Most people in the world are fond of at least one product that has the effect of a stimulant. Over time people eventually become addicted to these products.

These products, however, can severely harm our bodies when consumed in excess. Yet, we still find it difficult to do without them. Some of these products include exercise stimulant drinks (they come in cans and look like cola), fizzy aerated drinks, tobacco, betel nut, betel leaf, strong coffee, strong tea, mahuang (an ephedrine-like compound consumed in china), and alcohol.


Why do you consume these foods?

The need to eat stimulant food is a simple human weakness that has existed for ages: humans (and many animals) have always indulged in foods that give a sort of emotional high. In clinical terms, this means rapid heartbeat, a little sweating, dilation or constriction of the pupils of the eye, a warm flush on the face, and a sense of greater sensitivity, concentration, and perception.

These sensations of ‘high’ die down within a few hours, and we are left feeling less and low. This leads to a craving for that food again, to experience the high one more time. And there we are going round and round in a vicious circle.

The physiology of addictions is as follows:

When you eat an addictive food, it stimulates the hormone-like substances found at the end of your nerves, which triggers an avalanche of similar stimulatory substances and you experience a high. As the substances near the nerves are depleted, you get into the low phase, which leads you to crave that food again. This yo-yo phase of nerve stimulation and depletion leads to a pattern of addiction.

Consuming addictive foods is one of the oldest unhealthy food practices and, despite a revolution in health consciousness; it shows no signs of dying out. Below are some side effects of certain addictive foods.


Alcohol

Over the long-term, the effects of alcohol addiction on the body and overall health can be significant. They can be difficult or impossible to reverse. Studies show alcohol addiction can cause different things in people such as erosion of stomach bad breath, cancer, intestinal lining, liver damage, and nutritional deficiency.


Tobacco

Tobacco is one of the most heavily used addictive products in the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In 2004, 70.3 million people used tobacco at least once in the month before being interviewed. Tobacco addiction has harmful effects on organs in the human body and accounts for about one-third of all cancer deaths. Tobacco addiction similarly causes erosion of gum and tongue and can lead to cancer of the buccal mucosa.


Betel nut

Betel nut Is an incurable disease that can trigger mouth stiffness and ultimately loss of motion of the jaw. Regular betel nut chewing can also lead to the discoloration of teeth, erosion of the lining of the mouth, hearth problem, and cancer of the mouth and upper tract. Teeth may become permanently stained deep red or even black. It could cause toxic reactions in the body or reduce the effects of medications.


Ma huang

Ma huang (ephedra) has been reported to have ephedrine that can cause serious or even deadly side effects on the heart. Ma huang can also lead to stroke, irregular heartbeats, and sudden death.


Aerated drinks

Aerated drinks, soda water, and carbonated drinks are synonyms. They contain dissolved co2 in water with sugar and certain flavors added for taste.

Numerous studies have shown the negative health effects of drinking much-aerated drinks on your waistline and your teeth. Regular consumption of sugary drinks is linked to numerous health problems including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc.


Caffeine and xanthine

Caffeine and xanthine Can be found in tea or coffee. High doses of these substances become harmful to humans. Therefore to avoid related health problems health experts recommended maximum consumption of five cups a day.


Mixed drug reactions

People who consume medications for the heart, hypertension, and asthma have to be very careful about the interactions of the drugs with stimulant foods, as mixing the two can be fatal. After years of experience, all doctors know how difficult it is to break the food addictions of their patients. So like them, I can only advise a good compromise. If you can’t break the addiction, then at least you should practice moderation.

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