For a long period of time people have been trying to eradicate nitrate from the drinking water. The main reason for that is because people thought that nitrate is not good for people. However, in the recent years certain experts started claiming that nitrate can actually provide a lot of benefits for certain people, mainly athletes. An athlete’s physical and mental performances are supposed to benefit a lot thanks to nitrate. For a long period of time people thought that by consuming nitrate for a long time they will increase the chances of developing cancer. However, the new findings tell a totally different story.
What is nitrate?
Nitrate can be found in soil and water and it is an inorganic compound made of nitrogen and oxygen. People add nitrate to the soil in order for the plants to grow faster because nitrogen in nitrate is utilized by plants to make amino acids. Nitrate is a water soluble compound. Nitrate has the ability to dissolve easily and that is why it can be washed out from the soil into lakes and rivers. This is why there is so much nitrate in the drinking water.
Nitrate in the diet
A person will intake nitrate through either drinking water or food and in most cases from both. Vegetables contain most nitrate. However, people will introduce various amounts of nitrate depending on the amount of water they drink and vegetables and fruit they consume and the amount of nitrate that they posses. According to the experts, people should consume five portions of vegetables and fruit per day and that would mean that people will intake a lot of nitrate. This comes in conflict with the amount of nitrate a person should intake, according to the current health recommendations.
Nitrate health fears
Experts warned people about two main health concerns when it comes to taking excessive amounts of nitrate. The first one is methemoglobinemia which hits the infants quite hard. An infant suffering from this will experience his or her hemoglobin in the blood being blocked and it will be unable to carry the oxygen. However, newer researches claim that infants do not suffer from contaminated water but from certain faecal bacteria that infected the infants and produced nitrite in their gut.
Nitrate health benefits
Nowadays, it is believed that nitrate is good for people. The main reason why that is so is because when consumed, nitrate can be converted into nitrite in the body and then further into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is very important for the health of the cardiovascular system.