There are so many wonderful foods that can improve your health, but there are some healthy foods that can cause health problems in people with certain medical conditions. Usually, you hear about a food that is very healing for health problems. For instance, beets can lower high blood pressure, cranberry juice is great for urinary tract infections, and flax seeds can help with menopause symptoms. Every time new information comes out about foods that are healing I get very excited, but I think it is good to keep in mind that even among these healthy foods, there are foods that can cause health problems.
Although they haven’t always been touted as a healthy food, potatoes are, in fact, very healthy. They have over 20 percent of your daily value of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and potassium. Even though they are a great source of these nutrients, potatoes are one of the foods that can cause health problems. People who are sensitive to nightshade vegetables can experience some very unpleasant symptoms if they eat potatoes. Nightshade vegetables include potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants. These vegetables contain alkaloids that can impact muscle and nerve function and compromise joint function. Arthritis patients, in particular, are thought to be more sensitive to nightshades. There are many accounts of arthritis sufferers cutting out nightshade vegetables and experiencing a reduction in pain. Not all people notice a difference in pain when they cut out these vegetable, which can be explained by the fact that not everyone is sensitive. If you do suffer from pain conditions it might be worth a try to stop eating nightshades for a month to see if it helps you feel better.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are extremely healthy and can protect against cancer. For most people, broccoli is a wonderful source of Vitamin C and K, but people with thyroid conditions need to be careful about eating cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables are considered goitrogenic foods because they can cause an enlarged thyroid, or goiter. This is most likely to happen in individuals who are iodine deficient and people who already have thyroid problems. The good news is that cooking broccoli and other vegetables in the broccoli family reduces goitrogenic compounds. So, cook your broccoli and limit your consumption of it to a few times a week if you do have thyroid problems.
I love bananas, and so do a lot of people. They are a great source of potassium and Vitamin B6, and they are easy to carry with you if you are on the go. However, as great as bananas are, they are not great for all people. Some people develop latex fruit allergy syndrome, which means they cannot eat bananas, avocados, kiwis, and several other fruits. Usually, people with latex allergies are the only people to develop this syndrome. Due to the close structural similarity between latex and these fruits, the immune system can mistakenly think bananas and other latex fruits are invaders and cause an allergic reaction. Often, the symptoms are shortness of breath, a tingly feeling in the mouth, and/or throat swelling. Not everyone experiences such overt symptoms. There is a new theory that some people who have fibromyalgia actually have latex fruit allergy syndrome and experience pain as a result of eating these foods. I have personally talked to the doctor spearheading this theory, and the incidental reports are compelling.
4. Alfalfa Sprouts
Sprouts are considered an extremely healthy food to eat. They provide concentrated sources of vitamins and minerals, and alfalfa sprouts, in particular, are a good for women going through menopause because they are a good source of phytoestrogens. Aside from phytoestrogens, alfalfa sprouts also contain the amino acid l-canavanine. This amino acid is very problematic for people with lupus. Some lupus patients can experience a serious lupus flare, worsening of symptoms, if they consume alfalfa sprouts, and many doctors recommend that their patients avoid eating them. I should mention that many legumes contain l-canavanine, but doctors generally only advise patients to stay away from alfalfa sprouts.
Spinach is one of the ultimate health foods. Popeye ate it by the bucketful and was extremely strong! It is loaded with vitamin K, vitamin A, iron, and protein. Unfortunately for some people, spinach also contains oxalates. When oxalates become too concentrated in the body they can crystallize and cause kidney stones. This is very problematic for people with kidney disease, and unlike broccoli, the harmful compound cannot be significantly reduced by cooking. Oxalates only decrease by 5 to 15 percent when spinach is cooked. Avoid spinach if you are prone to getting kidney stones or have kidney disease, but if you don’t have these problems and your doctor hasn’t given you another reason not to eat spinach, I suggest eating your spinach so you will be strong like Popeye. Toot, toot!
Dr. Fuhrman lists onions as one of his highly recommended nutritious foods. They are great for a healthy immune system, they can help your body build strong bones, and they can decrease your chance of getting cancer! Despite all of these amazing health benefits, people who suffer with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) need to stay away from onions. IBS can cause abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. Onions contain fructans which exacerbate the symptoms of IBS. Fructans are actually chains of fructose sugar that the human body can’t break apart and digest. For people with IBS this is problematic because the fructans travel to the large intestine where they are fermented by bacteria, which leads to IBS symptoms. Although this can be a terrible disorder to have, staying away from problematic foods, like onions, usually resolves the symptoms.
Chicken is a great source of lean protein, and it is a very good source of vitamin B3 and selenium. Generally, chicken is considered a very nutritious meat. However, people who have gout need to limit their intake of chicken, and all meat for that matter. Chicken and other sources of animal protein contain high levels of purines. Purines are broken down into uric acid. Gout occurs when the body turns uric acid into crystals that are deposited into the joints, which causes pain. I have family members who suffer from gout, and know firsthand that it is very easy to control when a proper diet is followed. Limiting chicken and meat to 4 to 6 ounces a day can really help.
All of the foods I talked about are really nutritious foods, and there is no need to avoid them unless you have a specific health condition. When people who do have a condition that requires them to watch certain foods do follow a strict diet they usually feel better. Fortunately, there are so many healthy foods that limiting or eliminating your intake if you need to shouldn’t be too hard. Do you know anyone who can’t eat certain healthy foods because they make a health condition worse?