Blood benefits see British choose beetroot juice

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beetroot juice, European union

Research highlighting antioxidant-laden beetroot’s ability to reduce blood pressure and boost stamina are helping sales of beetroot juices in the UK, according to retailer Waitrose.

The chain said beetroot juice sales had jumped 82 per cent in the past 12 months, with bunched and prepared beetroot sales also increasing 15 and 22 per cent respectively, as the purple vegetable has become a mini-celebrity in hip restaurants in London and elsewhere.

Waitrose has been selling beetroot since 2006 but it is only since a 2008 study indicating its ability reduce blood pressure and another highlighting endurance benefits conducted by University of Exeter researchers last year, that sales began to rise rapidly.

The rise in public awareness of superfruits and their links to antioxidant benefits have also helped the category grow.

Waitrose sells three types of beetroot juice mixed with apple juice ranging from 12 to 90 per cent beetroot purity.

UK firm James White Drinks has been selling a juice called Beet It (formerly Heartbeet) in Sainsbury, Waitrose, Morrisons and Holland & Barrett stores, and recently launched a ‘one-shot’ 70ml version.

Holland & Barrett is going to trial our new 70ml version, which we see as a kind of healthy alternative to Red Bull shots and those types of drinks,” ​James White Drinks managing director Lawrence Mallinson, MD, told our sister publication, FoodManufacture.co.uk. recently.

The company in 2009 changed the name of the product from Heartbeet to Beet it because of concerns the former product name would be construed as a health claim under new European Union rules.

Beetroot is high in nitrates, which can act as anti-blood clotting agents. The University of Exeter study found consuming beetroot juice could double nitrate levels in the blood which reduced the amount of oxygen needed by muscles and therefore improved stamina.

Spinach is another vegetable high in nitrates but its juice has not reached market in a commercially viable form mainly due to palatability issues.

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1 comment

High Nitrates correlate with colon cancer

Posted by Joe Hart,

Carcinogenic nitrosoamine production from nitrates by gut microflora is well established. Nitrate content of vegtables is also very dependant on the levels of nitrate in soil(usually fertilizer-derived). Hence it surprizing that the advantages of high nitrate are being promoted when there are other benifits to focus on.
No side effects were reported in this study except for the red colouration of urine (beeturia). Whether or not beetroot juice can be used as a natural nitrate supplement, and whether it is of benefit to athletes needs further testing.

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