For chocolate lovers and coffee lovers alike, mycotoxins can be our worst enemy. They’re like the mysterious super villain that works behind the scenes to squash the plans of the superhero. Or that guy that nobody invited to the party who ends up spilling wine on your new carpets.
In other words, mycotoxins are not our friends, and something we do well to avoid as much as possible. The less mycotoxins we consume from our environment and in our food the better. It may be impossible to avoid mycotoxins completely but reducing them as much as possible with some simple changes to our diet and lifestyle can have profound effects on our health and overall well-being.
What is a mycotoxin?
Mycotoxins grow on mold and yeast that form in damp environments and during the growing and processing of many common foods. There are many forms of mycotoxins, including the most common like aflatoxin, fumonisms, and trichothecenes.
Mycotoxins can contribute to many health problems like weight gain, brain fog, fertility problems, cancer, insomnia, and kidney and liver failure. A good way to know if our body is dealing with mycotoxins can be recurring nightmares, brain fog, heightened allergies and increased heart beat, especially after eating mycotoxin laden foods or walking into a rotting or moldy building.
Prolonged exposure to mycotoxins can cause dehydration and override the liver and lungs, causing a toxic build-up, which dramatically reduces the wonderful healing capabilities of the immune system.
Where are mycotoxins found?
One of the main sources of mycotoxins come from damp homes and buildings that have had floods or water leaks. Ensuring that your living space and car is free from toxic molds and fungus is a great start. Whether your home smells damp or you simply suspect it of having mold problems, it can be a good idea to have someone come to your home and test for toxic mold and mycotoxins in the air. There are many great air testing services in most cities.
Here are the most common foods that contain mycotoxins.
- GMO crops and foods
- Grain-fed meats and dairy
- Cottonseed Oil
- Fermented foods (except grass fed yogurt, kefir, and apple cider vinegar)
Do heating and cooking destroy mycotoxins?
In short, no.
Heating, roasting, and cooking can destroy many molds and yeasts that form on foods but unfortunately the mycotoxins that grow and thrive on this mold are not destroyed, requiring up to a thousand plus degrees farenheit to be destroyed.
How can we protect against mycotoxins and mold?
If you suspect your home or work environment to have mold, get it tested. It’s best to be safe than sorry.
In chocolate, just because it’s roasted doesn’t mean it is free from mycotoxins and molds. It is imperative to find a high quality cacao that is processed and prepared with care. The truth of the matter is the chocolate industry is not adequately regulated for mycotoxins and mold, making chocolate high on the look-out list for mycotoxins.
We take special care by testing each batch of our chocolate and use proprietary processing techniques to ensure a mycotoxin and mold free chocolate.
Until next time, stay WISE.