Dear GreenSmoothieGirl for Arizona, part 4 of 4
Chris: What’s the best way to combat diarrhea?
GSG: If it’s chronic, it’s likely evidence of a degenerative colon issue. Start getting a probiotic-rich FOOD in your diet every day. (Not just a pill, which is inferior.) For example, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, homemade sauerkraut or other fermented vegetables. Eat whole foods, which have a lot of fiber, as you nurture your digestive tract so it can heal—you are not likely absorbing good nutrition, until you do. Eat a banana every day for the magnesium.
Angela: Is agave as bad as high-fructose corn syrup?
GSG: No. It’s been hyped that way by a few. There may be companies cutting corn syrup into their low-end product (but most don’t). I don’t think it’s really RAW, ever, despite the labels. It’s not a high-nutrition food by any means. I think you should use it very sparingly if at all, because it’s likely that agave’s alleged “low glycemic impact” has been oversold to us, the public. I am not a fan of using less processed, but still concentrated, sweeteners, except on a very limited basis if you feel you need treats and are trying to avoid the worst-of-the-bad villains (HFCS, refined sugar, aspartame). Currently my favorites are stevia (for green smoothies, etc.) and unrefined coconut palm sugar for baking. Agave is a distant third option, along with real maple syrup and raw honey.
O.A. Black: Do oxalates in spinach bind to calcium and cause kidney stones?
GSG: I have probably been asked this more than 1,000 times in classes and online. I believe the idea that we need to avoid green foods because of one compound in them (which are likely friend rather than foe) may have originated with Sally Fallon. Regardless, it has been passed along and passed along, and I have yet to read any evidence of it. Just claims. At first people would tell me they don’t eat raw spinach–just cook it–because they are terrified of the boogeyman OXALATES. Then people would tell me they won’t eat spinach COOKED, only raw!–because of the same boogeyman. Sigh.
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We were at the Arizona Glendale when you spoke a week and a half ago or so. Loved it! We purchased a lot of product (protein powder, ORMUS super-greens, etc. We are on the 30 day program and we love it. Thank you so much for your effort to tell others. We are also putting chia seeds and flax seed with out smoothie. My blood pressure as dropped considerably and I (Brad) have lost weight. We will keep in touch as to results.
Brad and Stella, thanks for coming–you’re on a great path and I will be excited to hear about your results!
Regarding oxalates and other anti-nutrients: recently Dr. Mercola went at it again with fear-mongering toward “all” whole grains and even a variety of vegetables. By the time he got done with all the foods you cannot eat or that are problematic, there was not much left to choose from.
Then he introduced a variety of products he sells, such as “whey protein,” chlorella, and so forth. I’ve noticed this pattern off and on with Mercola articles. Some are so well written and researched that they are true contribution. Others extrapolate data from research in unhelpful and problematic ways. Others do not recognize a wealth of data that do not support some fairly narrow claims. When it comes to oxalates, this is just one more “anti-nutrient” that exists in a healthful food. If you were to cease eating foods that possess anti-nutrients, you would have to stop eating real, whole foods.
Therefore, what is the answer? Research now supports the idea that anti-nutrients are natures way of helping us to be more intuitive in our eating patterns. For instance, some spinach is really good for you, but as you consume too much, the level of oxalates will build up in your bloodstream to a point that a signal will be sent to your brain and then a signal is sent from the brain to your endocrine system. The long and the short is, you will lose your appetite for spinach until the level of oxalates drop sufficient that your taste for spinach is turned back on. The bottom line is this; don’t get too complicated in your eating habits.
Eat as many whole foods as possible without blending, grinding, and so forth, which best supports the physiology of your body. When it comes to even whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, don’t force yourself to eat any of them just because they are “healthful in nature.” Rather, pay attention and respect your desire or lack thereof to eat any particular healthful food. Chew it slowly and enable digestion to take its most natural course. Best!