IT'S a staple ingredient in every good Kiwi burger or salad, and now researchers have found beetroot is also good for your heart.
The UK study found drinking a glass of beetroot juice helped lower blood pressure.
The study, published in American Heart Association journal, Hypertension, tested 15 people who were given either 250ml of beetroot juice or water, with those drinking the juice showing a drop in blood pressure even after 24 hours.
Previous studies have also found a link between beetroot and blood pressure, including an Australian study published by Nutrition Journal in December last year.
Researchers found similar results in 30 participants who were given a mix of beetroot and apple juice, with men showing a greater drop in blood pressure than women.
The effect is down to beetroot's high level of nitrates, said Caryn Zinn, dietitian and NZ Nutrition Foundation sports nutrition committee member.
"They can do all sorts of positive things, such as reducing blood pressure,'' she said.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Beetroot also has benefits for sports people, Dr Zinn said, as other recent studies have shown it helps improve stamina by reducing the oxygen cost of exercise.
Leafy green vegetables, such as celery, lettuce, spinach and rocket, are also good sources of nitrates, but beetroot is a particularly concentrated source.
However, Dr Zinn urged caution around drinking some commercial beetroot juices which may contain added sugar.
"If you're drinking a whole lot of beetroot juice, yes you're getting some nitrates, but sugar and to a certain extent carbohydrates are also currently being implicated in cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and diabetes.
"You're still getting the benefit by eating the vegetable,'' she said.
For best health benefits, she said, beetroot should be eaten as part of a healthy diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Heinz Wattie's is New Zealand's major beetroot grower. This year it harvested a record 26,000 tonne crop in Hawke's Bay, up by 80 per cent on last year. Most of the crop was destined for export markets.
Production at Hawke's Bay has increased after Heinz Wattie's moved some of its beetroot production from Australia.
New Zealanders consume about 2400 tonnes - about six million cans - of Heinz Wattie's canned beetroot a year, with another 600 tonnes supplied to the hospitality industry.
Big 5,261m2 vacant block situated in the heart of Ipswich's hottest real estate precinct. Current zoning enables multiple options for development * 5,261m2 block...
Approx 15.035 acres or 6 ha in fact! AND within close proximity to the city! It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase a large parcel of fertile land so...
For those who appreciate quality, style, location but want more house for less money. This brand new Metricon home is impressive and well appointed. Come on spoil...
The owners of this Brassall Hi Set are keen to sell and the property location of the property is one of its draw cards. The property has two street frontage so...
The heading describes this great property in two words and you won't be disappointed when you book an appointment to view this great home. Located in the best...
What a package - great price with a great return. These long term tenants have been here for 5 years and have signed another lease until 15th August 2016.
This brand new Simonds home is built and ready for you to occupy..now! Positioned high in the new Sovereign Pocket estate at Deebing Heights. A family friendly...
This impressive immaculate family home has it all. The large block, large home and fantastic outdoor area with a beautiful sparkling pool and all this luxury in...
The City View Hotel was built in 1908 and was designed by renowned architect Brockwell Gill. Distinguishable for its iconic 2 storey octagonal tower the building...
* Professional offices on 2 levels and dine-in Coffee Shop Will sell separately * Main street frontage with high volume traffic in the heart of the Ipswich CBD...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.