25 July 2019

During the 103rd edition of the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen, Maria Hopman’s research team at Radboud university medical center carried out two studies.

Beetroot juice or vegetables rich in nitrate?
Walkers with high blood pressure had a nutritional intervention in the twelve weeks prior to the Marches. The first group drank beetroot juice every day. The second group was coached to eat more vegetables that are rich in nitrate. The third group was the control group and did not change their eating patterns.
The first results of the study reveal that upon 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, the systolic pressure decreases by 1 mmHg in the beetroot juice group, that a decrease of 2.6 mmHg was measured in the vegetables group, and that the control group showed an increase of 3.8 mmHg. These preliminary results suggest that eating nitrate-rich vegetables is the most effective approach to lower blood pressure.
 
Food on offer during the Marches
Additionally, more than 2000 walkers completed the online survey of the long-term survey study. This revealed that 60% of the walkers is more conscious about their food intake in preparation for the Four Days Marches. Although 71% of the walkers indicated that the food on offer during the Marches is varied, 36% of the walkers thought that the food on offer was unhealthy.

Maria Hopman is member of theme Mitochondrial diseases.

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