Instant noodles are one type of fast food that has recently been very popular. The presentation process that doesn’t take long and is simple has a variety of flavors, is filling, and a relatively affordable price, making instant noodles one of the best-selling products on the market. From children to parents, most of them prefer this product to prop up a hungry stomach.
The Origin of Instant Noodle Products
Instant noodle products are usually packaged in plastic wrap or using a cup or glass. The spices are typically packaged in a different place; this product was initially invented by Momofuku Ando of Nissin Foods in Japan in 1958 under the trademark Chicken Ramen.
The main ingredients of this product are dry noodles made from wheat flour, palm oil, and salt. As for the seasoning is a mixture of salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, and several other herbs. Currently, instant noodles have been marketed around the world in various brands.
Nutrient Content in Instant Noodles
Instant noodles are often referred to as unhealthy food or junk food. This is because a single serving of instant noodles contains a lot of carbohydrates and fat. Still, the content of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients is shallow. For this reason, when we want to consume instant noodle products, it is necessary to add several ingredients such as vegetables, eggs, meat, and other elements that can help meet the body’s nutritional needs.
Some of the compositions contained in instant noodles that are considered a health concern, among others, are:
According to the United States Recommended Dietary Allowance, the sodium requirement for adults and children older than four years is 1,500 mg/day. In 1 cup serving of instant noodles, there is 2,700 mg of sodium. However, a recent study by the CDC and the National Academy of Institutes of Medicine found that consuming too much salt no longer poses a significant hazard to health.
Even reducing salt intake below the recommended level can pose a health hazard. For nearly five years, the National Academy of Institutes of Medicine has conducted research on almost 29,000 participants, and they concluded that “there is no relationship between salt and a person’s health.”
Another thing to worry about in consuming instant noodles is oxidation products, including acrylamide and aldehydes produced from oil. If cooking oil is not processed at the right temperature, it will make food oxidation products that contain a pile of toxins.
Monosodium glutamate is one of the ingredients used as a flavor enhancer in instant noodle products. However, about 1-2% of the human population in the world experience allergies when consuming MSG, which can cause several symptoms such as experiencing a burning sensation in the chest, redness of the face and skin, or pain and headaches.
This is an ingredient that prevents noodles from drying out by retaining moisture. The human body can absorb these substances easily, and over time these substances can accumulate in the heart, liver, and kidneys. This will cause various damage and abnormalities in the body’s organs and can weaken the immune system.
Benefits of Instant Noodles for the Body
Although it is considered a processed product, including junk food, instant noodles have several benefits, such as:
1. More practical
The benefits of instant noodles to consume them do not require a long time in the serving process. Those who are busy don’t need to worry when hunger strikes because instant noodles can be used as a choice to block the stomach.
2. As a source of energy
The calorie content contained in instant noodle products can help meet the energy needs of a person’s body. Consuming instant noodles can help a person to feel full when hungry. But remember that this is not a staple food that Instant Noodle can finish at any time. Because as we know before that, instant noodles contain a large number of calories with a relatively low nutritional value.
3. Can be enjoyed by anyone
The existence of instant noodles can be enjoyed by anyone, including people from low economic levels. This is because the price of instant noodles is affordable.
4. Has a wide variety of flavors
One of the things that makes the benefits of instant noodles one of the consumption choices is the variety of flavors on offer. There are so many instant noodle products that have been circulating lately with various flavors that arouse consumers’ tastes.
Instant Noodle side effects
As we have seen before, instant noodles contain more calories and fat. At the same time, the nutritional content is very minimal, even almost non-existent. For this reason, health experts highly recommend avoiding consuming this product too often. Some of the health side effects of consuming instant noodles include:
1. Malnutrition – Consuming instant noodles can inhibit absorbing nutrients, especially in children under five years. This will impact health problems, especially the problem of malnutrition.
2. Cancer – According to the international health agency (WHO), styrofoam or polystyrene, commonly used for packaging instant noodles, is one of the ingredients that can trigger cancer.
3. Miscarriage – According to research, women who frequently consume instant noodles during pregnancy have a higher risk of miscarriage because the content in this product can affect fetal development.
4. Disorders of the body’s metabolism – The content of toxic chemicals such as food coloring, preservatives, and other additives in instant noodles that accumulate in the body when consuming instant noodles in the long term can affect the body’s metabolism.
5. Digestive problems – Consuming instant noodles regularly can cause several disorders in the digestive system, such as flatulence, constipation, and other digestive disorders.
6. Obesity – Instant noodles are one product that is believed to be the leading cause of obesity. This is because the fat and sodium content in instant noodles can cause fluid retention in the body. For that, it is necessary to avoid consuming instant noodles too often.
Instant noodles are processed products categorized as fast food and junk food. This is because instant noodles contain a lot of salt, MSG, fat, calories, and some preservatives. And various health experts have stated that this type of food should not be consumed too often because, in addition to containing these chemicals, instant noodles are also considered not to have the nutritional content needed for the body.
To avoid possible side effects from consuming instant noodles, it is better to limit this product’s consumption. If you want to consume instant noodles, you should add the benefits of vegetables like mustard greens benefits, carrot benefits, or other types of vegetables to help meet the body’s nutritional needs. In addition, we can also add egg benefits or meat benefits as a nutritional supplement.