There’s no shortage of things that can damage your brain.
Some chemicals commonly found in food can have a negative impact on the way your brain functions, especially if you have certain medical conditions to begin with.
Here’s a quick look at some of these potential neurotoxins found in the foods we eat every day.
Gluten is a protein molecule found in wheat, as well as in rue, spelt, barley, and kamut.
This protein is what gives bread dough its sticky consistency, but it does more than that – when consumed, it binds to the wall of the small intestine, where it can cause all sorts of problems for those with gluten sensitivity.
Gluten sensitivity is a fairly common condition, affecting many people worldwide. Celiac’s disease is the most common form of gluten sensitivity, but non-Celiac’s gluten sensitivities exist as well.
For those with even a mild sensitivity to gluten, this protein can cause systemic reactions in the body, affecting the intestines, the nervous system, and, yes, even the brain.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
Sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin are among the most popular artificial, known for the marketing that they contain zero calories. Nevertheless, the reality is that all these sweeteners are toxic and harmful to the brain.
For example, when broken down, aspartame (a combination of many chemicals including aspartic acid, methanol, and phenylalanine) can produce a brain-tumor chemical.
The intake of aspartame can cause numerous symptoms such as slurred speech, anxiety attacks, migraines, and depression. Aspartame can be found in tabletop sweeteners, sodas, flavored water, chewing gums, cooking sauces, yogurt, cereal, and other products known to be “sugar-free”.
3. Refined sugar
The consumption of refined sugar is related to health issues that can damage the brain. Refined sugar suppresses BDNF, a growth hormone essential for the function of the brain. The brain obtained Neurotrophic factor (BDNF), can trigger new relations between the brain neurons, essential for the memory function. Many studies proved that low BDNF levels in people who suffer from depression and schizophrenia in a combination with sugar intake can significantly worsen their conditions.
Moreover, refined sugar can disrupt the immune and digestive system, and increase inflammation. And chronic inflammation can increase your risk of depression and schizophrenia. People who suffer from depression and those who want to improve their mental mood and clarity are recommended to avoid refined sugar.
4. Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
MSG or monosodium glutamate is a concentrated form of a salt, added to foods to enhance flavor. Actually, it tricks the brain and taste buds to think that the food is delicious, at the same time stimulating the production of excess dopamine. This toxic ingredient is linked with brain damage and other neurological diseases including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, MS, lupus, etc.
It can be found in barbecue sauce, bouillon cubes, canned soups and vegetables, salad dressing, and other processed foods.
Contained in public drinking water, fluoride not only has a negative effect on our brain but on our overall health as well. The Fluoride Action Network reported that fluoride is related lower IQ.
A study conducted by UNICEF showed that IQ was reduced because of the added fluoride to U.S drinking water which is 0.88 mg/l. Moreover, according to the Fluoride Action Network, there are even 34 studies which claim that there is a connection between lower IQ and fluoride, while other studies claim that fluoride is associated with memory impairment, neurobehavioral function, and fetal brain damage.
While most of these additives, chemicals, and proteins won’t kill you immediately, there is evidence that significant doses should be avoided.
Moderation is key when it comes to regulating the food that you eat – too much of any of these ingredients are sure to be bad for you.
Whether you choose to avoid them entirely or simply limit your exposure to them is up to you.