Minimize Toxins In The Diet
Have you every wondered where a carrot stores its toxins? It’s stored in the fat end of the carrot connected to the green. Always remove one inch or more from the top of your carrot to avoid eating these toxins.
Once I learned this tip I was curious as to how other vegetables stored their toxins. Learning where and how toxins are stored in vegetables, fruits and meat can be life changing. Here I share some notes on the current research done on toxins in our food.
Learn how toxins are stored in vegetables and how to avoid them in your diet. Each link will take you to the source of information being shared.
Leafy Greens or Toxic Food? The Other Side of Eating Vegetables
Three main reasons to rethink your vegetable intake.
- Fiber is a major component of vegetables, coming in the form of cellulose. Cellulose is a polysaccharide (long carbohydrate molecule that the body cannot take apart) and is the structural component of the primary cell wall in green plants. Cellulose is also known as indigestible fiber — they used to call it roughage back in the day. Humans cannot digest cellulose.
- Goitrogens are substances that suppress the function of the thyroid by inhibiting the formation of the thyroid hormone. Goitrogens are found in all cruciferous vegetables, including but not limited to soybeans, broccoli, cauliflower, green leafy, bok choy, cabbage, cress, and Brussel sprouts. Eating a lot of raw cruciferous veggies can suppress your thyroid, leading to a slower metabolism and increased metabolic hormone disturbance.
- Particular leafy or “above-ground” vegetables will have a variety of defensive naturally-produced chemicals, all with specific functions to deter animals from consuming them. The leaves, stems, and seeds are susceptible to attack by insects, birds, and grazing animals. To protect themselves, these plants contain mild toxins. These plants toxins include phenols, tannins, lectins/agglutinins, and trypsin inhibitors. In addition, above-ground vegetables (including the leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables) contain unsaturated fats, which, as I talked about in my polyunsaturated fat blog, can be extremely anti-metabolic. Unsaturated fats themselves are important plant defenses — they inhibit trypsin and other proteolytic enzymes, preventing the assimilation of the proteins that are present in seeds and leafy green vegetables. Unsaturated fats also disrupt all biological processes that depend on protein breakdown, such as the formation of thyroid hormone. There is more to a food than just nutrients.
Vegetables And Digestive Issues
For those with digestive issues, including IBS, constipation, diarrhea and acid reflux: eat fewer vegetables.
Vegetables are often high in insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber can be soothing for the gut, consuming large amounts of insoluble fiber when your gut is inflamed is a little bit like rubbing a wire brush against an open wound. Ouch. If you eat them, always eat them with other foods and remove stems and peels. Dice, mash, chop, grate or blend high insoluble fiber foods to make them easier to break down.
Insoluble fiber foods are best eaten well-cooked: steamed thoroughly, boiled in soup, braised, etc; avoid consuming them in stir-fries.
Vegetables that are high in insoluble fiber include Limit/serve a small amount under the protein.
- Greens (spinach, lettuce, kale, mesclun, collards, arugula, watercress, etc.)
- Whole peas, snow peas, snap peas, pea pods
- Green beans
- Kernel corn
- Bell peppers
- Onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, garlic
- Cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts
- Cauliflower-contains caffeine/avoid at night
The vegetables that are high in soluble fiber, but lower in insoluble fiber (and thus tend to be safer for those with gut issues) include:
Enjoy Cooked Roots & Squashes~
- Winter squash
- Summer squash (especially peeled)
- Starchy tubers (yams, sweet potatoes)
Since root vegetables grow underground, they have a lower toxicity level, no PUFA, and no cellulose. They don’t need the protective chemicals to protect themselves from insects, birds, and grazing animals. These vegetables still have a high starch content, so they should be cooked thoroughly (except the carrot), and eaten with a saturated fat, such as butter/ghee or coconut oil. This will enable easier digestion and a slower release into the blood system. It will also increase your body’s absorption of the fat-soluble nutrients in the veggies.
Fruit-vegetables. Squash, cucumbers, zucchini, and pumpkin. These are actually all considered fruits, as the seeds are inside. They have no cellulose, little starch, and a low PUFA content. Once again, these should be well cooked and eaten with a saturated fat.
Another helpful tip is to reduce the variety of vegetables you eat at any given meal. Instead of stir-fries with 6 different veggies, have a single steamed or roasted vegetable as a side dish. This works better for most people with gut issues.
Toxic Metals In Tea
You may be surprised to find out that many teas actually contain toxic metals. For example, lead can be absorbed by the tea’s leaves. You may be wondering how lead ever got into the tea in the first place. Well, industrial areas and active roadways can create environments with high-lead that gets absorbed by the tea plant.
To limit this exposure to toxic metals, use tea in bags to help filter out toxic metals. Drop the tea bag into the water first before adding hot water, steep for 2 min. To limit exposure to toxic metals in tea the filter bag and the short steep will help to minimize the the exposure to metals.
Limit Or Avoid Cruciferous Vegetables~Due To Toxins & Thyroid Suppression
Eat Boiled Or Steamed/Chopped, Mashed, Pureed. Eat Small Amounts With Other Foods. Cooked for 30 minutes. Steamed.
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese Broccoli
- Chinese cabbage
- Choy sum
- Collard greens
- Mustard Greens
- Mustard Seeds
Avoid Stems~Insoluble Fiber Can’t Be Digested
Examples: Asparagus, celery, broccoli.When you do eat these foods, cook the celery, steam the broccoli well and peel stems if you use them and when you cook asparagus peel it first. This way you will remove the toxins.
FRUITS ARE DESIGNED TO BE EATEN
Tropical fruits are lower in fiber and a good source of fruit sugar, vitamins, and minerals.
Higher in fiber: peeled and cooked apples and pears. Cherries. When you cook these fruits, your body will have an easier time to digest the foods.
Pulp-free juices are your best sources of nutrients without the fibrous pulp. Orange, grape, cherry and pineapple juices are all acceptable.
Remember, none of these foods should ever be eaten alone, you should always eat all vegetables and fruits with a protein and fat to slow the blood sugar response. All vegetables and fruits eaten individually will throw your blood sugar out of whack.
Fruits Lowest In Sugars~15-20 grams daily
Berries, Prunes, Peeled Apples & Pears, Cherries, Sour Citrus (Lemon, Lime & Grapefruit), Guava, Cranberries, Apricots.
- If you need help avoiding toxins in your diet, contact your personal Nutritional Therapist Ema Drouillard at 415-409-9266.