so far been associated with possible negative effects on health. Oliver Neubauer emphasizes that the distinction between plant and animal nitrate is essential: "The growing evidence of positive physiological effects of nitrate-storing plants counters health concerns of dietary intake of nitrate, such as from salted meat. But again, I want to underline that a link between nitrate intake and cancer in humans has not been established."

So why does nitrate from plants, such as red beets, have many positive effects on health, in contrast to animal nitrate? "The essential factor here is probably that nitrate from vegetables acts in combination and in close interaction with vitamins and other secondary plant substances," Neubauer explains.


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