Most of us are fond of at least one product that has the effect of a stimulant that may eventually become 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.
Before I tell you why we should not consume these harmful products, I would like to deal with the question on why we consume them in the first place.
We all know that consuming the products mentioned earlier, in excess, can severely harm our bodies and brain. Yet, we often 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 could result in rapid heart beat, perspiration, dilation or constriction of the pupils of the eye, a warm flush on the face, and a sense of greater sensitivity, concentration and perception. These have adverse effects on the nervous system. And because the basis of chiropractic is about the nervous system, the effect of addictive foods can have dire consequences on our health.
Usually, the ‘high’ sensations fade off within a few hours, and we are left feeling listless, low and lost. This leads to a craving for that addictive food or item again, to experience the high one more time. Sadly, it is not one more time, but many more times. And we end up going round and round in a vicious circle.
This is how the physiology of addictions work.
When you eat an addictive product, it stimulates the hormone-like substances found at the end of your nerves. This 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 for that food or product 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.
Here are some side effects of certain addictive food and products:
- Alcohol: Erosion of stomach and intestinal lining, liver damage and cirrhosis, nutritional deficiency.
- Tobacco: Erosion of gum and tongue, which can lead to cancer of the buccal mucosa.
- Betel nut: Discolouration of teeth, erosion of the lining of the mouth, and cancer of the mouth and upper tract. It can also lead to heart problems among those who already have a weak heart.
- Ma huang: It contains ephedrine and leads to heart problems.
- High-sugar aerated drinks and soda: Sodas have high doses of caffeine, which may cause heart palpitations; high sugar drinks can lead to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and chronic heart diseases.
- Caffeine and xanthine: Found in tea and coffee, these become harmful only in very high doses; do not consume more than five cups a day.
- Mixed drug reactions: People who take 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 cannot break the addiction, then at least you should practise moderation.
We should live life and eat food the natural way as much as possible and avoid living or eating food in an unnatural state. Based on our actual physiology, we need to avoid manipulating or changing our “form” unnecessarily. Thankfully, Chiropractic can help us to remove the unnatural interferences through our thoughts, traumas and toxins, and keep our best health paradigm, from the inside out.
Let us help you transform your health, as you take control of your health and life.
Your Trusted Chiropractor
Dr. Nicholas Lim, D.C., ANutr, B.Sc.(Hons)
[Dr. of Chiropractic & Nutritionist]
WhatsApp :+65 9352 8828
Telephone : +65 6970 8152
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org