Move over, celery juice! There’s a new vegetable in town that’s got a number of incredible health benefits: Beet juice. In fact, scientists just figured out that a little bit of this red veggie every day can make a huge difference in your cardiovascular and neurological health — and it all comes down to your mouth’s microbiome.
In a 2021 new study published in Redox Biology, University of Exeter researchers had two 10-day trial periods, where participants first drank beet juice twice per day for the entirety of the first trial and then a placebo drink for the second one. Scientists soon discovered that beet juice created the right mix of “good” bacteria in the mouth that is linked to regulated blood vessels, better cognitive function, and lower levels of inflammation. In fact, participants’ systolic blood pressure dropped an average of five points after the initial 10-day beet juice trial. Wow!
Researchers believe that these results are due to the fact that the special bacteria formed in the mouth can turn nitrate-rich beet juice into nitric oxide. Nitrous oxide is important for maintaining healthy blood circulation and ensuring that neurotransmitters in the brain are firing the way they’re supposed to. As we get older, our bodies tend to produce less nitric oxide, which can lead to problems like heart disease and cognitive decline. By incorporating beet juice daily into our diets, we can begin to slow and even reserve some of those effects that naturally come with aging.
While this particular research focused on participants in their 70s, scientists believe many of the same effects could be present in people a decade or two younger, especially as they begin to see more and more signs of aging.
There are many recipes out there for making your own beet juice (like this one that doesn’t require a juicer!), but if you want to take a shortcut, you can also buy it in powder form (Buy on Amazon, $29.99) or in liquid bottled form (Buy on Amazon, $39.99). No matter what you do, you’re sure to see some amazing benefits!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.