Beetroot Juice Helps Older Brains Act Younger

Positive Effects on the Mind




iMarzi/Shutterstock.com

Beets contain high levels of dietary nitrate, which can increase blood flow and improve exercise performance. Researchers from Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, tested the impact of consuming beetroot juice prior to exercise on the somatomotor cortex, the part of the brain that processes information from the muscles.

Twenty-six older adults with hypertension that generally don’t exercise were split into two groups. Half were given a beetroot juice supplement with 560 milligrams of nitrate prior to a thrice-weekly, 50-minute treadmill walk for six weeks. The other half were given a placebo with very little nitrate. The beetroot juice group showed substantially higher levels of nitrate after exercising than the placebo group.

“We knew going in that a number of studies had shown that exercise has positive effects on the brain,” explains W. Jack Rejeski, director of the Behavioral Medicine Laboratory in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Wake Forest and study co-author. “We showed that compared to exercise alone, adding a beetroot juice supplement for hypertensive older adults to exercise resulted in brain connectivity that closely resembles what is seen in younger adults.”


This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Photography for Beginners—Informal Workshop and Outdoor Shoot

These photo walks include time for participants to learn basic camera functions ranging from aperture and exposure to white balance.

New Tea, Reiki and Tarot Event, Thursdays at Barefoot Acupuncture

People can expect to have a fun time and leave feeling much lighter and more at peace, able to make decisions with greater confidence, or feel more relaxed and clear.

Net Impact’s Annual Conference, NI18: Outside the Lines!

This year’s Net Impact Conference, titled NI18: Outside the Lines!, will be held Thursday, October 25, through Saturday, October 27, at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Herbal Certification Course

Learn about healing the body naturally by attending the SW Herb Shop's Herbal Certification Course.

Friday Bird Walk with Lisa Murphy at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Engaging Friday bird walk guide Lisa Murphy invites all who love birds to join her for a walk around the main trail every other Friday at 8:30 a.m. at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum (BTA) State Park.

Add your comment: