Twin Cities Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

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

The Mindfulness of Water

Water. A precious resource and the foundation of our biological survival. It is not just our bodies that need it, but our minds that crave it. When we connect with water, we engage in a deeper connection to ourselves.

Letter from the Publisher

Connection. We all crave it and seek to achieve it. Recently, I’ve noticed an increase in people looking to experience real connection with their family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.

Registrations Open for Activating Your Heartsong Retreat

Michele Rae, from The Center Within, is co-hosting the Activating Your Heartsong retreat, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 14, at Synairea, in Hastings.

Minnesota Pottery Festival July 28-29

The 7th annual Minnesota Pottery Festival will be held July 28 and 29, on the grounds of the Clay Coyote, a gallery and pottery studio, in Hutchinson. The hours on Saturday are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. This is a free event with free parking.

Bell Museum’s Mammoth Grand Opening July 13-15

The Bell Museum has a mammoth-sized grand opening weekend set for July 13 to 15.

Add your comment: