It’s the time of year again! Colorful confections are hitting the store shelves, and probably your children, like mine, are begging to buy those colorful sugar bombs each time you walk in the store. It’s such a constant battle that I try every way possible to not take my little critters shopping with me. But do not get me wrong. I’m all for children having fun and enjoying the holidays all of us remember growing up with.
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Packaged bonbons treats around this time of year of are among these. I know I wrote about this last year, but it bears repeating. My problem, aside from the surplus of sugar, is the sum of nourriture dyes consumed. It’s simply not good. And as you could argue that a small amount of colored candies for a brief length of the year is benign, I want to convince you differently. Artificial colors are a issue, and they’re a lot more widespread and far-reaching than you think. Besides Halloween candy, food dyes are used in a lot of products aimed towards our children.
A couple of examples include boxed macaroni and cheese, yogurts, cereals, jello, frostings, and some snack crackers. Our children are consuming these additives throughout the year, with a sudden spike around Halloween time. Why should we care? Second, they are made from chemicals derived from oil. Third, and possibly most important, they could have harmful santé effects on the small bodies of our children. Hopefully that perks your ears a little.
A 2012 meta-analysis on research associated with artificial colours and hyperactivity in kids found a positive correlation, meaning that food dyes were connected to over-active behaviour. In 2007, before this, a study in the UK showed an increase in hyperactivity in children consuming artificial colours, prompting the government to require labeling and warnings on products. Based on similar studies, Norway and Austria have banned them entirely. Additionally, newer research indicates that artificial colours can increase the risk for food sensitivities and leaky gut. Yikes!
How you ask? Well, turns out that food dyes, when from the digestive tract, bind up a number of your digestive enzymes, namely trypsin, which then inhibits the breakdown of proteins. These larger proteins ends up in the gut undigested, triggering inflammation, which then inflames the intestines and sets the stage for the immune system to over-react to foods. You also increase the danger of malabsorption and other conditions associated with leaky gut (poor digestion, body courbatures, eczema, neurological problems, etc). Not great for our kids. Personal story alert.
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My one encounter with the harmful impact of artificial colours is linked to night terrors. Your children ever have one of these? Oh man they aren’t fun. Imagine your two year old screaming at the middle of the night, eyes rolled back in their mind, not entirely awake, and nothing will calm him down. It’s terrifying. After a few frightening episodes we tracked it back to a source. Every time he had a candy with blue dye, that night an incident would happen. Cut out the blue dye, no more night terrors.
I realize this isn’t the night terror cure for everybody, but do think about food reactions in such instances. For all of us, thankfully, it was a simple fix, and we resolved to be cautious on additives and preservatives in our child’s régime alimentaire. This year, do your children, and everybody’s child, a favor by not distributing candy utilizing artificial colors. Also search your cabinets, read labels, and shed some merchandise that utilize them as well. Because of the hard work by researchers and health advocates, many businesses are beginning to re-formulate their food products. You can, in actuality, find many viable choices which are just as unhealthy sugar-wise, but won’t overload our children on artificial colorings. Even better, disperse a few toys or stickers instead. Don’t worry, Halloween will still be enjoyable and your little angels will not turn into little devils in the procedure. Good luck this holiday season!