Indianapolis 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

Mindfulness Based StressReduction Classes Return

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes return at CenterPoint Counseling this fall with their eight-week program and one-day mindfulness retreat, with orientation sessions available the third and fourth week of August.

Indy Folk Fest Brings Neighborhood Together

The eighth annual Indy Folk Fest will once again gather neighbors and friends from noon to 10 p.m. on August 18 at the Indy Hostel.

Annual Cumberland Arts Festival Blends Art, Food and Fun

Come celebrate the end of summer at the 10th annual Cumberland Arts Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 18 at the Cumberland Town Hall.

Letter from Publisher

August is cherished by most of us from an early age as the last chance for summer vacations before the new school year starts. Excited anticipation wrestles with a bittersweet farewell to summer’s goodness.

Little Hands on the Farm Returns to the Indiana State Fair

Experience the best of Indiana with 17 days of entertainment, food and exhibits spread out over 250 acres at the Indiana State Fair, August 3 to 19.

Add your comment: