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Sick Because of Food
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by: Celebrity Recipes Magazine

Beware of mycotoxins in your food!

Food, despite being our source of sustenance, can actually make us sick. In particular, there are the so-called mycotoxic foods that are the main cause or causes of both short and long-term health effects. These include such effects as poisoning and cancer that may eventually lead to death.

Mycotoxic foods produce mycotoxins - poisonous chemicals produced by molds that grow on our food (sourced from either plants or animals). One of the most common of these mycotoxins is aflatoxin which is commonly found in peanuts and which may eventually get transmitted to peanut-related products (e.g. peanut butter).

Some mycotoxins are known carcinogens, or cancer-causing substances. Likewise, they have been pinpointed as the probable, if not main cause of a large number of human-health problems ranging from hepatitis to liver-related diseases.

Known mycotoxic foods include alcoholic beverages, corn, grain (wheat, barley etc.), sugar (both from sugar cane and sugar beets), sorghum, peanuts, rye and yes, even cheeses!

What causes mycotoxins to develop? The main culprits, studies show, include improper drying and storage. It has been pointed out that foods stored for a long time are at risk of developing mycotoxins.

In general, the effects of mycotoxins - with the exception of poisoning - are generally long-term. As such, it requires continuous ingestion of these substances for a period of time, before effects surface. Some of the known conditions cause and exacerbated by mycotoxins include: liver cancer, chronic fatigue, hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver.

Although, it would be very difficult ascertain the stages by which our food reaches us, ordinary consumers who are conscious of their health can minimize the possible effects of mycotoxins by following several guidelines. These include:

  • Sourcing food form reputable sources.

  • Taking into account the data printed on food packages that ascertain purchase dates and consumption dates.

  • Ascertaining the proper means of storing food for particular foodstuffs.

  • Combining a healthful lifestyle and diet.

  • Proper preparation of food. This includes limiting the use of preservatives and food coloring. In this respect, the consumption of organic produce might be best.

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September 22, 2017

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