The food you eat everyday could be killing you. I am not just talking about the notorious junk food, but the ones that are supposed to be nutritious and good too.

The thing that is destroying your brain and killing you is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG ) and Aspartame. They are known as excitotoxins.

Excitotoxins are chemicals that cause the brain cells to be over excited and fire uncontrollably, leading to cell death. It can also cause damage to the retina in the eye.

Some people can get an immediate reaction when consuming food containing too much MSG; headache, numbness in the neck and pain in the eyes.

Over consumption of MSG and aspartame are link to neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

How do MSG and Aspartame do the damage?

Excess glutamate and aspartate activate neuron (brain cell) receptors, opening the flow of calcium into the cell. This cause the brain cell to fire impulse and also activate enzyme that breakdown cell membrane, releasing fatty acid, which, cause a cascade of free radicals killing the cell.

Magnesium and zinc can regulate calcium flow into the brain and serve as a neuro-protective factor. Zinc and magnesium block the calcium channel and prevent its inflow. This can only happen when the brain has sufficient energy.

How can you avoid MSG and Aspartame?

MSG and aspartame do not have any nutritional value in the food at all. They are used as taste enhancer of foods. They are widely used, especially in processed food. So, you should minimize your exposure to processed food.

Eat unprocessed, whole, fresh and organic food as far a possible. Reduce eating food that comes in a can, bag and box. Even in the restaurants, food with gravy, sauces, dressings, bread and dessert will contain MSG or aspartate.

Watch out for the following ingredients when you buy packaged foods

Disguised MSG – hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, yeast extract, corn oil, hydrolyzed oat flour, textured protein.

Disguised aspartame – sugar-free gum, children’s medication, anything that has “low-calorie”, “diet” and “sugar free” label.

What is your natural defense?

1) Energy to the brain

Ensure you have consistent supply of energy to the brain cells. The brain cells use 20% of the body’s oxygen and 25% of the body’s glucose needs. Glucose is the only form of energy the brain cells can take and the brain cells cannot store glucose for later use.

Therefore, it is important that you ensure a consistent supply of glucose to the brain cells by preventing surge and slumps in blood glucose. That means, eating complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, brown rice, tapioca, sweet potato that are digested and absorbed slowly and steadily. Contrast that with simple or refined carbohydrates such as white rice, pasta, potato and desserts, which cause high glucose surge and slump.

2) Antioxidants

Antioxidants stop free radicals damage in the brain cells.  Here are many types of antioxidants that are protective for the brain:

3) Minerals

Magnesium and zinc are 2 important minerals that can block the channel and inflow of calcium into the brain cells.

Foods that are rich in both magnesium and zinc are pumpkin, watermelon seeds, wheat gem and cocoa.

MSG and aspartate is insidious in our modern-day diet and the damage is silent. Do watch out for it and take care to minimize your exposure.

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