Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Facts on Vegetables

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With more and more propaganda being broadcasted over the TV, radio, dailies and all sort of advertisments, we are bombarded with information that sends us bedazzled, and if we are not careful, we may end up believing everything that we read, see and hear.
Here, an Ezine article original, is to present us with facts to sort things out, clear away the clouds, and remove the smokescreen for us to see clearly.
Is eating vegetable really the only option we have?
Read on...


Are Vegetables Safe and Healthy?

Nitrite and nitrates

The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live WithoutGreen leafy and root vegetables, such as spinach and carrots contain dietary nitrate. Does this mean that vegetables are unhealthy?

I have heard some concern over feeding infants vegetables because of the controversy surrounding the nitrates in vegetables, one lady explaining that she bought her baby veges as prepared baby food, because food companies had better recourses for testing nitrates. What a shame that she felt guilty for giving her baby fresh vegetables!

Yes, vegetables contain nitrates naturally, and foods with added chemical fertilizers can contain more, which is a very good reason to buy organically grown veg when we can.

Kitchens Of India Ready To Eat Navratan Korma, Mixed Vegetable Curry & Cottage Cheese, 10-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6)As we know, many of the chemicals found in pesticides and fertilizers have been linked to a long list of very serious human and animal health problems, including cancers, infertility, thyroid dysfunction, birth defects, behavioural problems, immune system suppression and deformities of the reproductive organs, and they also affect the endocrine system. These are frequently referred to as 'endocrine disrupting chemicals' (EDCs).

Dietary nitrate may also come from our drinking water.

So it is true that nitrites are commonly found in many green vegetables, especially spinach, celery and green lettuce, but fruit and vegetables appear to be effective in reducing the risk of cancer!

Small Vegetable & Dish Washing BrushNitrite containing vegetables also have Vitamin C and D, which serve to inhibit the formation of N-nitroso compounds.

So vegetables are quite safe and healthy!

So Why is nitrite added to food?

Nitrite is a salt used to preserve meat, fish, and poultry. to certain foods to prevent the growth botulism, which can lead to paralysis and even death. It is also used to produce the characteristic flavour, texture, and pink colour of cured meats.

Vegetable Dish - OriginalOur Body Makes Nitrite

Through normal metabolism nitric oxide is produced, then converted to nitrite or nitrate in order to be excreted.

At normal levels, nitric oxide is a life-supporting biological messenger that helps heal wounds and burns, promotes blood clotting, controls blood pressure, enhances brain function, and boosts immunity to kill tumour cells and intracellular parasites. Scientific studies have shown that a wound in the process of healing contains a significant amount of nitric oxide.

Johnson Brothers Covered Vegetable DishMoreover, when nitrite is acidified in the stomach, it stimulates antimicrobial activity.

Just as nitrite protects food against botulism, it can also protect our stomach against other food borne bacteria.

So it would seem that nitrites are essential for life, and we get them naturally in our foods, so why are they considered "bad"?

Sukhi's Madras Vegetable Spice MixNitrates and Nitrites form Nitrosamines in our body. Nitrosamines are carcinogenic. On top of that, the very high heat used to cook many processed meats like sausage and bacon, assist in the formation of Nitrosamines.

Studies indicate that people who eat a lot of processed meats with nitrates; hot dogs, bacon, cold cuts, sausages, are at a much higher risk for pancreatic cancer.

So we can choose processed meats that do not have Nitrates listed as one of the ingredients, and Organically grown vegetables; don't forget that meats without nitrates are more perishable so eat them promptly or freeze them before the expiration date.

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