You can find nitrates in various foods, but what do nitrates do to your body? Find out how they can benefit your health and wellness.
Naturally found in plants, nitrates can provide heart benefits as they are absorbed into your gastrointestinal tract. As you consume foods with nitrates, your body converts them to nitrites and distributes them throughout your body. The following is an overview of the beneficial effects nitrates have on your body.
In addition to finding them in certain vegetables, nitrates are also added to processed foods to preserve color and enhance flavor. Plants that contain naturally high concentrations of nitrates include beets, leafy vegetables, carrots, celery, radishes, and rhubarb. Out of all of these, leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce have the highest levels.
Many processed meats also contain high levels of nitrates as additives. They are used for preservation, enhancing salty flavors, and even preserving color as it does with red meat. You can find nitrates in bacon, jerky, canned poultry products, ham, hot dogs, pork loins, and sausage.
However, these are not the only sources of nitrates; you can also find them in your drinking water. While they should not be in your water system, they can leak into it because of fertilization, wastewater, and landfill runoffs, especially if you have well water with a poorly built or disintegrating well. Nevertheless, some bottled water may contain up to 10 milligrams per deciliter of total nitrates and nitrite (as nitrogen).
Nitrates and Their Benefits
Nitrates in vegetables convert into nitric oxide (NO) after consumption. NO is a natural vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels and improves blood pressure, heart function, and workout performance. According to a 2021 diet study, eating one cup of nitrate-rich vegetables daily may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, they found that consuming moderate to high amounts of nitrate-rich vegetables resulted in a 15% lower risk of heart failure, a 12% lower risk of heart disease, and a 17% lower risk of stroke.
It is unclear if eating these nitrate-rich vegetables can help offset the symptoms of cognitive decline. Lastly, using nitrate supplements can help with endurance, building muscle, supporting skeletal health, and promoting overall performance.
While nitrates can benefit your health, it’s important that you get them from the right source instead of processed foods. Instead, focus on eating whole foods, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables. As you eat these, you may experience benefits to your cardiovascular health, blood flow, and athletic performance.
In addition to naturally occurring nitrates, you can take supplements like HeartBeet Complete to get the same benefits. As a beetroot powder supplement, it uses ingredients to promote nitric oxide production, circulation, blood pressure, energy levels, and more. Give your health the support it deserves by eating healthily and taking HeartBeet Complete.