There is SO much conflicting information about health, food, and fitness out there. It’s nearly impossible to be an informed consumer. Every time you pick up something you’ve heard is good for you, Dr. Oz is coming on telling you it will give you cancer. Then, your favorite blogger says no, this item will cure cancer! How do you know? Even when you find seemingly legitimate sources of information like research papers and studies… there is no way to truly verify these claims. You can choose to believe that the studies are skewed (some are!) that the government/food industry has only profits in mind and not your health. Every bit of information seems to have an equally convincing counterpoint.
So, what do you do!?
Step 1. Do Your Own Research
To the best of your ability, of course. The truth is, most of us are not scientists or medical professionals. So the chances of us even thoroughly understanding advanced research studies are pretty low. But try to get the gist of it. Look up the item, find out what exactly it is supposed to do to your body. Research the adverse affects. Find forums or review sites where real people have tried this item for an extended period of time. Read the bad reviews with the good ones. This step is important because you really should have an informed decision about what you are putting in or on your body. But… aside from that, this step is important because it prevents you from looking like a dummy. For example, when you’re in the kitchen at work, putting chia seeds into your oatmeal, and someone asks what they are/what they do, and your answer is “Dr. Oz says they are good for you” or “I saw them on The View” you look kinda dumb. But, if you are able to tell them about the high omega-3s, the calcium and fiber that they offer. That they keep you full for a long while and offer a thick texture to the meal… they might be interested in looking into them themselves. It helps everyone to be informed!
Step 2. Set Your Intentions and Boundaries.
Your body is yours. You have to live in it, and only you can decide how to treat it. Think long and hard about it. What is your ultimate goal? Do you want longevity? Do you want to take risks? Do you want to be symptom-free? Do you have a family history of something that you want to avoid? Think about the goals and aspirations you have for your body. Then, think about how the things you eat affect those goals.
Consider these things when you are researching the new exciting health products. Does this item play for or against your ultimate goals?
An example – you’ve heard about the benefits of using coconut oil as a facial moisturizer. So many success stories, with an equal amount of claims of it worsening acne over time. If one of your main goals for your body is to look good, to have clear skin, maybe you don’t try this out. If your goals are to be all organic and natural with your skin care, then maybe its worth the risk of breaking out a little. It has to be about YOUR needs and desires, or it just doesn’t matter.
Step 3. Commitment.
So, you saw on your favorite blog that Oil Pulling is the best thing ever. You’ve gone and done your research and decided that it aligns with your goals. Now you’re going to try it! Awesome. Now its time to commit to trying it. Our bodies are deeply complex, and some processes take much longer than others. If you’re doing to try a new health regimen, you need to give it an extensive amount of time to work. Don’t try the Oil Pulling for 3 days and declare it a farce. Nothing can happen is just 3 days! Try it for 3 months and see. (barring any adverse affects, of course! If you have a reaction to anything, stop immediately!)
Personally, I love to try new “fads” and “superfoods” I’m curious and adventurous with my diet. But I never go in blindly. I watch real testimonials on YouTube, I read reviews and research conclusions. I learn how the product is made and what the history of it is. You’ll never get conclusive evidence on anything. There is a naysayer to every single thing. It seems to be a given that spinach is one of the healthiest foods for you, however there is scientific information saying otherwise. It’s EVERYTHING. Everything can sound like a miracle-worker or a cancer-creater. You have to decide for yourself. I realize that is the scary part. We all want to be told what is good for us and what to avoid. We want to follow the rules and be healthy forever. But we’re all different. We have different bodies, different agendas, and different ideals for our lives.
Good luck out there!