I’m on my anti-inflammatory cleanse right now. And I’ve been reading stacks of books to find out what I should and shouldn’t eat. I’ve joined Whole30 for information and for encouragement to keep going.
The problem is that marketing is getting in the way. It’s hard to stand out on common sense alone. This is when you start reading about anti-nutrients in legumes and the importance of drinking lemon water to keep your body alkaline. Most of these theories aren’t supported by others outside of the inner circle.
What happens then is that many of us, with the intention of doing what is best for our bodies, follow their instructions and suffer the discomfort for what ends up being no good reason. The rules that don’t make sense have become the new fad diet.
Those of us with auto-immune dis-eases are the easiest to convince because we have medical conditions with no easily identifiable cause and no obvious cure. I’m willing to try anything to rid myself of Lupus. And this is why I’m irritated with the nutrition gurus.
The best thing we can do is take our health into our own hands, question what we read and seek out the research behind these claims. A good indicator is when only one study has ever been done and it was done by an unnamed source. One of the articles I read said “one key study …. ” That’s clearly being marketing speak.
I have been going through the recommendations I’ve been reading very carefully. There have been some claims I’ve found totally legit and others where there really isn’t a compelling reason, other than it’s the author’s personal preference or as mentioned before, a way to stand out.
Take coffee for example. Two books state that coffee causes inflammation. But green tea and most often black tea doesn’t, so it’s not the caffeine per se. The Paleo literature asserts that it’s because coffee is a seed (I always thought it was a bean) and seeds are not healthy for us. Another states that it’s “acidic”. A third source explains that coffee can raise cortisol levels which can lead to a stress response which in learn can cause inflammation. Okay so is coffee bad or what? I’m leaning towards “or what”. Partly because I love my morning coffee and partly because I can’t see any reason that a moderate amount of coffee would cause a stress response with all the meditating and yoga I’ve been doing.
The bottom line is that the only expert there really is is you. We are so used to being told what to eat and what not to eat, we either comply at the cost of our happiness or we rebel at the cost of our health. Try things, but keep in mind that the nutrition information you are reading could be well-researched and correct, or bogus.