Many people just don’t know about how impactful mold toxins can be to their health, and very few people know how to avoid them. While some foods are more prone to contamination with mold than others (we identify them in the Better Baby Book), almost any food can become contaminated.
Unfortunately, mold contamination is not always visible. But that doesn’t mean that molds aren’t leaving their toxins behind, even if there’s not live mold on the food this very moment. A classic example here would be cornmeal–even though there may be no live mold on it when you buy it, there very likely would have been mold growing on at least some of the corn that was ground to make it. From that point forward, the chemicals made by the mold – the mycotoxins – will be present in the cornmeal. And those toxins can still make you feel bad, faster than you’d think.
We learned how to avoid eating moldy food by paying close attention to how we felt after eating certain foods that didn’t make us feel good, and by combing through hundreds of papers on the effect of trace amounts of mold on health. We share the list of symptoms here so you can avoid mycotoxins, too. If you feel any of the following symptoms start suddenly within about 20 minutes of eating something or walking into a building (especially one with visible mold or a musty smell) there’s a good chance you might have eaten or breathed some mold toxins:
A little sick or queasy in your stomach
Cold hands or feet
A runny or stuffy nose
Itchy eyes, dry eyes
Flaking skin or itching scalp
Feeling thirsty or dehydrated
You suddenly feel fatigued
A buzzing sensation in your head or feeling lightheaded
Sensitivity to light or louder sounds
Gas or diarrhea
By paying attention to when we felt fine and then suddenly felt these symptoms after eating something or going into a building, we developed the ability to avoid the foods and places that caused them. We hope this list helps you do the same!
We’ll blog later about how to avoid these toxins!