Are All E Numbers Bad For Health?
Are you health conscious? Do you read food labels at the aisles of the supermarket before placing a food item into your shopping cart?
If you do have the habit of reading food labels, you must have noticed that there are a lot of E numbers in them, especially when you pick up a pack of processed and packaged food. Does that scare you? E110, E211 and E102 may not seem like things you would want to eat. Moreover, the health media is full of headlines like ‘E numbers harming health of kids’, ‘Devastating effects of E numbers’. Such statements only reconfirm the notion that E numbers are really bad for your health and you should avoid them as plague.
Staying as far as possible from harmful food additives is a good idea indeed but there is no need to be scared of all foods that have E numbers in them. They may not be harmful at all! Most E numbers are simply standardized codes for natural substances such as natural preservatives, stabilizers and emulsifiers. Some of them may even be beneficial for health. I will give you plenty of examples; E300 is just a fancy name for plain vitamin C which is a well-known flu fighter and immunity booster. Also E160d is nothing but lycopene!
Here is a sneak-peek at some of the beneficial E Numbers that you can consume without getting worried about!
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin is used as a food colouring. It is said to be helpful in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines. You need it for the normal functioning of thyroid and healthy metabolism. The vitamin protects cells from oxygen damage and also helps in maintaining hair health.
Curcumin E100 is the active ingredient present in turmeric. It gives haldi or turmeric the strong yellow hue. It is used as a natural food colouring. Being anti-inflammatory in nature, it helps alleviating symptoms linked with eczema and psoriasis. Curcumin also has strong anti-cancer properties.
Anthocyanins are used in foods as a natural colouring. You will find it in some dairy products, sweets, pickles, jellies, soups and soft drinks. Anthocyanins are usually extracted from red cabbage or grapes. It helps in promoting the overall health of the cardiovascular system, reduces cellulite and wrinkles and fights rheumatoid arthritis because of its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Chorophyll is used as a natural food colour for a variety of food items. It inhibits the formation of cancer causing substances in the body. It is good for cardiovascular health and also helps in neutralizing pollution we keep breathing in every day.
Lutein is a food colour that is extracted from the petals of marigold. Lutein protects the eyes from oxidative stress and reduces the risk of cataracts. It improves skin health and prevents wrinkles as it increases skin hydration, elasticity and lipid levels. It also promotes cardiovascular health.
This means that we should not be scared of all E Numbers! Some of them are actually beneficial!
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