Increasing vegetable intake to obtain the health promoting and ergogenic effects of dietary nitrate

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018 Nov;72(11):1485-1489. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0140-z. Epub 2018 Mar 20.


Increased consumption of dietary nitrate increases plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations, and has been shown to elicit cardio-protective effects and improve exercise performance. Nitrate consumption in the habitual diet is mainly dependent on nitrate-rich vegetables, such as green leafy and root vegetables, with total vegetable consumption accounting for approximately 50-85% of our daily nitrate intake. Whereas 'supplementation' with dietary nitrate in research studies has mainly been accomplished through the use of (concentrated) nitrate-rich beetroot juice, dietary strategies focusing on increased intake of nitrate-rich vegetables may represent a similarly effective alternative for increasing dietary nitrate intake and, as such, obtaining the associated cardiovascular health and ergogenic benefits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects*
  • Diet*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nitrates / administration & dosage*
  • Nitrates / pharmacology
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / administration & dosage*
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / pharmacology
  • Vegetables / chemistry*


  • Nitrates
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances