Back in August of this year, I undertook a challenge to eat 10 portions of fruits or vegetables a day for a month. I did promise back then that I would update you all on how it went. So, here’s what I discovered happening to me and my body following that challenge to eat more fruits and vegetables. The results were surprising!
The first thing I noticed was an emotional shift. I didn’t cut anything out at all. I simply added more nutrients and raw fruits and vegetables. For the first two or three days, I was feeling this kind of rage that I haven’t experienced in a long time. It was like the worst PMT of my life. I also suffered some blinding headaches. I must stress again that I cut nothing out. I don’t drink any caffeinated drinks anyway, so that made no difference. I only added to my diet. FYI, I usually eat between 2-7 portions a day. Most days it’s on the lower end of the scale, but there are days when it’s higher.
The next thing I noticed was around day four or five. My eczema, which has been well under control for the last five years, returned with fury. You could say this was a total coincidence, but it went away again when I went back to a normal diet and hasn’t returned.
Around day seven, my physiotherapist remarked that I looked like I had lost weight. My husband made a similar comment. I was delighted. So, I weighed myself but to my absolute horror, I had gained three pounds (which I am still trying to lose again). I measured myself with a tape measure and found that my waistline had decreased by around an inch, yet my weight had gone up. I can’t explain that one.
By the end of the second week, I had death breath, terrible indigestion and was very irritable. I couldn’t sleep for a full night. My sciatica was causing me more and more problems and I was suffering from terrible leg cramps. My depression was worsening and I was tearful. In fact, every time I drank a green smoothie (two handfuls of spinach, a whole peach, half a can of mandarins and three tablespoons of fat free natural Greek yogurt) I felt very nauseous. Could there be such a thing as too much nutrition?
I returned my diet to normal early. I couldn’t last the whole month. I did find myself naturally turning away from refined sugars when I was on the challenge and eating less chocolate but I didn’t feel healthier in any way. In fact, I felt pretty grouchy. And the death breath was just gross. I’d like to know if I had continued would these mood swings have gone away but when it was affecting my emotional health in such a way, I didn’t really want to take the risk of finding out.
So, my conclusion after this experience is that yes, there is such a thing as too much nutrition. Everybody’s body is different. Those who say you should up your fruit and vegetable intake and cut out refined sugar are not living in your body. They don’t have your metabolism. They have a different lifestyle and motivation and I believe moderation in everything is the healthiest way to live. I know this is a controversial viewpoint as many people who read this post will be devoted to a healthy lifestyle and it’s quite trendy these days to shun sugar in favour of raw foods. But here’s the thing. The most toxic thing for your health isn’t sugar, it’s sadness. And if eating all that fruit and veg is going to make me feel sad, I’d really rather not. What are your own thoughts on this?