View Full Version : Too much spinach?
06-28-2006, 04:58 PM
I just started reading Boutenko's book. I have a green smoothie almost every day -- a couple kinds of fruit and probably 3-5 cups of spinach. Then either for lunch or dinner, I have a salad with a variety of lettuces as the base. I don't really like kale or collards, haven't tried anything else.
My question is: Am I missing out on some essential amino acids? Is it necessary to alternate the greens I use in smoothies? Is there such a thing as too much spinach?
I guess that was three questions.
06-28-2006, 05:00 PM
I don't know, but I love spinach too and use it most often. I think an easy way to get a wider variety of greens is to just put a bit of say, chicory or kale or another green, with mostly spinach (in your green smoothie). This works for me, yet sometiems I like a more bitter taste....I mostly just like the spinach though lol.
06-28-2006, 05:01 PM
Rachel, the Boutenkos have several books, but I am assuming you mean Green Life? her green smoothie book.
Victoria's books are great, I love them, but I'm not big into green or any other color of smoothie, I prefer my fruit whole and so that is how I eat them.
I'm not a big greens fan, although I will try most things at least once, no matter how icky they appear. LOL
anyway, I wouldn't fret if you aren't eating one green or another, humans are frugavors not herbivors, so I think our main food is to be fruit, with some greens tossed in.
06-28-2006, 05:18 PM
You can get too much spinach especially if it is fully grown as it is high in oxalic acid.
I never liked kale either untill I started growing it myself and started eating the baby leaves.
06-28-2006, 05:21 PM
Rachel: I do 2-3 green smoothies a day. I change my greens, and use the 60% fruit and 40% greens. Then I have a salad a day. There are times though when I go to get a green smoothie I just plain don't want it! So I had mabe one. A few days I did not have even one, so I go and make a 'red' smoothie. If you listen to your needs you will know when you need something or don't want it as your body does not need it. It's so nice to have that built in into our system! Intelligently, fearfully and wonderfully made!
I never liked Kale or Chard. As so many SAD people had these sauted recipes. To me that stuff was 'bitter' In the smoothie however, it tastes so delicious mixed with the fruits. Also there is a recipe here for Kale salad. You would not believe it's kale and it's raw! Joz
06-28-2006, 05:25 PM
I am a huge romaine lettuce lover, but now that my garden has come in. I have been eating tons of fresh organic red leaf, kale, cabbage, carrot tops. YUMMY! I planted spinach to but I haven't seen any yet. I also love sprout. They are great in smoothies and on salads, and in recipes. They add a ton of nutrition.
I would not worry about it. Spinach is very good for you and maybe that is what your body is needing right now. You will progress to others types when your body needs them.
06-28-2006, 05:35 PM
How can you eat too much spinach. Is it raw. Is it a vegetable. It doesn't mess up your digestive system. Well then no problem. I'm not smart enough to make all of this too complex. I like iloverawfoods approach - just stay 100% raw and 100% simple - it will all work itself out that way.
06-28-2006, 06:24 PM
There must be something in it that your body wants. Maybe you need the Iron? I eat cucumbers daily I vary how I eat them. We'll just Change your name to Popeye ( uncanned of course)
06-28-2006, 06:36 PM
Spinach is my choice of greens as well. I don't think there is any problem with eating a lot of it often. Ideally it's always good to have variety. But I like to stick with what I like & what works.
06-28-2006, 08:57 PM
This is exactly the question I have. You get a little spooked hearing about too much purines and oxalic acid and worry about kidney stones and gout. Somewhere I saw that it is only a problem if it is cooked. Is that just wishful "Raw-Think"?
Have you ever checked out the oxalic acid content of foods? It is very enlightening. Most of the things we use in this diet have significant amounts.
"Foods that contain oxalic acid may be consumed in moderation. People who suffer from kidney disease, kidney stones, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout, are recommended to avoid foods that are high in oxalates or oxalic acid. Some common foods are: coffee, berries, peanuts, beans, beets, bell peppers, black pepper, parsley, rhubarb, spinach, swiss chard, summer squash, and tea. Higher concentrations are found in buckwheat, star fruit, black pepper, poppy seeds, rhubarb, tea, spinach, plantains, cocoa and chocolate, ginger, almonds, cashews, garden sorrel, mustard greens, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, soybeans, tomatillos, beets and beet greens, oats, pumpkin, cabbage, green beans, mango, eggplant, tomatoes, lentils, and parsnips. Moderation in all food groups is wise for achieving a healthy diet. For more food listings make an appointment with a nutritionist.... "
"Foods that contain significant concentrations of oxalic acid include (in decreasing order):
star fruit (carambola)
and beans "
"...Cooking destroys nutrients. Folic acid is abundant in most green vegetables. However, 95% of this vitamin can be lost by cooking. Over 50 fruits and vegetables have oxalic acid. While harmless in its natural state, altered by heat, it becomes harmful. Calcium binds with the oxalic acid in the blood to neutralize it and to form calcium compounds (calciumoxalate) which are difficult for the body to remove and may lead to kidney stones...."
