Nitrates and their affects of health

Nitrates and their affects of health

Nitrate is a compound of nitrogen which forms in the soil. A certain amount of nitrates are naturally in every plant. However, high doses of nitrates can be toxic to the body. Nitrates are especially dangerous for:

• Babies under three months old

• Pregnant women

• People who have a lack of certain ferments

• Children and elderly people who have some infectious diseases

• People suffering from respiratory diseases of anemia

Normally oxygen is carried by blood protein hemoglobin. When nitrites (nitrates become nitrites in our bodies) joins hemoglobin they form methemoglobin which cannot access oxygen and body develops hypoxia (deficiency of oxygen). This can lead to some clinical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache, etc.

Practical tips

In order to reduce the amount of nitrates in food, we should use only certain parts of vegetables, which do not accumulate nitrates. For example, if you peel a cucumber and cut about 2-3 cm of its end, you would reduce the amount of nitrates by 15-50 percent. Food processing (soaking, boiling, fermentation, using salt and vitamin C) reduces the amount of nitrates too. Boiled potatoes contain 65-85 percent less nitrates and boiled carrots – 60 percent. Boiling vegetables with salt reduces the amount of nitrates by 20 percent comparing to boiling without salt. You shouldn’t use broth of vegetables to make soup as nitrates get into thus water while boiling vegetables.



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