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7 Foods with Sodium Nitrate for Your Health

Most of us know that food company uses additives to extend the shelf life of their products. But how many of us know what these antibodies are, and, most important, what they do to our bodies?

Sodium nitrate is a type of salt that has long been used to preserve food. Have you ever heard of healed flesh? You can find it in many foods including bacon, beef, ham, hot dogs, lunch, salami, and smoked fish. It creates a unique flavor, regulates lipid oxidation, and acts as an antimicrobial.

Sodium nitrate can be found in plants and in uncontrolled drinking water. Nitrogen turns sodium nitrate into the soil and is needed for plant growth. Plants absorb sodium nitrate from the soil in various amounts. Vegetables with a high sodium nitrate content include spinach, radishes, lettuce, legumes, carrots, cabbage, and beets. According to a 2009 study, about 80 percent of dietary nitrates in human diets were found in vegetable consumption.

Foods with Sodium Nitrate

Most processed meats are high in nitrates. While these nitrates are essential for maintaining and improving food coloring, they are not good for your health. Numerous studies recommend the addition of vitamin C to cured meat with high nitrates to prevent the formation of harmful nitrite compounds.


Ham is often the highest source of food nitrates. One 100 g extracted from cured ham contains 890 nitrates of nitrate. This is the source of the cool pink color.


Bacon contains 380 mcg of nitrates per 100 g of weight. And it is surprisingly high in nitrates. Nitrates and nitrites are more prone to bacon production, leading some products to label their packaging as nitrite-free. Nitrite-free bacon was tested as almost double the number of nitrates, up to 680 mcg per 100 g each.

Deli Meat

The delivery of meat is another major source of harmful nitrates. Meals prepared in moderation reach up to 500 mcg of nitrates per 100 g of meat, while uncooked meat contains about 300 mcg of the same amount of meat.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are one of the most widely used meat sources on the market. A typical hot dog contains 50 mcg of nitrates per 100 g of meat, carrying about 9 mg of nitrites.


Spinach is not only a great addition to salads, but it is also a good source of natural nitrates for food. 100 g serving fresh spinach contains anywhere from 24 to 387 mg of nitrate. This number varies greatly depending on the growing conditions.


While lettuce may not always be known for its richness of nutrients, it contains a large number of natural nitrates. It contains between 13 and 267 mg of nitrates per 100 g servings each.


Leafy vegetables are not the only natural nitrate source. If you are looking for an alternative earthier, carrots contain anywhere from 92 to 195 mg of nitrate per 100 g.

The Risks of Getting Too Much

Nitrates are a natural part of any normal diet. However, some studies suggest the Reliable Source that high levels can cause problems such as cancer. Other diseases such as leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, heart disease, and ovarian, stomach, esophageal, pancreatic, and thyroid cancer, can be linked to excessive sodium nitrate use.

Nitrate levels associated with these diseases are difficult to obtain in natural foods. Also, foods that are naturally rich in nitrates also contain substances such as vitamin C, which can protect the body from the diseases listed above.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your daily intake of sodium nitrate should not be more than 3.7 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. So, for example, a person weighing 150 pounds should not consume more than 0.25 grams of sodium nitrate per day. However, since the amount of these preservatives is not on the food labels list, it is difficult to know how much you earn each day.

Nitrate poisoning is a serious issue that affects infants and can cause blood disorders known as methemoglobinemia. Infants can get nitrate toxins when water is used to make formula or baby food from uncontrolled sources. According to one study, as many as 15 million Americans rely on uncontrolled sources of access to their drinking water.


Where can I find sodium nitrate?

Sodium nitrate is also called soda niter or Chile saltpeter. It is found naturally in large deposits in arid regions of Chile, Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia as caliche, a crude, impure nitrate rock or gravel.

What is the fastest way to increase nitric oxide?

A diet high in nitrate-rich vegetables and antioxidants or the use of supplements, such as L-arginine or L-citrulline, are beneficial ways to boost your body's natural production of nitric oxide. Other proven strategies include limiting mouthwash and exercising regularly.

Do bananas have nitrates?

Banana, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, potato crisps, pumpkin, salami, and strawberries also contain nitrates, but at lower concentrations of between 100 to 450 mg/kg.


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