Early vegetables appear on our shelves already at the beginning of spring. However, doctors do not advise pouncing on the «first vitamins», because some of them contain much more nitrates than nutrients.
Surely, many people understand that the attractive appearance of any fruit (be it a fruit or a vegetable) and the absence of obvious signs of rot or immaturity does not mean its suitability for food. Too many factors influence it on the long journey of turning the seed into a dish on our table. What is at least an unfavorable ecological situation in which nine-tenths of domestic greens are grown. Soil soaked through with harmful mixtures; air saturated with toxic exhaust from cars and industrial pipes; water polluted by industrial emissions — all this, of course, does not add useful properties to vegetables and fruits. And if earlier such a situation took place only in large cities and the territories adjacent to them, now and in the outback the ecology is no better.
It is impossible to disregard the fact that in the process of growing, collecting, pre-sale preparation and the actual sale, each fruit passes through dozens of hands, which are not always clean and healthy. But some infections may well «settle in the womb» of a tomato or apple, in order to subsequently move into your body.
But that’s not all. A huge problem is presented by all kinds of additives and preservatives with which fruits and vegetables are stuffed. Abundant treatment of gardens and agricultural fields with various pesticides in an attempt to preserve and increase the harvest cannot but affect the content of harmful substances in products.
And the notorious presentation! It makes no sense to talk about imported products at all, since the fruit cannot naturally preserve its freshness and beauty, despite long storage and long-term transportation. But domestic entrepreneurs do not hesitate to use «chemistry» in order to give an attractive appearance to their agricultural products. And everything would be fine if proper control over the quality and conformity of such additives was carried out. But many not very clean businessmen do not bother themselves with such «trifles». And the layman cannot carry out an independent check, unless he goes with each cucumber to special expert laboratories.
Why are nitrates dangerous?
Once in the body, nitrates immediately enter the bloodstream and are carried throughout the body. Potential dangers include oxygen starvation (methemoglobinemia), malignant lesions of the gastrointestinal tract, changes in the functioning of the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. Young children, expectant mothers, elderly people, as well as those suffering from anemia, serious diseases of the respiratory system, etc. are especially vulnerable to dangerous «chemistry».
How to avoid poisoning?
How to enjoy and benefit from fruits and vegetables without risking getting poisoned? In fact, everyone can do a lot of this without leaving the kitchen.
Buy all vegetables and fruits in organized trade places. All goods on the market are carefully checked by the veterinary and sanitary examination laboratory. To get on store shelves, each batch of vegetables must be accompanied by a quality certificate.
Remember: leafy vegetables (salads, cabbage), root vegetables (radishes, beets) and greens (dill, spinach, green onions) accumulate the most nitrates. Before using them, it is advisable to remove the most nitrate parts (in the greens — the stems, in cucumbers and radishes — the part near the tail and the peel, in the beets — the top and root, in the cabbage — the top leaves and stump).
Soaking in cold water will help reduce the level of harmful nitrates. This tip is especially true for leafy vegetables and root vegetables.
We buy a nitrate meter
Another reliable way to protect yourself from nitrates is to buy a household nitrate meter. With this instrument for the rapid measurement of the level of nitrates in fruits and vegetables, you can easily determine the quality of the desired product.
All you need to do is insert the test probe into the food and then compare the results with the food nitrate limit guidelines (listed in the table below).