Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people around the world. While there are multiple factors that can lead to anxiety, the presence of mycotoxins in our environment can be a major cause of this issue. Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by fungi and can be found in many areas of our lives, from the food we eat to the air we breathe. Research has shown that these compounds can lead to an increase in anxiety levels and can even cause other mental health issues. While the presence of mycotoxins in our environment cannot be completely eliminated, there are steps that we can take to reduce their effects on our mental health. In this article, we will discuss the effects of mycotoxins on anxiety, as well as what we can do to reduce their presence in our lives.
What are Mycotoxins?
Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by certain types of fungi. Humans may come into contact with mycotoxins through the food that we eat, the water that we drink, and the air that we breathe. There are thousands of different types of mycotoxins and they are present in a wide variety of foods, including corn, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, and oats. Some of the most common types of mycotoxins include aflatoxins, fumonisins, trichothecenes, and ochratoxins. While mycotoxins can be found in multiple aspects of our lives, they are most commonly associated with food. This is because many of the foods that we eat are stored in warehouses prior to being shipped to grocery stores. In these warehouses, mycotoxins can grow on crops like wheat, corn, and oats. These toxins can be then transferred to the food that we eat.
Mycotoxins and anxiety
There is a strong link between mycotoxins and anxiety. Research has shown that individuals who consume foods with higher levels of mycotoxins also tend to have higher levels of anxiety. In one particular study, participants were given either coffee with milk that had high levels of mycotoxins or coffee with milk that had low levels of mycotoxins. Toxic mold illness from coffee has seen other health professionals mention it and there has was a documentary created by Dave Asprey of Bulletproof.The results showed that individuals who drank coffee with high levels of mycotoxins had significant increases in anxiety levels. This suggests that the mycotoxins present in the milk may have actually caused the anxiety. Additional research shows that mycotoxins can also cause other mental health issues, such as depression, cognitive impairment, and mood disorders.
Sources of mycotoxins
As mentioned above, mycotoxins can be found in many aspects of our lives. Some of the most common sources of mycotoxins include the following: – Food – One of the most common sources of mycotoxins is food. As mentioned above, some crops are grown in environments that promote the growth of fungi. These crops are then used to make many common foods, including wheat, corn, and oats. While these foods are still safe to eat when they contain low levels of mycotoxins, they can become dangerous when they have high levels of mycotoxins. This can lead to an increase in mycotoxin exposure. – Water – Water can also become contaminated with mycotoxins, particularly in areas with high humidity. This can happen when water is stored in areas that are conducive to the growth of fungi, such as in water tanks or tanks used for fertilizer. Additionally, water can become contaminated with mycotoxins when it travels through pipes that have been infected by fungi. – Air – Air can also become contaminated with mycotoxins. When crops or grains become moldy, they produce spores that can be carried by the wind and travel long distances. When these spores land on other crops, they can lead to the growth of fungi and contaminate the air surrounding the crops.
Mycotoxins and other mental health issues
Although mycotoxins have been primarily linked to anxiety, they have been shown to cause multiple mental health issues. Some of the other mental health issues linked to mycotoxins include depression, cognitive impairment, and mood disorders. Depression is a mental health issue that is experienced by many individuals. While the exact cause of depression is not always clear, research shows that it can be caused by the presence of certain mycotoxins. Individuals who consume foods that contain high levels of mycotoxins have a higher risk of developing depression. Cognitive impairment is the deterioration of cognitive function that can lead to the loss of memory. Some research suggests that the presence of mycotoxins in the body can lead to cognitive impairment, particularly in older individuals. Mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, and dysthymia are disorders that are characterized by mood swings. While there are many factors that can lead to mood disorders, some research suggests that mycotoxins may be involved in the development of these disorders.
Reducing mycotoxin exposure
There are a few ways that you can reduce your exposure to mycotoxins, particularly if you have been diagnosed with anxiety and know that these toxins may be involved. While it is not possible to eliminate mycotoxins from your diet, there are some steps that you can take to reduce your exposure to these toxins. First, you can buy organic products as often as possible, particularly when buying grains and legumes. Although organic crops are not completely free of mycotoxins, they do have lower levels than non-organic crops. Next, you can store your food properly to reduce your risk of exposure to mycotoxins. You can do this by keeping your grains in a cool and dry place, such you would use for storing rice. Additionally, you can purchase a food vacuum sealer to help extend the life of your grains and legumes. And lastly, you can try to reduce the humidity in your home by using fans and dehumidifiers.
Foods that may contain mycotoxins
It is important to keep your gut health in check by eating probiotic foods, but it is also necessary to provide nourishment for the helpful bacteria that can break down mycotoxins with prebiotic foods. A few of my favourites are green resistant potato starch, leeks onions and garlic.
Polyphenols are plant-based compounds that can provide antioxidant and prebiotic benefits. Specifically, quercetin and resveratrol can help protect cells from mycotoxin damage. To get a significant amount of polyphenols in your diet, you should consume blueberries, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, extra virgin olive oil, purple sweet potato, green tea and organic dark chocolate
Residing or laboring in an area polluted with mold can lead to the gut becoming colonized by fungus through the inhalation and inadvertent swallowing of mold spores in the air. Ingesting antifungal food items can help to restore a balanced microbial environment and combat yeast infections that often emerge in people exposed to mold. Consider adding a one or more servings a day of the following items: Coconut oil, Extra virgin olive, Garlic, Thyme Tea, Basil, Oregano, Ginger, Cinnamon, Turmeric, and Raw Honey
Probiotic Rich Foods
Probiotic foods are advantageous in helping the body’s recuperation from illness. Lactobacillus casei Shirota ties aflatoxin, while Lactobacillus Plantarum and Bifidobacteria reduce intestinal dysbiosis caused by mycotoxins Additionally, kefir grains, which are a conglomeration of helpful microorganisms held together by polysaccharides, have been observed to adsorb mycotoxins. I recommend having one serving of fermented foods daily. Examples of such food sources are sauerkraut, kimchi, kvass coconut milk or almond milk yogurt and if dairy is endured, full-fat, grass-fed yogurt or kefir can likewise be devoured. In any case, matured cheddar, cured meats and kombucha ought to be limited or kept away from and can be reintroduced later on.