When was the last time you ate ugali? Do you eat peanuts everyday because they are a healthy snack between meals? You probably had milk with your tea this morning, right? Well, unfortunately, all those things may contain aflatoxin which might be deadly for you. Aflatoxin is a mold toxin that is produced by a species of fungi that thrive in the soil around crops grown in hot, humid areas. It is commonly found in corn, peanuts and peanut products, wheat and the milk of animals that eat these contaminated plants, including humans. Exposure to aflatoxin over time can lead to cancer, liver disease, digestive problems, autoimmune deficiencies and even death. While it is impossible to determine whether your food contains aflatoxin with the naked eye, here’s what you can do to minimize its effects in your body.
If you really want to protect your body against aflatoxin, then your best bet would be to avoid the foods that are known to contain it. This means no flour or peanut products, as well as wheat and oil seeds.
When buying food, try as much as possible to trace it back to the source. This will help you to be more informed about the growth and production process, so that you can decide if there’s been any contamination or not.
Keeping food for a long time without consuming it may lead to decay, thereby causing aflatoxin to develop. To prevent this, make sure you consume your grains and nuts within 1-2 months after buying them.
Make sure that you store your food in a cool and dry place, like a fridge or freezer. This will prevent mold growth, as well as keep it fresh for longer.
Vegetables have been shown to decrease the cancer-causing effects of aflatoxin. Some of the ones that should never be missing in your diet include carrots, celery, parsley, onions and garlic.