We keep hearing how great walking is for our health, yet millions can’t even make it from the living room to the kitchen without being in total agony!
Imagine not being able to go out to your mailbox… or even take a short walk… without suffering agonizing pain and burning in your leg muscles.
But those debilitating symptoms magically go away when you rest.
That’s the reality for around 12 million seniors in the U.S. with peripheral artery disease, or PAD.
The pain from PAD is caused by blockages in the leg arteries that restrict blood flow. That starves your muscles of the oxygen needed for movement and explains why the pain goes away when you sit down.
As you might have guessed, anyone diagnosed with PAD quickly gets a speed pass at the pharmacy.
Now, however, we’ve discovered a treatment for PAD that comes directly from the best pharmacist of all — Mother Nature!
The miracle cure I’m talking about is beets.
Previously, researchers at the University of Virginia found that taking a “shot” of beet juice before exercise allowed those with PAD to walk nearly 20 percent farther without pain than those who were given a placebo drink.
In this new study, the Virginia researchers divided PAD patients into two groups, with half having a drink of beetroot juice several hours before exercising on a treadmill for 30 minutes.
And like the earlier findings, the beetroot group had less leg cramping (another common PAD condition) and pain.
By the end of the three-month experiment, the beet bunch were walking longer distances, too.
If you’re one of the millions suffering from PAD, you know that anything that can give you a head start on walking is worth its weight in gold.
The more you can move, the less pain you’ll have and the easier it will be to get around. In fact, research has found that just keeping up with a walking routine for six weeks gave PAD sufferers a 300 percent improvement in walking without pain!
While this was a small study involving only 35 patients, it’s not the first time that beets have been found to have some incredible health-promoting properties. Beets, it turns out, can not only help the blood flow to your legs, but they benefit your brain as well!
Earlier this year, researchers at the University of South Florida discovered that the compound that gives beets that dark red color, called betalain, could be the miracle substance we’ve all been hoping for to prevent Alzheimer’s disease!
Other potent health effects from beetroot juice (which you can easily find in ready-to-drink forms in the supermarket) include:
- improving the oxygen flow to your brain,
- lowering your blood pressure and blood sugar,
- improving digestion, and
- lowering your risk of heart disease.
In fact, beetroot juice has such a strong effect on lowering blood pressure that if you’re currently taking a hypertension med, it can actually bring your readings down too low!
Beets might seem like an afterthought for a salad… or even a pain-in-the-neck side dish, since they can stain a placemat or tablecloth so easily… but considering what we now know about this red root veggie, I think you’ll find that preparing some is worth the trouble.
The only caveat with this veggie is that it’s high in oxalates… something you don’t want excessive amounts of if you’ve had kidney stones or gout.
And remember, beetroot juice can turn your urine (and poop) a dark red color that can be scary if you don’t know where it’s coming from!
But none of that is nearly as scary as the statins, anticoagulants, and pain meds that are the norm for PAD (and who knows what else docs are giving out off-label to treat it?).
You won’t get your insurance to cover your bushels of beets, but don’t worry – even if you go organic, they won’t break the bank.
Plus that, there’s no doctor’s visit or Rx required!
“Beet juice may reduce walking pain with leg artery disease” Lisa Rapaport, September 7, 2018, Reuters, reuters.com