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The Top 4 Hidden Forms of MSG Vegans Need To Look Out For

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Now more than ever our food is laced with hidden MSG. Vegans are often so concerned with staying away from animal products that they unknowingly take in this neurotoxin in both its natural and chemical forms, and this is injurious to their health.


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Monosodium Glutamic Acid (MSG) is a common flavor enhancer that comes from a chemical process in which glutamic acid is isolated, then bound to a sodium molecule, purified into a powder then added to processed foods. Due to loopholes in nutritional labeling regulations, MSG has now become hidden in many of the processed foods vegans believe to be animal-free and healthful. MSG is commonly hidden on nutritional labels as “natural flavors,” “citric acid,” and “vanilla flavor.”

Research published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine has also concluded that headaches caused by MSG intake may be related to its injurious effect on brain neurons due to an increase of intracranial pressure due to cell swelling, which is well known to cause headaches.

What is more MSG is a neurotoxin that “eats away at your brain, creates lesions, and breaks down your nervous system, worsening neurological problems,” says health expert Anthony William, NY Times Best Selling Author of Medical Medium: Life Changing Foods.

Here are the top 4 hidden forms of MSG vegans need to look out for:

1 Citric Acid – Many vegans view citric acid as harmless when they see it as an ingredient in hummus and processed foods. They incorrectly believe that citric acid comes from citrus or, more specifically, lemons, and is therefore natural. This is why it has become so easy for the food industry to hide MSG. According to the Weston A Price Foundation, “When ‘citric acid’ is produced from corn, manufacturers do not take the time or undertake the expense to remove all corn protein. During processing, the remaining protein is hydrolyzed, resulting in some processed free glutamic acid (MSG).

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2. Vanilla flavor – Vegan protein shakes, protein bars, energy bars – anything that processed that contains vanilla flavor, contains MSG. Avoid it.

3. Natural Flavorings – Tea companies use MSG to enhance the flavor of the herbal teas you think are healthy. Drinking herbal tea with neurotoxic MSG is counter-productive to the health you’re looking to achieve. Natural flavors are also included in dairy milks.

4. Nutritional Yeast – Yeast-based products naturally contain glutamic acid, an amino acid that is found in abundance in plant and animal proteins. So many vegans add nutritional yeast to their food to give it a cheesy flavor, without ever realizing it’s MSG. In fact, any form of yeast. MSG whether natural occurring or not, still has the same neurotoxic effect on the brain and should be avoided.

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It is always best as a practicing vegan to eat as many natural raw foods as possible. Avoiding anything that comes in a can, a bag, a carton, a package, or a jar, will help you to eliminate most forms for MSG. If you’re drinking herbal teas or nut milks, be extra vigilant for “natural flavorings” as well.

As always, its helps to work with a Holistic Nutrition Practitioner and/or Naturopath to be sure you are meeting all of your natural dietary needs and monitoring your newly improved health.