Researchers from the University of Reading gave 24 participants with four slices (200g) of bread containing 100g of beetroot or a control bread with no beetroot added to it, the Daily Express reported.
It was found that the diastolic blood pressure of those who ate the "beetroot bread" was lowered by 7mmHg when compared to the control group, approximately three hours after consumption.
The component of beetroot bread thought to be responsible for the beneficial effects on blood vessel function and blood pressure is dietary nitrate.
According to the researchers, when dietary nitrate is eaten it produces nitric oxide in the blood vessel wall which causes relaxation of the vessel and increased blood flow. This ultimately results in lowering of blood pressure and an improvement in blood vessel function.
The study is published in the Journal of Nutrition.