A diet rich in fruits and vegetables gives you plenty of antioxidants, and eating the right veggies may also lower your blood pressure. That’s according to British researchers who found that healthy volunteers who drank 500 mL (about two cups) of beet juice experienced a drop in blood pressure in just an hour, with the peak drop occurring three to four hours afterward. The benefit lasted to some degree for as long as 24 hours. Authors of the study, published in the journal Hypertension, say their research indicates that consuming dietary nitrate contained in beet juice—and in green, leafy vegetables—causes the blood pressure decrease. In the past, a vegetable-rich diet’s protective effects were attributed only to its antioxidant vitamin content.