Monday, June 22, 2009
Food Toxins I: The Lily Family
I just try to balance the common message to make sure people get a balanced message and then have a better ability to make up their own minds as to what's best for themselves (since everyone's different).
I don't write this stuff to make people afraid. I write it so they can have a balanced quantity of information, think critically and make personal decisions.
The health food industry is a tricky beast. Money matters and so the messages get really skewed one way or the other. The people putting out the books are the money makers and they're out to sell their own product... so it would be unwise and unproductive for them to point out their product flaws. These are also the books that tend to make it into conventional schooling systems. It just makes good business sense. As consumers, we need to think critically about what's on our informational plate, so to speak.
With the years I've put in researching both sides of many different foods/families/groups, there are two definites I've found.
There is no magic pill.
There is no perfect food. (Don't even get me started on how sick I am of hearing about the lycopene in tomatoes!)
All foods contain toxins. It part of the theory about self-protection and not being eaten to the point of annihilation.
The human body has an amazing capacity to detoxify itself - if given the chance. Common food poisoning and surviving it, is a fairly extreme example of how efficiently our bodies can work to stay not only alive, but well.
This is a big factor in the rotation diet theory (don't eat the same within three days of itself). And it kind of makes sense, the same way you don't workout arms every day (because too many toxins will build up in the muscle if not given enough time to purge the toxins).
Rotating also helps clarify which toxins are 'more toxic for you as an individual' because it allows time for delayed reactions to show themselves.
The lily family (very broad definition) seems to be a fairly reactive family of foods. We know this because we use much of it for healing. Strong healing properties often mean strong toxic properties also. This family (or kissing cousins) include onions, garlic, asparagus, agave, etc...
These foods, in high enough quantities, are used to kill worms, bacteria, etc. It's really hard to kill those things, so this gives you an idea of how potent (toxic) they can be.
Onions have been used to predict weather. (There is some scientific basis to be found, even in old wives' tales - if you read my soup overview and the reference material I listed with it, it show how the old wive's tale re: soup actually works on a science level).
Garlic is used to kill lots of stuff and deter even things as large as vampires. Sorry, couldn't resist that one. Just checking to see if you were still paying attention. ;D
Asparagus is a diuretic. Diuretics help flush toxins out of a system.
The body seems to need to consume these things (unless they're highly reactive, and the lily family is VERY reactive for some people - and to be avoided) to help keep bacteria, worms, etc., under control. However, the body itself seems to need a break from a buildup of these toxins.
Again, the theory behind rotation dieting is that your body will react to food toxins. But we all have to eat. Just try not to expose it to the same toxins every day.
Meekly dismounting my soapbox and shaking my head a myself for getting carried away once again. Passion does that to a person doesn't it? Takes away all semblance of any kind of self-control.
I'll try to post references later. They're all on the net, as usual, for those who are less patient. ;)