ToxicFree Foundation / Articles

Hidden food toxins causing behavioral issues

Could something as simple as artificial food coloring be altering our behavior and damaging our mental health? Some experts believe that’s exactly what’s happening. And it’s not just limited to artificial coloring.

Tonya Harris, the founder of Slightly Greener and a board certified holistic nutritionist, believes there are a few common ingredients that could be altering our behavior and mental health. In addition to artificial colors, Benzoate preservatives and MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) are ingredients that should cause concern. Below we’ve outlined briefly what each ingredient is, and the potential threat it poses.


Artificial Colors: Can be found in everything from cereals and candies to your favorite toothpaste. When shopping for products, try to avoid those that contain dyes red #40, and yellows #5 or #6.

Benzoate preservatives: Sodium and potassium benzoate are pretty common food preservatives that when consumed with artificial dyes and colors can lead to hyperactivity in children. Benzoates have even been linked to cancer causing chemicals such as benzene. Drinking water is the best way to avoid benzoate preservatives, as they’re often found in soft drinks and juices, as well as pickles, sauces, and jams.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): MSG is most commonly associated with Chinese food, but can be found in “just about every processed food”. Processed foods like flavored crackers, potato chips, canned vegetables and soups, as well as processed meats may all contain MSG. Exposure to MSG can lead to nausea, headaches, numbness or tingling, and chest pains. Avoiding processed foods altogether is the best way to ensure you don’t consume MSG.


To learn more about these common but potentially mind and behavioral altering ingredients, click here: