You may have heard that hot dogs are unhealthy because of their nitrate content. In fact, nitrates are good for your health if they are eaten in plant form.
Take beets, for example. Beetroot has a very high nitrate content, which can actually increase athletic performance, helping you exercise longer and burn more calories.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that beet consumption increased running performance.
Beet nitrates cause blood vessels to dilate, allowing for better blood circulation and increased supply of oxygen and nutrients to muscles and organs. This makes them perfect for endurance athletes – runners, cyclists – as well as for all of us who can use a little more energy to get this last set through.
Oh, and beets are also a good source of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, folic acid, potassium, manganese and fibre. So you get a lot of benefits, in addition to the nitrates that pump the circulation!