Recently, I received a comment that stated that the raw vegetable juices I drink are full of anti-nutrients and cause my autoimmune diseases, and that I eat too many sweet tasting foods. To be honest, this sent me into a bit of a spin.
Trust me, I have read about the fact green leaves might impact my thyroid condition. I have researched about fructose like there is no tomorrow. I have learned as much as I can about what foods are good and bad for autoimmune issues.
When you bounce from one recommendation to another, desperately trying to find a way to heal your body, sometimes it can feel like every element of our lifestyle is against you and how on earth are you ever going to become healthy? I have so many food intolerances that a lot of foods are taken from my diet whether they are healthy or not. I also now avoid some foods because of research which shows their contribution to autoimmune symptoms. So when someone comes along and says that the foods that remain on a short and precious list are bad for you (in their opinion), the only reaction available is a melt down, envisaging starvation and banging your head up against a brick wall!
At some point, you have to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each food, and decide what to eat. Most foods actually contain anti-nutrients or toxins; they contain something which could cause some type of reaction in the body which is not considered good. However, a lot of those foods are also bursting with amazing qualities which keep your body functioning. Can you imagine avoiding anti-nutrients completely?! You would starve to death. That does not seem to be conducive to good health to me! Take into consideration pre-existing conditions, determine which foods can cause issues because of these conditions and adjust your diet accordingly, and then continue to eat a healthy, wide variety of whole foods.
I recently learned of a condition called orthorexia. It is an eating disorder which focuses on eating healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy foods to an excessive level. This stunned me, because I think that it would be quite easy to find yourself on this track when you are so desperate to heal from chronic health issues, and you begin to use food as a healing method. When you read that even a mouthful of gluten can set off an autoimmune flare, and that more than 2-3 serves of even low fructose fruit a day can hinder your healing, and thousands of other facts and opinions to consider, it can be quite stifling and stressful. Throw in that your body is not doing what you want it to do, or looking the way you want it to because you are unwell, and this could be a recipe for disaster.
Our society is starting to realise how important food is in the process of healing our bodies, instead of instantly reaching for medication or surgery. In this time, there is so much information circulating that we can easily obtain. This can be highly empowering and useful, but it can also be overwhelming and debilitating. Reach out for help from nutritionists, dieticians, naturopaths and doctors if you need help to find your way. Do your best to feed your body healthy and enriching foods, and then relax. I still feel stressed about the comment made by someone who does not know me or my situation, but I know that I am doing the best I can for my body. I am constantly learning and looking for better ways to improve my health, and will continue to do so. Giving into the negative scare tactics and debate which is rife will only render your health into an even worse state. Make informed, educated decisions about your health, and know that you are doing the best you can.