Beet root has an unusually high level of nitrates – which has been shown to boost both blood flow and stamina. A research team from Queen Mary’s University in London (2010) and at the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Melbourne Australia (2012) both found that a glass of beet juice lowered blood pressure “significantly” for several hours.
Sport scientists at the University of Exeter in the UK found that two 2.5 oz shots of beet
juice taken two-and-a-half hours before exercising decreased the body’s oxygen consumption by as much as 3 %, thereby increasing the athlete’s stamina.
Wake Forest Translations Science Center in North Carolina found that consuming beet juice improved blood flow to the brain – and the frontal lobe in particular. Since this is the region of the brain most affected in dementia patients, the consuming beets for their nitrate content and concomitant increase in brain blood flow may be of benefit.
In summary, if you are in need of a boost in energy, either physically or mentally, add beets to your smoothies in the morning!
Negative emotions can and do have an effect on our physiology. The Chinese have known for centuries that anger can affect the liver, grief can affect the lungs, the kidneys can be affected by fear and so on. Now mainstream medical science has confirming data – at least when it comes to emotions like jealousy, fear and anger. Having jealous or insecure thoughts has weird effects on the brain – in particular, the amygdala – the part of the brain that is involved in our perception of fear, anger and disgust. The amygdala releases the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline as part of your stress response. The stress response is useful and necessary when it is short-lived but chronic stress and the long-term release of these hormones affects the immune system and the cardiovascular system in deleterious ways.
Having chronic or obsessive thoughts of your partner being unfaithful or with another lover, or competition (real or imagined) with another in the workplace, for example, activates the amygdala and the release of stress hormones that can raise blood pressure – and blood pressure spikes when under stress have been linked to some forms of dementia. A study out of Kyoto University in Japan, of 800 women over 38 years-of-age who felt most stressed or anxious, were at increased risk of Alzheimer’s and long-term distress. The bottom line is that if you are feeling “out or your mind” with jealousy or insecurity, the result, on a physical level, may just be literally “losing your mind”. Could it be that a high self-esteem and self-concept can protect us in some way from these mind-related diseases? Food for thought.