What Are Nitrates and Nitrites?

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Nitrates are mainly produced for use in agriculture as fertilizers. The main nitrates are potassium, calcium, sodium, and ammonia salts. Nitrates are also fast oxidizing agents and because of this they are used in creating explosives. Sodium nitrite is the most common nitrite used for curing meat because it discourages bacterial growth. Sodium nitrite is actually the chemical responsible for giving cured meat its pinkish look.

Nitrates and nitrites have been linked to cardiovascular disease as well as cancer in the literature. As a result, many people vilify cured meats and processed meats – including our beloved bacon. But do you know where the majority of your nitrates and nitrites come from? Approximately 80% of ingested nitrites and nitrates come from fruits and vegetables.

Aren’t fruits and vegetables good for us? You bet they are, and believe it or not it, that may be due to some of the physiological effects of nitrates. The beneficial effects of nitrates and nitrates may include lowered blood pressure, decreased oxidation, improved immune system function, and neurotransmission. This is mainly due to the conversion of salivary nitrates into nitric oxide, as the majority of nitrates are found in human saliva.

In addition, researchers were able to identify the protein sialin as a nitrate transporter. Not only is sialin shown in salivary glands, but also the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.2 This shows that nitrates and their conversion to nitric oxide may play an important role in the health of a number of our organs.

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What should we do to avoid adding to much nitrate

As we know from the above, most of nitrate are come from fruits and vegetables. Some vegetables due to the unhealthy grow, they may in high level of nitrate, and if the fruits and vegetables are not fresh, they are in higher nitrate level. So it is very important to choose the fresh vegetable and fruits.

When picking up vegetables and fruits, some nitrate detetor can help you check the level before buying them. Some kinds of vegetables are in high level of nitrate. With this tool, you can easily know wether the food your are buying are healthy or not.

What’s more, some kinds of vegetables are high in pesticides, in other words, those vegetables that are in high pesticides may contain higher nitrate than normal. So it is quite important to wash your vegetables and fruits throughly before cooking, you can learn more about Harm of Pesticide Residue and its Detection Method.

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