This may be the first time you’re hearing about mycotoxins — byproducts of mold or fungus that exist in many different foods and in certain environments. Mycotoxins are produced by certain species of mold, and they come in different groups, including aflatoxin, zearalenon and ochratoxin. Since they are produced by fungi, they are associated with diseased or moldy crops. They can be present in the air or in your food. Airborne mycotoxins from toxic mold can be absorbed through the eyes, skin and lungs, potentially causing some serious health problems, including vomiting, breathing problems and damage to internal organs.
Many of the conventional crops that are grown today are at risk for mycotoxin contamination. While small amounts of mycotoxins in your food won’t kill you, they can cause different health problems over time, including cancer and autoimmune disorder. Mycotoxins tend to affect those with weak immune systems more often, but anyone can be at risk, depending on the amount and time of exposure.
Mycotoxin poisoning is known as mycotoxicosis. Antibiotics and other drugs have shown little effect on mycotoxicosis symptoms. The best known treatment is to stop the exposure of mycotoxins. Removing airborne mycotoxins from your home could include mold removal and thorough cleaning, while removing food-borne myctoxins involves a change in diet. To reduce your risk of mycotoxin poisoning, removing these ten foods that are most commonly contaminated with mycotoxins from your diet immediately is a must:
Beverages are made from grains that are easily contaminated. Along with the other health risks that alcohol poses, it is contaminated with mycotoxins.
Alternatives: Kombucha, tea, coffee, water.
Products that contain wheat are at a high risk for mycotoxin contamination — even organic and sprouted.
Alternatives: Gluten-free flours, coconut flour, quinoa, rice.
Fresh corn is the most likely to be contaminated. Other corn products such as chips and flour are at a lower risk for contamination, but should still be consumed with caution.
Alternatives: Almond flour, quinoa chips, sweet potato chips, quinoa flour, other vegetables.
Sugar cane and sugar beets are easily contaminated with mold. They also feed fungi that live in the body, causing an overgrowth that can lead to a variety of health problems.
Alternatives: Raw honey, stevia.
Barley contains gluten, and it can be easily contaminated with mycotoxins.
Alternatives: Lentils, garbanzo beans, rice.
As disappointing as it may be, peanuts contain many different types of molds and mycotoxins.
Alternatives: Walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds.
Sorghum is popular with those who need to eat gluten free, but it is easily contaminated.
Alternatives: Almond, coconut, quinoa, rice flour.
Mycotoxins often contaminate different cheeses, with the exception of Gouda cheese, which is made from cultures, not fungus.
9. Cottonseed and Cottonseed Oil
This ingredient may be found in your potato chips. It’s highly contaminated with mycotoxins.
Alternatives: Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil.
Rye contains gluten, which makes it easily contaminated.
Alternatives: Garbanzo bean flour, rice flour.