I find research into how food affects the body fascinating. We’re learning more everyday about the brain, our digestive system and how our muscles convert the food we eat into energy. Unfortunately, there is a lot of pseudo-science that disguises itself as fact. And it can be a quagmire to wade through.
We constantly ask for facts, cold hard proof to show us the way. But if you go looking for research to back up your favourite style of eating, you will find it. It’s good to look for reliable sources, ones that have clinical studies with thousands of participants, not just a couple of people with an idea. The thing is, science is continually proving itself wrong. Our mothers were told not to eat fats, now their daughters are being told to embrace them. Picking the “best” way of eating is even more difficult than choosing your favourite Marvel character.
For me, I take my lead from what the NHS says. But I know my body and I know it feels better on a little less carbs than is recommended. As someone who suffers from what you might call a sensitive stomach, I’m interested in the research surrounding chronic inflammation. America is leading the way with exploration into this field; there is nothing on the NHS website that discusses chronic inflammation and diet. I personally don’t hold much with the acid/alkaline approach that seems to sell recipe books nowadays, but I could be proved wrong in the future. But if there are foods that have indications of being beneficial to our bodies at a cellular level, I want to be eating more of those.
Eating well doesn’t make you immortal. But if eating anti-inflammatory wholefoods gives me a longer time of being active, independant and mobile, then what have I got to lose? Plus it’s cheap. Plus it’s really tasty.
There are vegans who thrive. There are paleo-eaters who thrive. Find your thrive. Pay attention to the research, but don’t make yourself miserable eating things you hate just because they’re “healthy”. Life’s too short for that, and it’s not going to get any longer just because begrudgingly you eat kale and chia seeds.