Anti-nutrients….are you letting them scare you off whole foods? Part 2 of 3

Phytates.  Science actually knows very little about these anti-nutrients that some say rob your body of minerals. Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions teaches how to soak grains to neutralize phytates. (I discuss this issue and, for ease of digestion, teach it as an option in Step 9 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods, too.)

However, Reddy and Sathe published a book on phytates, the “anti-nutrient” in many grains. They explain evidence that phytates may not do what we think they do. They may not leach minerals from our blood and bones. They may, in fact, be helpful and important.

After all, the Bible calls wheat the “staff of life.” On a logical level, it doesn’t make much sense that grains aren’t good food. Many more Egyptians would have died in the time of Joseph and Pharoah, had they not had stores of wheat. It keeps for hundreds or thousands of years because of its hard shell, protecting the nutrition inside.

Wheat is vitamin- and mineral-rich. It’s easy to grow and inexpensive. It’s great food. (Too bad it’s been so hybridized and chemically sprayed. Many people react negatively to gluten now, likely because of hybrids. Buy organic spelt or Kamut, ancient non-hybridized grains. Avoid any whole-grain products that are not organic. Many people now must avoid gluten entirely, but some whole grains do not contain any gluten protein. Avoid white flour always. “Wheat flour” on an ingredient list IS white flour. Only “whole wheat” is the grain with its bran and germ intact.)

Purines. These compounds are ubiquitous, in our cells and most foods. They are necessary and good, but in concentrated amounts can cause problems for people with gout and a few other childhood illnesses. But they are concentrated in high-protein foods (like many animal-flesh foods).

Several researchers, including Choi, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, have found that plant proteins do NOT increase gout risk, while organs and flesh of animals, do increase gout symptoms. Moderately high purine-content plant foods include beans, lentils, asparagus, peas, oatmeal, and cauliflower.

It’s a non-issue unless you have a nutrition-related health problem that affects your purine metabolism. Especially for children and infants, problems that may warrant looking at goitrogens may include autism, cerebral palsy, deafness, epilepsy, recurrent infections, inability to walk/talk, or anemia. In those cases, a doctor may limit purines to 150 mg or less. (Keep in mind that MOST cases of those illnesses have nothing to do with purines.) You could still eat a serving a day of one of those “moderate” foods and stay below that very low limit. (For other people, eating even ten servings, you would be fine and not at risk for gout.)

Cyanide.  True, it’s in apple seeds. Cyanide is actually a trace element our body needs. What’s in apple seeds is a tiny amount, and your body breaks it down into another harmless compound in metabolism. I put apples, core and all, in my green smoothies. My dad has eaten apples whole, with the core, his whole life. (He likes to point that out, to whoever is within hearing range—“Hey look, I ate everything but the stem.” It seems to be proof of superior manliness?)

The cyanide used by Socrates’ murderer, and the Nazis, is a synthetic chemical combined with another element—hydrogen cyanide or sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide.

In fact, the “amygdalin” made of natural cyanide and sugar, found in apple seeds, is the B17 found in other pits that had people lining up by the thousands in Mexican cancer clinics in the 1980’s.


More info coming on Friday.

6 thoughts on “Anti-nutrients….are you letting them scare you off whole foods? Part 2 of 3

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  1. I went to the Catered Event in Lehi last week and I signed up for the Thyroid syminar for April 12th. I haven’t heard anything about were the location is yet. Also, is his name Dr. T Garden? I googled him name and nothing comes up. Thanks, Malena

  2. Hey Robyn, I have a question.

    I’ve been doing green smoothies for almost two years. I was using a regular blender and they were never enjoyable because I had to chew them and they caused a lot of bloating. I thought all that would change last month when I finally took the plunge and bought a Blendtec. I LOVE that blender, but I find that I’m still having the extreme fullness that I thought was just from my cheap blender not pureeing the food.

    Now, I do have gastroparesis in which I get very full, very quickly and my digestion takes hours, if not longer. I have suspected that was my problem with smoothies, but was anxious to see if using the Blendtec would solve all of that. Unfortunately, it hasn’t. So, I wanted to ask if getting full after drinking 3-4 cups of smoothie is normal. I do know that 4 cups is a lot going into the stomach, but because it’s almost entirely liquid, I felt that it wouldn’t causing extreme fullness in a person with a healthy stomach. I make it in the morning and drink it within probably about 70-80 minutes.

    In fact, vegetables and high-fiber food are supposed to be restricted for gastroparesis patients and I went against the orders and was actually hoping that somehow greens would help stimulate my stomach to empty sooner. That hasn’t happened, but now I’m just trying to decipher if it’s the greens not working with my gastroparesis or if it’s the sheer volume I’m consuming. Do you have any advice or knowledge on that?

    I should mention, that I consume smoothies only in the morning on an empty stomach and don’t eat solid food for several hours later. I am so desperate to be able to keep on drinking them, but I can’t stand the bloating/fullness all day. If I don’t have a smoothie in the morning, I can only have small bowl of oatmeal or nothing until much later in the day or else I won’t be able to function and work. The smoothies do the same thing, but I’ve been fighting them down to reap the benefits.

    I do know that kale, for example, causes more ‘foam’ and more bits than if I just do a spinach so I am watchful of the greens I use. I always include 1/2 cup aloe, 2-2 1/2 cups water, huge chunk of ginger, 1tbsp of sprouted goji flax, coconut oil, vitamineral green, and lemon. Additionally, I will throw in either cucumber, apple, or pear. I don’t like to use fruit and try keep the ingredients as simple as possible to limit side effects.

    It’s been a huge detractor from staying vegan and staying on smoothies because I get so sick and frustrated that I eventually give up. And then I get so ill from not eating super clean that I go back to the smoothies. It’s a vicious cycle and I know my condition of gastroparesis is at fault, but I just wanted to get an expert opinion on how people feel after drinking a pint or two of smoothies. I know how active you are so I can’t imagine that you feel bloated or full after consuming them.

    My gastro is idiopathic and so there is nothing I can do to help it. I was very hesitant to go on medication, but I did because I was extremely miserable and had to stop working because I couldn’t function if I ate anything. And of course, I had terrible side effects from the three different types I tried and went off of them immediately. I won’t ever go back to them, but I’m stuck feeling sick all the time and it’s heartbreaking because I’m starting to dislike my body, especially my mid-section, and I’ve always been into health and nutrition and loved my body. I was hoping I could be a success story for GI issues, but it’s not happening.

    Hopefully you can give me insight into this particular issue though, Thanks for all you do, Robyn!

    1. Hi Lola, I’m sorry you’re struggling. 🙁 Obviously it wouldn’t be ethical (nor am I qualified) to tackle such a personal medical situation, on the internet no less. I would look for a highly recommended holistic healer to help you with solutions that will heal your gut, rather than just medicate (what most–not all, just most–M.D.’s do)? Usually but not always those are N.D.’s. Let us know if you find any good specific recommendations?

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