Why all nitrates and nitrites don’t behave the same way in your body
Beets are an excellent source of nitrates, which account for many of their potential health benefits.
But you’ve probably also heard that processed meats like bacon, hot dogs and ham contain nitrates, too, and they’re potentially hazardous to your health.
What’s the difference?
All nitrates convert to nitrites in your body. Nitrites are found in the preservative sodium nitrite that’s added to processed meats, and they can also occur naturally in drinking water, fertiliser, sewage treatment facilities and septic systems.
Here’s the problem with nitrites in cured or processed meats: When you heat or cook these foods, the nitrites can convert into nitrosamines, a dangerous substance. For that reason, Dr Mercola recommends avoiding any meat with sodium nitrite listed on the package label.
The naturally occurring nitrates in beets also convert to nitrites when you eat them by the bacteria in your mouth, but the similarities end there.
Beets contain high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients that provide a protective effect against the health-harming actions of nitrites. Thanks to these valuable nutrients, the converted nitrites in beets don’t pose a threat to your health.
Unlike the nitrites in processed meats, fertilisers and drinking water, the naturally occurring nitrates in beets offer health benefits.
Beets contain one of the highest levels of nitrates found in foods, and that’s a real plus. When you eat beets, your body converts these nitrates into nitric oxide, or NO, through what’s known as the ‘nitrate-to-nitrite-to-nitric oxide (NO) pathway.’
7 reasons why your blood flow might need a boost
- Ageing affects your body’s ability to produce NO. On average, typical Americans eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) lose 10 percent of their ability to make nitric oxide every 10 years.
- Inadequate sun exposure can result in lower NO production. Sunlight (UV) striking your skin releases nitric oxide into your bloodstream, which is vital for your skin, cardiovascular and mitochondrial health.
- Stress can constrict your arteries, thicken your blood and damage blood vessel linings, making it more difficult for your blood to flow easily.
- Excessive sitting slows blood circulation to your organs and tissues.
- Lack of exercise can cause blood in your pelvis and legs to pool and become stagnant.
- Smoking harms your blood cells and damages the structure and function of your heart and blood vessels.
From 36 percent to nearly zero. How Dr Mercola made the sugars in beets vanish, almost like magic
As mentioned earlier on, beets and juice made from fresh beets are high in sugar, and that can be a potential concern for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Because beets contain 36 percent simple carbs or sugars, you can’t eat or drink large amounts without consuming too much sugar and non-fibre carbs.
But when you ferment beets, something interesting happens.
Beneficial bacteria created during the fermentation process consume most of the naturally occurring sugars, while leaving beets’ precious nutrients untouched.
Fermentation effectively removes the simple carbs in beets as their glucose content converts to alcohol, which then quickly evaporates.
Organic Fermented Beet Powder is also a good source of:
- Phytochemical compounds like carotenoids, phenolic acids and flavonoids that give beets their deep red colour and provide potent support for healthy cell growth and function.
- Antioxidant compounds, including highly bio-active betalain pigments and sulphur-containing amino acids to support your body’s natural Phase 2 detoxification process and to help protect against oxidative stress.
- Vitamin C, fibre, potassium and manganese to contributes to the normal function of the immune system
- Folate, an important B vitamin especially for pregnant women and for supporting your cardiovascular health.
And because it’s made from organic beets, there are no genetically modified ingredients.
Each 5 gram serving of Fermented Beet Powder is equivalent to 40 grams, or about 1/3 cup of whole, fresh beet roots.