We all know that we should always look out for whatever food that we are eating. This is to make sure that we will have a healthy lifestyle and will be able to do the different things that we should do in order for us to be alive. Before, a lot of people who are into fresh and organic kinds of foods. Because during their times, these are the only foods that are available. There were no preservatives back which is why a lot of people no longer have to worry about their health. But today, we are now living a life with the different kinds of processed foods. Nitrates are one of the main elements why preserved foods will last for a long time.
Canned foods are the best examples of processed foods. Because it is already pre-cooked so that it will be easier for us to eat. And it is also similar to fast foods because you will be able to eat them instantly without too much preparation. Unlike those raw foods where we need to do all of the preparations on our own. And only a few people know that these foods have Nitrates. Which is one of the reasons why it can last on your shelf for a long time.
Nitrates are elements that are present in different kinds of foods that we are eating. A lot of nitrates can be found in the different kinds of processed foods. Which is why we should be extra careful whenever we will go and buy canned goods or ready to cook kinds of meat. But if there is too much of this kind of an element, it will not be good for your health. It can cause cancer which is why we should be careful in choosing the kind of food that we are going to buy.
Aside from these facts, Nitrates also have its pros and cons. It is just like the other things in this world where there are good effects and bad effects. It may be contradicting, but it has the ability to keep everything balanced.
Here is are some statements/facts about Nitrates that are found in our food.
What are nitrates?
- Actually, there are Nitrates and Nitrites. The difference between the two is the number of oxygen that each has. Nitrate has three oxygen elements, while the nitrite has only two. You can find these elements in the different kinds of foods. Most likely the processed foods. It has the ability to help turn your food into the color red or pink. This is to help preserve its life and for you to be able to eat the food even after it is being prepared. This is the effect of the oxygen-binding proteins in the different kinds of meat, which is why the meat changes its color. Without these elements or additives, our meat will eventually turn brown and will no longer be edible.
Kinds of nitrates
- There are two effects of Nitrates, one bad and one good. Nitric Oxide is the term used for the good effects of the nitrite, and Nitrosamines of the bad effect. But most of the time, the Nitric Oxide dominates in most food. It also gives a lot of good benefits. Also, it is even believed that it has the ability to reduce the risk of cancer. These good nitrates are commonly found in vegetables, or any natural or organic foods. So far, vegetables are the kinds of foods where natural nitrates are found. They are safe and has a lot of good contribution to our bodies.
- We now know that the processed and preserved meat comes in pink or read in color. This is also because of the nitrates. But you will get fewer Nitrates from the processed or preserved meat than the vegetables. It is commonly used in bacon, ham, hot dogs and other kinds of meats that need some preservatives. Nitrates also have the ability to provide the salty taste of the meat so that it will have a little bit of flavor and for it to taste good. They function as preservatives so that it will avoid the bacteria growth as it age. These kinds of meat are safe even if they are not placed in the freezer for quite a while.And even if you placed it inside the freezer, it will still help keep your meat last until you can cook them.
Nitrates in our body
- Our body naturally produces some Nitrates. And it usually comes in large amounts and is secreted into the saliva. It also naturally circulates in the digestive system. After the breaking down of the food in the digestive system, the Nitrates and Nitrites will always go to the blood stream then back to the saliva. This is a continuous circulation and the production of natural nitrates and nitrites of our bodies.
- Another thing about the Nitrates and Nitrites is that it also functions as antimicrobials in our digestive system. This is to help kill the different kinds of pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella. This kind of a bacteria can ruin our immune system and can wear us down. And it will make us sick easily. And one great benefit of Nitrates and Nitrites is that it can be turned into Nitric Oxide because it is one of the most important signaling molecules that our body needs.
Nitrates found in water
- Basically, Nitrates and Nitrites are found almost everywhere. Even in the water that we are drinking, there is still a small amount of nitrate. A lot of us are unaware of this because not all of us will be able to believe that it has the ability to carry this kind of element. It is usually found in tap water or semi-hard water. Even if you have a water filter at home, there will always be a small percentage of nitrate in the filtered water that you are drinking. And since there is still nitrate or nitrite present in most waters, it is advisable not to give your infant this kind of water. Babies are still slowly building their immune system. And not all the time that Nitrates have great benefits. Which is why you should give purified water to your infants. This is to assure that they will be safe. Because their bodies won’t be able to process that much of Nitrate. And this can cause a serious problem. And the most common condition is methamoglobenia.
