A poison is a substance that your body regards as toxic or foreign. It’s easy to see how drinking rat poison, bleach or a workshop chemical would be dangerous and harmful.
But a little bit of poison every day for years can be just as harmful in the long run as a lot of poison all at once, so smart health care consumers are learning about keeping their bodies as clean and non-toxic as possible along the way.
There are two substances prevalent in our diets that are slowly poisoning us, unless we become aware and moderate the intake of such foods.
The first poison most of us eat every day is… sugar. Yes, it tastes delicious, we all realize that.
But sugar has no nutritional content, and it rots your teeth. It overloads your liver and messes up your pancreas, contributing to diabetes and many forms of cancer.
And obviously, it leads to obesity, which is often a gateway to other serious illnesses. Because sugar triggers pleasure mechanisms in your brain, it is addictive as well as destructive.
Among the worst effects of sugar is the damage to the heart and circulatory system. It injures your blood vessels, causing inflammation – we used to blame this on cholesterol, but actually, it’s the sugar that creates the problems.
Some sugar in your diet is unavoidable, and in reasonable quantities, it is harmless. But pounding down foods with sucrose, fructose, and especially high fructose corn syrup stresses your body and has no redeeming value except it tastes good for a second.
It’s not worth it – a soda pop has five spoons of sugar in it, a donut and coffee to start your day forces your gears and gets you hooked so you need the artificial boost just to function.
Break the habit and reduce the poison of sugar in your diet.
The second poison most of us eat daily is… gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat products, like bread, pizza, pasta, and donuts. Surely you’ve heard someone ask for their foods to be gluten-free – they are asking to be served food without this toxic substance in it.
Some people don’t have a noticeable problem with gluten. But for many people, it causes a variety of symptoms, from digestive complaints to allergic responses to chronic pain, which often eludes diagnosis until the person is checked for gluten sensitivity.
In the more serious cases, the immune system is tricked into attacking the gut itself, and that is referred to as celiac disease, which affects between one and five per cent of our citizens.
People with celiac disease cannot tolerate any gluten. It causes digestive pain and inflammation. But there are many people who do not have celiac disease, but are sensitive to gluten anyway. The gluten triggers the immune system to inflame the lining of the gut, the place where you absorb your nutrients into your blood for your body to use.
The effect is poor absorption of nutrients, and deficiencies leading to anemia, stomach pain, fatigue, diarrhea, pain in the bones and joints, and susceptibility to other illnesses.
In addition to gluten’s harm to the digestion, it also injures the brain and nerve system. Research points at gluten sensitivity in many neurological disorders. In fact, situations as diverse as schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy have responded to gluten-free diets.
Finally, gluten, like sugar, is linked to inflammation of the blood vessels, which causes cardiovascular disease. In a nutshell, gluten affects us through our digestion, our brain and nerve system, and our blood vessels – in other words, pretty much everywhere.
The average modern food consumer is addicted to sugar and wheat – take an honest look at your own typical breakfast, lunch and dinner and see how much sugar and gluten is in your food.
For example, if you have a donut and coffee with two sugars for breakfast, another coffee with two sugars at your mid-morning break, pizza or a sandwich for lunch and a good dinner with two soda pops and coffee with a sweet dessert, you have bombarded your body with sugar and gluten all day. No matter how strong you are, this will eventually wear down most people’s defenses.
What can you do? Just be moderate. Stay conscious of your sugar and gluten intake, and make it sensible from your point of view. If you like, there’s plenty of research on the internet, just search and you’ll find plenty of information.
And if you find you need coaching or guidance, ask your doctor of chiropractic.
More of my own personal challenges with sugar to follow soon.