Today I had the deep pleasure of meeting Dr Georgia Ede, another Boston area psychiatrist, creator of a fascinating website entitled Diagnosis: Diet, that I recommend to all of my readers. It is unfortunately exceedingly rare for me to meet a like minded psychiatrist, one who shares my conviction about the centrality of nutrition’s power to support or undermine mental health. One of Dr. Ede’s many admirable qualities is that she questions commonly held beliefs about nutrition, in order to determine if there is data to support them.
Recently she took on vegetables. Now that is daring and outside the box kind of thinking. Most of us unquestioningly hold vegetables in high regard as a health promoting food. I have certainly been guilty of this prejudice, at the dinner table routinely imploring my reluctant 12 year old son to eat them. He absolutely despises vegetables. Now since reading Dr. Ede’s research, I am going to give it a rest. The jury is out.
Dr. Ede looked at all the data and concluded that good studies have simply not been done to support our conviction that vegetables are unequivocally a health food. Clinically there are many patients who have adverse reactions to particular vegetables and some who feel much better on a very low fiber diet. At the end of this post, you can watch a video of her thoughtful entertaining presentation from the August 2012 Ancestral Health Symposium in Boston, where she discusses this topic.
There are so many uncritical, erroneous and passionately held beliefs regarding nutrition: cholesterol causes heart disease, a low fat diet rich in whole grains is healthful, a vegan diet is most beneficial, red meat is bad for you, saturated fat is bad for you, fiber is recommended for all those suffering from constipation. The list is endless. And now thanks to Dr. Ede, at least the question has been raised, are vegetables really good for everyone?