- Methamoglobenia is a condition that commonly affects infants. Which is why every parent should be careful on whatever water that they will use to give their infants. But with adults, it is okay. Because we already have built our immune system. We are no longer as fragile as a tiny infant. But, a concentrated nitrate water is no longer safe. It can also harm us. Which is why there are different kinds of water filters and purifiers in the market for you to get. This is to make sure that you will not get the negative effects of nitrates.
The good side of nitrates and nitrites.
- Just like all other things, it also has its own good and bad sides. Just like food, if we eat too much or too less, we get fat or malnourished and we also might acquire different kinds of diseases. Which is why the right amount of food that we can fill in our stomachs is already enough to keep us well fed. And when it comes to nitrates, it has a lot of good benefits to our body and health.
- As we all know, that nitrites are already in our body. Because we produce them and at the same time we also eat or drink the different kinds of food that have nitrate content. Nitrate will sometimes convert itself into Nitric Oxide. This only occurs whenever nitrite will lose one atom. And whenever this happens, nitric oxide is the result. Nitric oxide is a kind of a gas that is short-lived, which has one of the most important roles in the body. This is to help send signals because it travels with the blood and being assisted by the muscle cells around the arteries.
- Since the Nitrates will pass through the arteries of our hearts, it has the ability to relax our cardiac muscles. which is one of the good benefits that it gives. because it lessens the risk of high blood pressure. Which is one of the most common reasons why a lot of people suffering. It also has the ability to prevent chest pain. The nitrate has the ability to prevent or reverse angina. This happens whenever the heart doesn’t have enough oxygen from the blood flow.
- Another thing about Nitrates is that it has the ability to reduce your blood pressure up to 4-10mm/Hg in just a matter of hours. Which is why a lot of people are taking different kinds of nitrate supplements because of its health benefits.
Nitrates as fuel
- A lot of people who are into the different kinds of physical activity. They also want to sweat so that they will be able to feel good about their bodies and health. Another thing about Nitrates is that it has the ability to enhance and develop the physical performance of an individual. Especially if the intensity of the physical activity is very high.
- Athletes can drink beet juice as a substitute for their energy drink. It is the same with the different kinds of energy drinks in the market. But this kind of a juice is a lot healthier because it is natural. Because it has the ability to increase Nitrates and makes the mitochondria produce more energy. Which is why whenever you take a drink of a beet juice, you will feel more energized. Then whenever you feel down right after a workout you can always have a glass of beet juice to give back energy to your body. Another thing about beet juice is that it has the ability to improve the performance of an athlete or for a person who works out a lot.
Nitrates turning into Nitrosamines
- Pocessed foods in the market contain the most preservatives. Most of the these foods they all have nitrates. too many Nitrates are also bad for the health. Because it has the tendency that it will be exposed to high heat. And whenever this happens, the Nitrates will turn into nitrosamines.
- We all love the different kinds of processed foods. Because most of them are quick and easy to prepare so that we will be able to eat quickly. Most of the processed foods are exposed to heat and can convert the Nitrates into nitrosamines. If given the chance to continue to eat the different kinds of processed foods without worrying about our health. all we have to do is to choose the right kind of process food that we want to eat. and make sure that they don’t have any nitrate content. This is to make sure that you will have any nitrosamine in your body.
- Whenever you choose to get meat, choose the one that is well-frozen. because it doesn’t have any nitrosamine content anymore. A well-frozen meat will keep the nitrosamine from forming. And also double check that kind of meat to be sure that it is safe for you to cook and eat and serve to your family.
There are a lot of people who are not conscious about the different kinds of food that they eat. Processed food can actually ruin your health. And also there are also other good benefits of it as long as you know where and what to do with the food or drink that has Nitrate content.
Choose the right kind of food whenever you go to the grocery. Just to be sure that whatever that you will pick will be safe for your health. There are many ways on how to choose which kind of food that you will get in order to avoid the negative effects of nitrates=nitrosamine. We all eat processed foods. And we already have a few those nitrosamine elements in our bodies. But if we still want to have the same kind of processed food to eat without the worry of getting the negative effects of nitrosamine, we should get the nitrate-free kinds of food. This is to assure that we will be safe.
But on the other side, we also cannot live without nitrates. Because it has the ability to give us enough energy whenever we are working out. A lot of athletes are taking different kinds of nitrate supplements so that they will be able to do their performance according to the way they want. This is to regenerate or produce energy to their body, especially if the physical movement is intense.
- If you’re that kind of a person who likes to go to the gym or very athletic, you should take different kinds of supplements or foods that are rich in Nitrates. But be cautious with the food or drinks that you choose so that you will also keep your diet healthy. Different kinds of juices also have nitrates. One of the most popular is the beet juice. It is rich in nitrates that can help build energy in preparation for the different kinds of activities that you will be doing throughout the day.