So many ingredients in the SAD diet cause inflammation. But it is the preservatives, colorings, and flavorings that we really don’t know what they are doing in the body. They are just not well studied. For instance, did you know that arnica is an approved flavoring agent by the FDA?!?! If you don’t know why this is so crazy check this out.
I want to talk to you about this separately from the other two. Preservatives are intended to kill, to kill the pathogens that make our food go bad, the molds and bacteria growing on them. Preservatives can also kill off our good bacteria in our bodies. The good bacteria we have living in our own digestive systems need to stay healthy to help us break down our food so we get the ideal nutrients from our foods. Without our good bacteria we are more likely to get less favorable pathogens living in our digestive system, leading to upsets with our bowels, intestinal inflammation, and a variety of other symptoms associated with these two issues.
Intestinal inflammation is a large issue these days with in the United States. When there is inflammation in our intestines, molecules that are not intended to be in our bodies get in. They can cause additional inflammatory reactions, allergic reactions, and cause a variety of toxicity symptoms that we would not otherwise experience. Keeping our gut flora healthy is very important and preservatives very easily disrupt this delicate ecosystem.
As I mentioned before, the real dangers of these is that we don’t know what they are doing to us. They are not well studied. When the digestive system is inflamed there is no stopping these molecules from entering into our bodies. We never evolved to process these molecules and our bodies are not prepared to protect us from the dangerous ones.
Yes there are dangerous ones. A number of common food coloring agents have been linked with causing various cancers. While this is the largest concern, other coloring agents have been linked with ADHD and increased estrogenic activity in the body.
What about natural colorings and flavorings?
These are generally also highly processed chemicals even if they are extracted from natural sources. Not all natural sources are good sources. It is best to still reach for whole foods and prepare them yourself. If you are not at that point yet, reach for the natural before the artificial.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Join Jillian for live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online for more learning opportunities or work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultations.