Foods high in nitrates, such as beetroot juice, stimulate the inner lining of blood vessels to secrete nitric oxide, a chemical that controls blood flow. Beetroot juice has positive effects on blood pressure, sexual performance and endurance exercise capacity. Beetroot juice has cardiovascular benefits in patients with high cholesterol— according to a six-week study led by Shanti Velmurugan from the William Harvey Research Institute in London, U.K. Subjects receiving beetroot juice showed a 24 percent improvement in blood vessel performance (flow-mediated dilatation). Beetroot juice also reduced platelet stickiness by 10 percent, which decreases the risk of blood clot formation and heart attack. Beetroot juice is a heart-healthy food that improves blood vessel health.