Addictive Foods

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Addictive Foods

Addictive foods and how they get us. Most of us are fond of at least one product that has the effect of a stimulant and that eventually becomes an addiction. These products include exercise stimulant drinks (they come in cans and look like cola) fizzy aerated drinks, tobacco, betel nut, betel leaf, strong coffee, strong tea, ma huang (an ephedrine-like compound consumed in china), and alcohol. I know you have just paused and thought to your self who the heck is she to tell me what I should consume. It’s not that we disagree it’s that we don’t like other people shining the mirror in our direction so e can vie ourselves. Almost every day I get annoyed with my addiction to Diet Coke!!! (YUP THYE GOT ME) But if someone else even suggests I have water I am about ready to box. 

Before I tell you why we shouldn’t consume these products, I’d like to deal with the question of why we do consume them in the first place. (DUH, they marketed so well we believed the lie) There’s no one who doesn’t know that products like these, consumed in excess, can severely harm our bodies. Yet, we still find them hard to resist. The need to eat stimulant food is a simple human weakness that has existed for ages: humans (and many animals) have always indulged in foods that give a sort of emotional high. In clinical terms, this means rapid heartbeat, a little sweating, dilation or constriction of the pupils of the eye, a warm rush on the face, and a sense of greater sensitivity, concentration, and perception.

These sensations of ‘high’ die down within a few hours, and we are left feeling listless and low. This leads to a craving for that food again, to experience the high one more time. And there we are going round and round in a vicious circle.

The physiology of addictions is as follows:

When you eat an addictive food, it stimulates the hormone-like substances found at the end of your nerves, which triggers an avalanche of similar stimulatory substances and you experience a high. As the substances near the nerves are depleted, you get into the low phase, which leads you to crave that food again. This yo-yo phase of nerve stimulation and depletion leads to a pattern of addiction.

Consuming addictive foods is one of the oldest unhealthy food practices and, despite a revolution in health consciousness; it shows no signs of dying out.  Below are some side effects of certain addictive foods.

Alcohol Addiction: Erosion of stomach and intestinal lining, liver damage, nutritional decency.

Tobacco: Erosion of gum and tongue can lead to cancer of the buccal mucosa.

Betel nut: This leads to the discoloration of teeth, erosion of the lining of the mouth, and cancer of the mouth and upper tract. It also leads to heart problems among people who already have a weak heart.

Ma huang: It contains ephedrine and leads to heart problems.

Aerated drinks: High doses of caffeine.

Caffeine and xanthine: Found in tea, coffee. These become harmful only in very high doses; don’t consume more than five cups a day. ( I hope that mean 2 2-liters a day is okay ) 

Mixed drug reactions: People who consume medications for the heart, hypertension, and asthma have to be very careful about the interactions of the drugs with stimulant foods, as mixing the two can be fatal. After years of experience, all doctors know how difficult it is to break the food addictions of their patients. So like them, I can only advise a good compromise. If you can’t break the addiction, then at least you should practice moderation.

I have always hated the struggle with food, or soda, or whatever I was addicted to at various times in my life. I am kinda sick of it, 2016 I decided I was no longer going to live to eat but I was going to eat to live. Within months I had dropped weight and gave up their soda and cigarettes. I felt amazing and yet when life gets happy, stressful, celebratory, depressed, I find comfort in food. Being an urban farmer I have access to amazing nutrients at affordable prices and so this time I am not going to be so strict with myself and yet still finding ways to reward myself with a coke. 

I am going to place my body on a plant-based diet ultimately but for now, I am going to cut out sweets and soda and start there, anyone wants to start with me? Send me a message if you do, I don’t have any products to sell you but we could talk about or struggle. 

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