Family traditions, childhood favorites, recommendations from foodie influencers, we all think we’ve had “The perfect food’” But does the perfect food really exist? Every professional or influencer on social media wants to convince you that if you “just eat this one thing” or “stop eating this one thing”, then your problems will be solved. The problem can be digestive, weight loss, skin issues etc. Well, I’m here to tell you there’s no magic bullet. And there’s no one size fits all. AND there’s no one expert when it comes to food and food choices!
I want to review some common foods that have been widely touted as ‘the perfect food’ and shed some light on why they might not be perfect for you. I want to encourage you to understand that the journey for cleaning eating is personal and should be personalized. It takes time to drill down on the ingredients you choose to consume and how those ingredients might impact your overall health based on your own gut microbiome, lifestyle and stress levels.
Most nutritionists will agree that avocado, eggs, and spinach are “perfect” foods. All 3 of those items are some of my favorite foods but I know that these foods might not love me or you back.
Did you know that avocado naturally contains tyramine. Tyramine is a naturally occurring substance found in fermented and aged foods that is known to cause migraines. Since I’m a migraine sufferer I’m very careful with when and how I decide to consume avocados. I only buy local organic avocados. Make sure they are not overly ripe, and I only consume them once or twice a month.
Eggs have long been touted as the perfect food. They are high in choline which is excellent to lower inflammation. They are also a complete protein and contain the nine amino acids that our bodies cannot produce. However, not every hen is grown in the same environment. Since opening my health food store I’m seeing more and more customers having sensitivities or allergies to eggs. The question to ask is, are these people reacting to the egg or the vegetarian diet that the hens are fed?
Chickens are omnivores and the best place to raise chickens is on a pasture where they can roam and forage for their food. Industrial raised hens, (organic or not) are indoors and fed a diet of corn, soy and/or grains. So, is someone reacting to the egg or the diet the hens are fed? I only eat eggs from farmers that I know are using mobile coops that move the hens to fresh pasture daily. Sadly, those are not eggs that you can safely buy in a supermarket. You have to do your homework to find the farmers that are doing it right. Then reward them with your business.
Do you remember the cartoon character named Popeye? The premise is that Popeye got his strength (and muscles) by eating spinach. That myth still resonates with a lot of Americans today. The truth is that spinach can be healthy for a lot of people but it is high in oxylates. For some people that suffer from kidney issues, thyroid, gout, arthritis or interstitial cystitis (and other conditions) this can be a harmful ingredient. Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds in certain plant foods that can bind to the calcium in your body as your system digests.
The Perfect Food Depends on YOU
So does the perfect food really exist? I can go on to list other “perfect” foods and then give you a counter argument to the dangers/issues of these exact foods. But I think you get the point. I’d prefer you start to use your own discernment and your intuition to begin figuring out the foods that are perfect for you. Those foods will be based on YOU. Not because you watched a video on TikTok, read a blog from an influencer, or your “doctor said”.
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