Week 17: Hold on to those brain cells! – 52 Weeks of Wellness


MSG or monosodium glutamate is an addictive flavor enhancer used in many processed foods. It can be listed under 20-30 different names so it is very difficult to detect.

Those warm, fuzzy ingredient names such as natural flavorings, spices and seasonings can do some major damage to our body.

One major concern with MSG is that it has been labeled an excitotoxin. You may remember reading in week 8 we learned that according to Neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D., Neurosurgeon, says excitotoxins like MSG, overstimulate neural cells and cause other nervous system issues. MSG causes brain cells to fire rapidly, become exhausted and die.

They literally are killing off your brain cells.

“What are excitotoxins? The word excitotoxin is derived from two words, excite and toxin. A ‘toxin’ is a poison. So excitotoxin is a poison that excites any brain cell it encounters until it dies. These substances are usually amino acids – sounds rather natural and harmless but when these react with specialized receptors in the brain in such a way as to lead to destruction of certain types of brain cells.” Quote source and much more excitotoxin info can be read here.

MSG can impact hearing, destroy nerve cells, heart rate, lungs, brain, digestive system, blood pressure. Another area of the body that is impacted is vision. There are glutamate receptors in the retina and laboratory studies on animals have shown the retina to be damaged by MSG. We can also see how this impacts other health epidemics. Glutamate stimulates the pancreas and may cause Type II diabetes, obesity, and insulin resistance. Need I go on? Not much safe or natural about it!

So what can you do to ensure you and your family are not consuming this substance?

Eat whole, clean foods grown locally or purchase certified organic. Stick to foods in natural state and not in bags or boxes. Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, whole grains, and nuts/seeds (unroasted and unsalted) are pretty safe bets!

The following list of ingredients may contain MSG:

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein, Plant Protein Extract, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate, Yeast Extract, Textured Protein, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, broth, boullion, natural flavorings, seasonings, spices,whey protein concentrate, soy protein isolate.

Week 17 Action Step:

Challenge this week, see how many items you can load up your cart with that aren’t in a bag, box or package! What did you score, how did you make a meal of it? Tell us in the comments below.

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