5 Ingredients in Foods You Never Knew are Dangerous for Your Brain

Food

With processed and GMO-based foods already dominating our food supply, there are many concerns about the many ways these chemicals area damaging our brains. There are commonly found chemicals in foods that have a toxic and very negative effect on our bodies, especially the nerve centers of the brain. See Dr. Howell’s article, Be Wary of Excitotoxins in Foods to learn about the specific neurotoxins called Excitotoxins that are commonly found in processed foods today.

Here are more dangers from the commonly found in the foods we eat:

1. Gluten

Gluten is a protein molecule that is found in crops like wheat, rue, spelt, barley, and kamut. Gluten sensitivity is caused when the gluten enters the small intestine and causes inflammation and damage through an allergic-style response to the gluten. Of course people with gluten sensitivities suffer from gastrointestinal complaints. Since the primary response is inflammation of the small intestine, gluten-sensitivity sufferers will have bloating, inability to process fats (steatorrhea), abdominal cramping (colic), burning, abdominal spasms, diarrhea, spasmodic constipation, and will have nutritional deficiencies and weight loss. Among those with even a mild sensitivity to gluten, gluten causes reactions in the intestines and the brain. There is also non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, which is characterized by gastrointestinal or extra-intestinal symptoms which include IBS(irritable bowel syndrome).Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten sensitivity and is present in about one percent of the population.

2. Sugar Substitutes and Artificial Sweeteners

Though artificial sweeteners (NutraSweet, Amino Sweet), sucralose (Splenda), or saccharin (Equal, Sweet ‘N Low) are widely used in most confectionery and beverages—even more than regular sugar—most people are unaware of their long-term effects. Often found in sodas, yogurt, chewing gum, cooking sauces, tabletop sweeteners, flavored water, cereal, and sugar free products, nearly all artificial sweeteners are toxic with long-term use.

Studies suggest that aspartame in large doses can cause neurological dysfunction such as learning difficulties. Even earlier studies on aspartame revealed that consumption of this sugar substitute more than the recommended limit of 2500 mg per day can induce neurotoxic effects on the brain and can have a negative impact on seizure disorders. Though there has been an introduction of other artificial sweeteners that are hoped to be safer, there is much medical evidence which proves the use of sugar substitutes to cause headaches, migraines, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, depression, and other problems.

3. MSG or Monosodium Glutamate

The food additive MSG is a flavor enhancer that was first found in Kombu seaweed. It has been widely used in many prepared foods because of its tremendous, quick response in improving the flavor of the food. Researchers also found the MSG served to train consumers to eat more food and to prefer the food to the other food choices that were simultaneously offered. This helped to create brand loyalty. In the US, this is most easily seen by the consumers who prefer Coke or Pepsi, frequently refusing to drink the other brand. MSG helps to create that brand loyalty. Compulsively consuming MSG almost fulfills the criteria for addictive behavior. The scientific literature is full of articles about the benefits created for consumers by the appetite increasing effects of MSG.  The behavior-altering effects of the MSG can be seen by observing food patrons eating MSG-laden foods. They can be seen with glassy eyes, slack jaws, chewing thoughtlessly. Even families eating together will go quiet during the first full “rush” of MSG. Just watch patrons eating at a fast food vendor’s or a food stall.

MSG has been linked to cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’/s Disease, and many autoimmune disorders. Processed foods like “healthy” snacks, salad dressing, barbecue sauce, bouillon cubes, and most canned foods carry MSG. In blatant refusal of all evidence that has been brought forward implicating the dangers of MSG, food manufacturers still use this toxic substance in most processed food: they want to eat more and to create consumer brand loyalty with MSG. Studies done with MSG have shown that it causes the swelling and destruction of mature neuron cells in the brain. Excitotoxins like MSG have been linked to brain damage and other neurological diseases including Parkinson’s and Dementia.

4. Refined Sugar

Though sugar substitutes have been proven to be unhealthy and disastrous to the human body, sugar is a problem, too. Brain studies show that the diets that are high in starch, sugar, and bad fats reduce neuroplasticity, the ability of our brain to change when exposed to new information and skills.Sugar is also a highly addictive product which may be also linked to eating disorders and obesity problems that are worldwide problems. Diets high in sugar also trigger all of the problems that are created by insulin. Did you see Dr. Howells article about insulin yet?

5. Fluoride

Though used as a common additive to drinking water for 80 years, there has never been good research justifying this practice. Combined with that is the rising awareness of the harm it causes the brain over long-term administration, it makes it surprising that we continue to add this industrial waste product to our drinking water. Though harmless in small doses, with larger dosages fluorine shows confirmed problems. There are even studies which systematically prove how small amounts of fluoride diversely affect the processes of the human brain and are toxic to the brain. Specifically, fluoride causes irreparable damage to the developing brain of children and may also affect the nervous systems of adults. According to the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), fluoride was linked to ADHD, learning and memory impairment, fetal brain damage, and altered neurobehavioral function. Excessive fluoride exposure has also causes osteoarthritis, arthritic symptoms, lowers the density of the bone mass, and effects many other tissues, including the brain and thyroid gland.

You may not be able to entirely avoid these 5 problems, but reduce them in all the ways that you can!