Why Grains Are Harmful: One of the Top 3 Most Inflammatory Foods
There are many signs & symptoms associated with the consumption of grains as you can see in the list that follows, but please consider that the food reactions may be due to the food, or they may be due to the health of the organs trying to process the food:
Contribute to poor mood and behavior
Congestion of the nose, sinuses, and throat
Gastrointestinal problems including bloating, gas, heartburn, burping, ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or vomiting
Watery, glassy eyes; puffiness around the eyes, dark circles under the eyes
Perspiration for no apparent reason, or night sweats
Ear infections, triggered by congestion; or warm, red earlobes
Dizziness, vertigo, or poor balance
Headaches, migraines, or tension in the neck and shoulders resembling that of stress
Eczema, skin rashes, or canker sores
Swelling of the hands, feet, or face
Coughing, sneezing, wheezing, asthmatic symptoms, or tightness in the chest
Muscle aches, leg cramps, or twitchy legs
Cognitive problems, including poor focus, poor memory, or brain fog
Emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, or anger accompanied by associated behavior
Lethargy or low stamina
Insomnia, feelings of distress while trying to sleep, or chronic bedwetting
Excess salivation, spitting during speech, or drooling
Negative behavioral symptoms including hyperactivity, dissociative behavior, or tantrums
Important consideration: the food reactions may be due to the food, or they may be due to the health of the organs trying to process the food.
Whole grains contain the whole seed of the plant. It contains the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. If bread bears the 100% whole grains stamp, all of its grain ingredients are whole.
The bran: is the tough outer layer that protects the kernel. It’s full of fiber, B vitamins, phytonutrients as well as a high mineral content.
The germ: is the embryo of the seed. a. This is the part of the seed that allows the seed to sprout. b. There are also lots of B vitamins in the germ, along with minerals, fats (like vitamin E) and antioxidants. Note that all these nutrients that I just mentioned are critical for optimal mental health.
The endosperm: is the seed’s main source of energy. It’s the largest part of the seed and contains complex carbohydrates, proteins, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Refined grains have removed the bran and the germ
Lose about 25% of the protein, key vitamins and minerals, and a whole lot of the fiber.
Enriched, or added vitamins and minerals are difficult for the body to utilize.
They give us short-lived energy – much like sugar
It breaks down into sugar in the body very quickly and can lead to the same problems caused by sugar and lead to more cravings for sugar.
Gluten peptides that cross the blood brain barrier aka gluteomorphins are highly addictive.
Children will begin to restrict their foods to things that contain gluten
This opiate effect is why some children are limited to eating the white-stuff—they are actually getting a bit of a high off their food
They’re having a narcotic effect
There are actually 10-20 peptides in wheat that have been found to be 20% more potent than morphine itself
Wheat is addictive
It tends to dominate thoughts and behaviors
If you don’t have any for several hours, you can start to get nervous, foggy, tremulous, and start desperately seeking out another “hit” of crackers, bagels, or bread, even if it’s the few stale 3-month old crackers at the bottom of the box
There is a distinct withdrawal syndrome characterized by overwhelming fatigue, mental “fog,” inability to exercise, even depression that lasts several days, occasionally several weeks
The withdrawal process can be provoked by administering an opiate-blocking drug such as naloxone or naltrexone. But the high of wheat is not like the high of heroin, morphine, or Oxycontin. This opiate, while it binds to the opiate receptors of the brain, doesn’t make us high. It makes us hungry.
It’s actually the gliadin protein that has a similar chemical makeup to opiates, and can occupy that parking spot in the brain, which is what starts that craving cycle for those particular foods
These opioids disrupt brain function by attaching to receptor sites normally meant for neurotransmitters. (Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that help dictate our personality, moods, behavior, bodily function, and more)
This opiate effect on neurotransmitter receptors explains why gluten plays a role in exacerbating symptoms in so many cases of ADD/ADHD, autism, or behavioral problems in children; or brain fog, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, anorexia and migraines in adults
More facts on grains
Before the seed is even planted, fungicides and insecticides are applied to its outer surface to control disease and insects
Exposure to them increases our overall toxic load, increases the possibilities of neurotoxic diseases (like ADD, ADHD, and other learning issues), and they also increase our cancer risks, to name just a few challenges
Also of note is that these chemicals function as xenoestrogens in the body. Xenoestrogens are estrogens that come from outside the body that sit in estrogen receptors inside the body and can disrupt our hormonal balance
Exposure to xenoestrogens is linked to:
Breast cancer risk
And a host of other estrogen-dominant diseases in women and men (our men and boys are experiencing more estrogen dominance as well)
Farmers routinely apply hormone-like substances—either “natural” or synthetic to the stalk to help with strength and speed time of germination
One of the most commonly used synthetic growth regulators, introduced in the 1960’s, was Cycocel. It has precautionary labels that explain what to do if the chemical is swallowed or gets in the eyes or skin – all reasons for calling poison control. The label also states: This product is toxic to wildlife.
Bugs can readily infiltrate grain storage facilities, so the grains are sprayed with more insecticides
Natural wheat germ goes rancid at about the same rate as milk becomes sour. The bran and germ are the parts that can become rancid, so they are removed to support shelf-life.
Wheat and wheat flour were also some of the first foods that were approved by the FDA for irradiation in 1968. This was implemented to control insects. Irradiation of wheat involves the use of high-energy radiation to break chemical bonds and ionize the molecular structure of the grain.
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And, if you'd like to learn more about healthy eating habits, please watch this recent lecture we conducted at our offices: