It is interesting to note that the Mediterranean diet features a hundred more times more nitrate than the average American diet. Lefer admits that the study does not directly demonstrate the protective effect of nitrates or nitrites in humans but does suggest that a healthy intake of nitrate rich vegetables could spell the difference between a mild heart attack and one that causes lasting heart damage or death.
Nitrates and nitrites have had a reputation for being toxic to human health for a number of decades, but their association with poor health outcomes may be unfounded.
There’s a lot of confusion about nitrates, nitrites (read that again, the first is spelled with an A, the latter with an I), health and exercise performance. A lot of endurance athletes take beet root concentrate as an ergogenic aid because it increases nitric oxide production, which improves oxygen efficiency and endurance. But wait, aren’t nitrates and nitrites those things in processed meats that supposedly cause cancer? What’s the difference?
"Until industry provides strong evidence that nitrites in celery juice have different biologic effects than nitrites from other sources, it's very misleading to label these as nitrite-free," he says.
Nitrates are naturally found in some vegetables, dairy products and meat. There is no recommendation to limit foods that naturally contain nitrates. Nitrates are also added to processed meats as a preservative. There is strong research that shows a diet high in processed meats increases the risk of colon cancer.
A recent study evaluated the effect of daily dietary nitrate from beetroot juice on individuals with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Nitric oxide can reduce blood pressure as well as prevent artery blockage and stroke. Boosting nitric oxide levels with food is sometimes a preferred option. No matter what your taste buds are like, you are bound to find something on the following list of natural vasodilators that you can enjoy.
This drop in blood pressure also occurs with other medications used to treat ED, such as Ciails® (tadalafil) and Levitra® (vardenafil). Other medications that use sildenafil as an active ingredient, such as Revatio®, can also trigger a similar decrease in blood pressure.
Our bodies convert the nitrate in beets to nitrite, some of which is converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide's role in regulating blood pressure and promoting cardiovascular health is well-established, and research continues to uncover its many health-promoting roles in our body. Nitric oxide regulates vasodilation, relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow...
WE look at some surprising benefits of this humble root vegetable.
Usually associated with processed meats, nitrates and nitrites are potentially cancer-causing compounds. But what are they, really – and are they always detrimental?
Nitrates are medications used for treating or preventing heart pain (angina, chest pain) caused by heart disease, usually of the arteries in the heart.