Adding spices to meals are quite essential in cooking, however, a medical practitioner, Dr. Festus Olalekan of the Graceland Hospital, Ilorin, has warned against excessive spice consumption as it can cause damage to the brain.
According to the News Agency, Dr. Olalekan said food seasonings contained Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), which poses serious health damage. The amount of sodium in the food seasoning over stimulates the brain cells until the cells die off. He said that food seasoning with high sodium content should be totally avoided.
He also explained that sometimes people experience dizziness and headaches after eating heavily spiced food as a result of MSG present in the seasonings.
“Food spiced with various seasonings can really taste great, but the health implications could be unbearable. Most of the food seasonings in our local markets contain MSG, which could result in serious brain damage,” he said.
Natural spices range from seeds, fruits, roots, barks, berry, and other vegetable substances primarily used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food. They are distinguished from herbs, which are parts of leafy green plants used for flavoring or as a garnish. Many spices have antimicrobial properties and Nigerians love to use lots of spices, especially pepper which is the most used spice after salt.
However, Olalekan explained that the excessive intake of seasoned foods could cause high blood pressure. He advised people to take caution when it comes to spicing their dishes, urging Nigerians to eat natural food and shun the intake of excessive spicy foods in order to remain healthy.
He also called on the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to regulate the production of seasonings and ensure that manufacturers did not add MSG to seasonings.
“I will like to urge NAFDAC to regulate the production of food seasoning in the country in order to control the health challenges that comes with it. Nigerians should stick to natural foods and minimize their intake of excessive spicy foods to remain healthy,” Dr. Olalekan said.