Saturday, August 23, 2014

CFS vs. Broccoli

Several years ago I tried (and failed spectacularly) to follow Dr. Wahls diet.  In it she calls for NINE cups of vegetables with three cups specifically cruciferous vegetables; i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc.  I ate all of these growing up so I dove in with gusto.  With each meal, I had something from the cruciferous family.  With each meal, my heartburn got worse.  It got so bad that it felt like someone was holding a blowtorch to my chest and it was set on max burn.  Holy cow did it hurt.  I called my integrative doc and asked what the heck was happening.  He asked about my diet and I told him I had switched to Wahls' protocol.  He immediately told me that the heartburn was directly related to the cruciferous vegetables and that I had to cut back.

Nutso.  So much for that plan.  I knew of two people that had their CFS drop to non-existent or manageable levels after incorporating huge amounts of vegetables in their diet.  Here I was stuck with rip my chest out heartburn.

Now, two years later, I find this little gem:
"Is Broccoli Good For You?"
Turns out that a chemical in cruciferous vegetables:
  • Poisons mitochondria (cell energy generators)
  • Inhibits microsomal enzymes in the endoplasmic reticulum (cellular manufacturing and detoxifying centers)
  • Generates reactive oxygen species (these are damaging “pro-oxidants”)
  • Interferes with thyroid iodine absorption
  • Disrupts epithelial barriers (can poke holes in sheets of cells)
  • Depletes glutathione levels (the most important antioxidant inside our cells)

So maybe eating broccoli isn't such a good idea for me.  Maybe my heartburn is trying to tell me something.  One of the reasons that I trusted Dr. Wahls is that she has done extensive research on food, diet and MS.  This is how she developed her diet plan.  Makes me wonder how she decided that we need such a huge amount of cruciferous vegetables in our diet to make us healthy.  This article is the complete antithesis of her work.

In my case it doesn't really matter because right now I can't eat much of any of the cruciferous veg.  Even sauerkraut is giving me heartburn two hours later.  Dang.  I am so not happy about this.

1 comment:

  1. I've been trying to do the FODMAP diet lately, which is zero cruciferous (and many other) veggies. Basically, it takes out anything that may cause gas, or breaks down into a specific type of sugar. When I first went gluten-free and cleaned up my diet a couple of years ago I started eating more veggies, and had no problems with things like broccoli or brussel sprouts. Then about 6 months or so later I started having more/new trouble. Doing the FODMAP helps, but it's so limiting and frustrating.