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Occurs in the human body and in fruits and vegetables, but these compounds are also added by manufacturers to processed foods to preserve them longer. So how do nitrates and nitrites in food affect health? Let’s find out with Cfis.edu.vn!
What are nitrates and nitrites in food?
Nitrates are NO3 and nitrites are NO2, these two compounds are relatively inert ie stable, incapable of change and harmful to the human body. However, bacteria in the mouth or enzymes in the body can convert nitrates to nitrites, and nitrites can be turned into nitric oxide, which is beneficial for the body, or into nitrosamines, which can be harmful.
Taking advantage of nitrite’s ability to convert into nitric oxide, manufacturers add processed meats to aid in color change and preserve meat fresher and pinker.
Where are nitrates and nitrites found?
Manufacturers often use nitrates and nitrites in processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs. This compound has the ability to prevent the proliferation and proliferation of many types of harmful bacteria, helping to keep the meat pink and making the meat more salty.
Besides, nitrites and nitrates also found in vegetables help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and other diseases. Nitrates may also be present in water.
In addition, the human body can produce nitrate on its own and secrete it into saliva. They aid in killing bacteria like Salmonella and can be helpful in keeping the body healthy.
Benefits of nitrates and nitrites
Blood pressure and heart health
When nitrates and nitrites are converted into nitric oxide, blood vessels dilate and blood pressure drops.
Moreover, nitrates contained in the drug Nitroglycerin support the treatment of heart failure, support the treatment of angina attacks when the heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen due to low blood flow.
Enhance the performance of the body
When doing high-intensity endurance training, you can use beetroot or beetroot juice because beets contain inorganic nitrates and pigments that help increase the efficiency of the parts of the cells that produce energy. quantity is mitochondria.
Risks when using foods with nitrates and nitrites
When nitrates and nitrites are converted to nitrosamines by high heat, the compound is harmful to the body, some of which can increase the risk of cancer. In particular, in some studies, consuming high levels of sodium nitrate has been shown to increase the risk of colorectal cancer, leukemia, ovarian cancer, etc.
How to limit the absorption of nitrosamines from nitrates and nitrites
When choosing foods, it is advisable to choose processed products without nitrates or when processing, they should be kept at low temperatures to avoid burning. You can preserve prepared products by freezing them.
Prioritize eating organic foods that are not grown with synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. Increase the intake of antioxidant-rich foods rich in vitamin C to reduce nitrate metabolism.
Users need to carefully study food labels before buying and preparing foods properly to avoid consuming too much nitrosamine.
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Source: Vinmec.com health information page
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