Monosodium Glutamate, more commonly known as MSG, is a flavour enhancer typically found in North American Chinese cuisine, canned foods, processed meats, and many prepackaged meals and snacks. A highly controversial ingredient, its safety remains a hot topic of debate, particularly since the Food and Drug Administration recognizes it as safe to consume but many studies have proven otherwise.
The controversy has prompted many restaurants to proudly display on their windows that they do not cook with MSG in an effort to appeal to health-conscious consumers — another fine example of what voting with your dollar can accomplish. Because of the myriad of confusion over this ingredient’s potential health risks, many people, myself included, have opted to avoid it altogether.
Safety Concerns Over MSG
Many studies have been conducted to prove that MSG does have negative side effects for some people who consume it. These side effects include, but are not limited to: burning sensations of the mouth head or neck, weakness of the arms or legs, headaches, and/or upset stomach.
It may not affect everyone right away, but the effects are cumulative, meaning that the substance can build up over time, until we reach what Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, calls our “threshold of sensitivity.” MSG over-stimulates our nervous system, which excites our nerves and triggers an inflammatory response. Inflammation can be extremely damaging to the body, and anything that can cause inflammation should be avoided whenever possible.
Already Avoid MSG in Your Food?
Personally, I know if I’ve had MSG, because I get a pretty immediate headache. Something I recently learned, however, definitely threw me for a loop: Food manufacturers are aware of a growing public concern for additives such as MSG and have figured out a way to work around this by hiding MSG under innocuous sounding names. It is so important to check the labels and ingredient lists of the foods you’re eating, but what I have come to realize is, it is just as important to know what those ingredients are, and which of them you should avoid.
Here are some of the names MSG is always hiding behind, according to the Truth In Labelling website:
- Glutamic Acid (E 620)
- Glutamate (E 620)
- Monosodium Glutamate (E 621)
- Monopotassium Glutamate (E 622)
- Calcium Glutamate (E 623)
- Monoammonium Glutamate (E 624)
- Magnesium Glutamate (E 625)
- Natrium Glutamate
- Yeast Extract
- Anything “hydrolyzed”
- Any “hydrolyzed protein”
- Calcium Caseinate
- Sodium Caseinate
- Yeast Food
- Yeast Nutrient
- Autolyzed Yeast
- Textured Protein
- Soy Protein
- Soy Protein Concentrate
- Soy Protein Isolate
- Whey Protein
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Anything “…protein”
Names MSG is often hiding behind according to the Truth In Labelling website::
- Carrageenan (E 407)
- Bouillon and broth
- Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
- Natural Flavor
- Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
- Anything “ultra-pasteurized”
- Barley malt
- Pectin (E 440)
- Anything “enzyme modified”
- Anything containing “enzymes”
- Malt extract
- Soy sauce
- Soy sauce extract
- Anything “protein fortified”
- Anything “fermented”
No! Not you, Kettle Chips…
The good news here is that, as the consumer, we have the power to vote with our dollars, and by avoiding products containing these ingredients, and raising awareness about them by sharing resources like this article, we force food manufacturers to either change the ingredients they use or risk bankruptcy. That is the strength behind raising awareness and putting your money where your mouth is. We have the power; we just have to remember that every time we make a purchase. Another great way to avoid MSG and many other sneaky and potentially harmful chemicals in our foods is to choose a whole foods diet. Remember: “Real food doesn’t have ingredients, real food is ingredients.”
10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Walk Everyday
- The Facts:
There are multiple health benefits to be gained by taking a simple walk every day. These benefits are measurable, and if you don't already have an active lifestyle it can be a great way to assist you with your health.
- Reflect On:
Reflect on how the human race has become extremely sedentary, and how disease rates continue to climb as a result of the modern human lifestyle.
The human experience has become extremely sedentary, the average human lifestyle in the western world has been linked to multiple diseases and is one of the main causes of why disease rates continue to climb, among many other factors that surround all aspects of human life, like big food, for example. With technology in place and jobs that require tremendous amounts of sitting, there is no doubt that it’s having a detrimental effect on our lives.
That being said, the world is clearly becoming way more health conscious. It’s like we needed this experience of unhealthy food, the corporate take-over of everything, and our motionless lifestyle to knock us out of it. We are seeing a health revolution take place, where more and more people are becoming health conscious, and are always being encouraged to be more active.
Ultimately, we can’t really blame the human experience for our lack of movement, it’s something that all of us have the time to incorporate into our lives in one way or another, and if you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy being too active, a simple walk every day can have tremendous amounts of benefits. As pointed out in the video below, by Bright Side.
If You Want To Increase The Benefits Even More, Walk Barefoot
It’s called grounding, or ‘earthing’ and it involves placing your feet directly on the ground, without shoes or socks as a barrier. Why? Because there is an intense negative charge carried by the Earth, it’s electron-rich, which serves as a good supply of antioxidants and free radical destroying electrons.
A study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health titled “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons” postulates that earthing could represent a potential treatment for a variety of chronic degenerative diseases.
That’s right, many positive health benefits occur as a result of walking barefoot, and these are measurable.
The picture below represents improved facial circulation (right image) after 20 minutes of grounding, as documented by a Speckle Contrast Laser Imager (dark blue=lowest circulation; dark red=highest circulation). Image Source: Scientific Research Publishing
If you want to read more publications and access the in-depth science with regards to grounding, you can refer to the article linked above the picture.
Nature Valley Ad Shows The Down Side Of Children Addicted To Technology
- The Facts:
Technology has impacted most of our lives in a really big way. We use it daily for everything we do pretty much. Kids today, unlike previous generations, use technology more than ever and spend much less time in nature.
