Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Whole Foods Approach for Elevating Dietary Nitrate Intake: Have Researchers Concentrated Too Much on Beetroot Juice?

Alex Griffiths, Shatha Alhulaefi, Eleanor J. Hayes, Jamie Matu, Kirsten Brandt, Anthony Watson, Mario Siervo, Oliver M. Shannon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, a number of studies have explored the potential salutary effects of dietary nitrate, with promising findings emerging. Indeed, numerous investigations have now demonstrated that increasing intake of dietary nitrate can reduce blood pressure, improve endothelial function, decrease platelet aggregation, increase cognitive function and brain perfusion, and enhance exercise performance. Most researchers have explored the health and/or performance effects of dietary nitrate by providing participants with concentrated beetroot juice, which is rich in this compound. Another strategy for increasing/optimising dietary nitrate intake, which could be embraced alongside or instead of nitrate-rich supplements in research and non-research settings, is the consumption of whole nitrate-rich vegetables. In this review, we explore the potential advantages and disadvantages of increasing consumption of various whole nitrate-rich vegetables to augment dietary nitrate intake. We compare the cost, convenience, availability, feasibility/acceptability, and efficacy of consumption of nitrate via whole nitrate-rich vegetables against concentrated beetroot juice ‘shots’ as defined supplements. We also discuss possible strategies that could be used to help individuals maximise their intake of nitrate via whole vegetables, and outline potential avenues for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7319
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes

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