The findings of a recent study suggest that drinking beetroot juice promotes a mix of mouth bacteria that are associated with healthier brain function and blood vessels. The findings of the study were published in the journal 'Redox Biology'. Beetroot - and other foods including lettuce, spinach, and celery - are rich in inorganic nitrate, and many oral bacteria play a role in turning nitrate into nitric oxide, which helps to regulate blood vessels and neurotransmission (chemical messages in the brain). Older people tend to have lower nitric oxide production, and this is associated with poorer vascular (blood vessel) and cognitive (brain) health. In the new study, by the University of Exeter, 26 healthy older people took part in two ten-day supplementation periods: one with nitrate-rich beetroot juice and another with nitrate-free placebo juice, which they drank twice a day.