- Reflect On:
How much is too much technology for young and developing minds? Is it time to reevaluate our children's relationship with technology and get them back into nature?
Technology has become a staple in most of our lives, really, could you imagine life without it? In the video posted below, Nature Valley asks 3 generations what it was that they did for fun as a kid, the answers from the youngest generation may or may not surprise you, but is it time to cut back on the technology and bring kids back to nature?
Technology is not bad per se, that isn’t the discussion here. This is about how we use it.
Before technology, children would look to nature for entertainment. They would play outside on the lawn, go sledding, build forts, and use their imagination to create their own entertainment. Nowadays it’s all too easy for kids to get sucked into technology, there are video games, tablets, computers, cell phones and television, all of which provide a type of escape from the real world. Although, there are many ways that technology is and has been used for good in the world, is the disconnect that it is causing children and adults to part from nature causing more harm?
With the rise of mental disorders and illnesses, is it possible that the answer to these issues is simply to get kids back into nature, more time with self, using their brains to build things, be creative and connect to the energy from the Earth? We already know how effective a simple walk or hike in nature is and how they both can literally change our brains. Nature appears to be much more important than we generally give it credit for.
In my own experience, disconnecting from technology and going camping on my own proved to be a very cathartic and healing experience for me. I’ve come to realize that although being immersed in nature regularly does have a lot of benefits, but even just making time for it at all can cause a positive impact. For many of us who live in cities, with the constant bombardment of noise and of course EMF frequencies etc., just disconnecting for a short period can make a huge difference.
The following video is a brilliant ad from Nature Valley, check it out.
It’s easy to get emotional watching something like this as it shows just how far removed the newer generations are from what has been most natural to children for centuries, simply playing in nature. The children are essentially self-proclaimed tech addicts and get their entertainment by playing video games, watching videos or tv shows, texting etc. Is it time to go back to the basics and start evaluating how detrimental too much technology can be on young and developing brains? You can read more about this issue here, Is Your Child Struggling From Nature-Deficit Disorder?
Is it up to the parents to ensure they are setting proper boundaries with the amount of time their children are allowed to use technology? Or is this the future and something we should simply let happen as a natural part of evolution?
6 Proven Ways to Cleanse Your Liver & Release Pent Up Anger
- The Facts:
In Chinese Medicine our liver is directly connected to anger and unfortunately, we live in a world where our liver is regularly taxed by toxic chemicals. Thankfully there is plenty that you can do without medication to keep this vital organ healthy!
- Reflect On:
What toxins are you regularly exposed to and what steps are you currently taking to combat them?
A toxic liver can lead to anger. In Chinese medicine, our biggest detox organ – our liver – is the organ connected to anger. When we work at changing our lifestyles and daily habits, we begin to see it having a positive effect on our mood as well as general health.
When toxicity mounts we have a more difficult time controlling or letting go of our angry feelings. Toxic chemicals accumulate in our bodies because we live in a toxic world. We microwave in plastic, we cook food in Tephlon coated pans, we smoke, we take medication, and eat fried and processed foods.
These food-like products contain toxic chemical preservatives, glyphosate; GMOs and pesticides. Ingesting poison daily results in everything from immune deficiency, mood disorders, lowered mental performance, and even life-threatening cancer.
So, besides avoiding many of the contributors of liver toxicity – what can we do?
1. Eat less added sugar & address possible yeast overgrowth in the gut
Yeast can cause fermentation of food in place of digestion and cause bloating and gas. It can contribute to “leaky gut syndrome” – thus in turn can lead to the production of toxins that may affect the brain and nervous system. Yeast overgrowth can produce alcohol as its byproduct, acetaldehyde, giving us a “hangover” feeling. It can also lead to liver damage, and it prevents the proper detoxification of other pollutants, increasing the toxicity of other toxins.
2. Support the liver with botanicals
Plant medicine like Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root can help cleanse the liver. Both extracts are known to be pretty safe and well tolerated, and toxic or adverse effects observed in the reviewed clinical trials seem to be minimal. Only those with a ragweed, iodine or latex allergy should be cautious with dandelion. (Learn more about milk thistle)
3. Drink organic aloe vera juice
High quality; raw organic aloe vera can be a phenomenal digestive aid. It seals the gut wall, aids in digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps the immune system, and detoxifies the liver, skin, and colon.
4. Cook with more turmeric & black pepper to help the body absorb nutrients better
Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which increases the bioavailability of food by decreasing activity in the intestinal tract and inhibiting the metabolism of certain enzymes. Better still, cook with lots of turmeric and black pepper together. The combination helps the body absorb more curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.
This ingredient can heal gut wall permeability due to its amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It also aids in digestion, strengthens the immune system, improves asthma, heals wounds, prevents the progression of memory loss, controls diabetes, improves liver function, lowers cholesterol, and fights cancer. (Note: A great supplement for this that I recommend for is Liver Health)
5. Incorporate liver cleansing foods into your diet
Incorporate liver cleansing foods such as green leafy veggies, avocados, apples, garlic, olive oil, citrus fruit, beets, and cruciferous vegetables into your weekly diet.
6. See An Acupuncturist
Used for thousands of years, acupuncture has been used to detox and balance the liver meridians to reduce anger and other emotional and psychiatric issues. Simple needle-less acupressure is often used on children.
Learn more about my family’s healing journey (including everything that has worked for me and many of my clients) in my book Healing Without Hurting. And to receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety and more without medication SIGN UP HERE.
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