If you or your child have been suffering from the inability to concentrate or focus, have experienced hyperactivity, anxiousness, or even deal with outburst or frustration, this article will help you learn the #1 most important thing that you can do right away to regain a sense of focus, calm and centered confidence.

We have home protection devices to protect us from home invaders.  We have car alarms to protect our cars from thieves.  What protects our brains from danger and harm?

That, my friends, is left up to us.  Our brains and bodies are bombarded by unseen agents that I want to warn you about so you can become your own protector.  I will reveal the top 10 unseen agents and 5 immediate actions you can take to safe guard yourself and your family to reduce your health risks and symptoms while regaining control over your health and wellbeing.

The unseen agents-food coloring and additives.

We may suppose that there are agencies in place to protect us from these, but, did you know that US Food and Drug Administration allows 3,000 food additives to be used in the United States food supply? Even worse, only a handful have actually been tested for safety.   

  • Truth is:  we must become protectors of our own brains and bodies and those of our children.
  • Every year, food manufacturers pour 15 million pounds of artificial food dyes into U.S. foods.
  • Elsewhere around the globe, that is not tolerated and for good reasons: 

As of July 2010, most foods that contain artificial colors were marked in the European Union by warning signs: “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”  A year earlier, in 2009, the British government  warned food manufacturers to remove artificial colors from foods because of various significant health concerns – – not just related to ADHD because the dangers are much broader and pervasive.

Here at home, our watch dogs/protectors have issued no such similar bans.

A 2009 study reported in the journal Prescrire International found that artificial food dyes are linked to an increased incidence of hyperactivity in children. Scientists studied 297 children who were representative of the general population to conclude that food colors increase hyperactivity in children, not just children who are sensitive to them.

On its own website, The Mayo Clinic notes that “certain food colorings and preservatives may increase hyperactive behavior in some children.” You are advised to read labels, and more than 20 years of working with children and adults with brain related conditions have convinced me that you should eliminate the following from your diet and that of your children.

Click here to request your copy of our top 10 food additives and preservatives shopping list so you can navigate the grocery store with clarity and ease.

Top 5 Additives

  • Sodium benzoate, which is commonly found in carbonated beverages, salad dressings, and fruit juice products.
  • FD&C Yellow No. 6 (sunset yellow), which can be found in breadcrumbs, cereal, candy, icing, and soft drinks.
  • D&C Yellow No. 10 (quinoline yellow), which can be found in juices, sorbets, and smoked haddock.
  • FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine), which can be found in foods like pickles, cereal, granola bars, and yogurt.
  • FD&C Red No. 40 (allura red), which can be found in soft drinks, children’s medications, gelatin desserts, and ice cream.
  • Artificial colors might just be listed as “artificial colors.”  Don’t skip that when reading labels, even though it seems so obvious.
  • If you are not sure, don’t buy it.  

Other dyes may or may not be listed, but be cautious with anything colored that you put in your mouth. Natural colors are listed on a food ingredient label with the name of the source and the fact that it’s used for color, like: “beet juice (added for color).”  When in doubt, throw it out.

One additional caution:  You may or may not think to consider non-food items when you think of artificial colors or dyes but it is not just “food” coloring that affects that brain.  Artificial colors in all products we consume are liable to do harm.

So, be alert to artificial colors even in products like toothpaste, mouthwash, vitamins and medications (yes, the medication your child may be taking may have artificial colors, preservatives, sweeteners, gluten and other ingredients found to contribute to ADHD, mood disorders, and unhealthy brain development).  If it goes in your mouth or touches the skin, be your child’s detective, find the danger and eliminate it.

To grab our top 10 additives and preservative shopping check list and where they hide, be sure to click here to request your free copy.

So WHAT Do You Do???  Here are 5 Tips to Help You Successfully Navigate the Grocery Store to Reduce Your Exposure and Risk to These Harmful Additives.

Your 5 Action Steps to Protect Yourself from the Dangers of Additives:

  • Search through everywhere you store food and other products found in the lists printed here,  and start reading labels.  Identify which foods and other products you will eliminate.  
  • Visit local health food stores, online healthy shopping supersites like Thrive Market, healthy supermarkets like Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s, Whole Foods and other similar chain stores in your area, and even check some conventional supermarkets that carry cleaner, healthier products (but be sure to read the labels) to begin to find substitutes for the things you are eliminating.
  • Look for online recipes and Kindle books and books at your local bookstores that provide recipes and shopping tips to help you make the foods you want in the time you have within the budget you have.  I promise you, this information and these resources are out there.  
  • Involve your child in choosing new foods and products
  • Find online chat groups for support and further resources

Remember, the word is gradual and within your comfort zone.  The research is solid and has been reinforced with study after study for many a couple of decades.  You don’t have to do everything at once, start with just reading labels and understanding what common foods you are currently eating that contain these additives, then one at a time begin to reduce, remove and replace with healthy- no additive containing healthy foods. Your brain, body and mood will thank you.