"...When a food is raw, whether whole or in the form of juice, every atom in such food is vital organic and replete with enzymes. Therefore, the oxalic acid in our raw veggies and their juices is organic, and as such is not only beneficial (in normal doses) but essential for the physiological functions of the body.
The oxalic acid in cooked and processed foods, however, is definitely dead, or inorganic, and as such is both pernicious and destructive. Oxalic acid readily combines with calcium. If these are both organic, the result is a beneficial constructive combination, as the former helps the digestive assimilation of the latter, at the same time stimulating the peristaltic functions in the body.
When the oxalic acid has become inorganic by cooking or processing the foods that contain it, then this acid forms an interlocking compound with the calcium even combining with the calcium in other foods eaten during the same meal, destroying the nourishing value of both. This results in such a serious deficiency of calcium that it has been known to cause decomposition of the bones. This is why one should never eat cooked or canned spinach...."
Well, that is some of what I have found. It looks as though raw is better than cooked as always, and that we should try to be moderate (whatever that means) in our consumption.
06-28-2006, 09:12 PM
I really feel this article is coming from a SAD point of view. They told my mom with her past condition not to eat any raw vegetables. She thought that was crazy and ate more and it got better.
06-28-2006, 11:39 PM
Spinach is my favorite too. It has such a mild, almost sweet flavor, unlike other greens. However, I believe it's best to get a variety so I always mix it up. I might use 2 handfuls of spinach in my smoothie and then throw in 1 handful of kale or collards. Salads are usually 1/2 spinach and 1/2 something else, romaine or kale or collards or red leaf.
Look at it this way - how many weeks could you go eating just one kind of fruit? Even if there was really only one that you liked? Or only one kind of nut? Each specific green, fruit or nut/seed has something unique and wonderful to offer us, and no two are alike! :D
If you really don't like other greens (and I don't blame you, it's such an aquired taste for many people), start by using 90% spinach and tossing in just a *touch* of another green.
It will also help to keep your other flavors strong. If your salads or smoothies are too mild, then the bitter flavor of greens comes across too much. For example, I throw a teensy wedge of lime into my smoothies (1/16 of a lime will cover a multitude of sins, er, greens, lol). And use onions, or olives, or lemon juice on your salads to keep the flavor bold. You will be surprised how much that helps.
06-29-2006, 03:18 AM
My favorite mix is mostly spinach with some kale and parsley. Sometimes I add mint leaves....the kids love that one! Those are the greens that I have in my garden, besides lettuces, of course, but we eat so much salad that I save the lettuce for those.
As far as amino acid deficiencies, if you lived on only green smoothies made of spinach, then you would not get all you need. So, although your smoothie itself may be so-called "incomplete", your overall diet is what matters. If you are eating a variety of other fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds, you will get all you need.
06-29-2006, 08:10 AM
OMG -- this is so confusing! I happen to just buy spinach, I don't really crave it. But I think I will try to incorporate others into my smoothies and then use different lettuces for salads. My smoothies are definately more fruit than spinach -- today was two bananas, cherries and spinach.
Then last night I got to the point in the book where she said we need to be eating 1-2 pounds of greens a day! That sounds like a lot to me. But thanks everyone for the suggestions -- I am going to stick with spinach but add some variety.
I do eat a variety of other fruits and veggies, so I guess I am OK!
06-29-2006, 08:15 AM
Hey Rachel, my dh hates collard greens too, but I have found a way that he will eat them. Since they are very sturdy leaves, and hold their shape well, I use them for wraps. Cut them in half, discard the spine, then stuff them with a veg mixture (maybe tomato, avacado, cilantro), and salt and lemon juice. The salt and lemon juice really take away the bitterness of collards. I know this is not really a "recipe" thread, but this might help you get more variety of greens in your life!
06-29-2006, 09:50 AM
This is interesting re; spinach, kale, broccoli? etc and questions if it is toxic or should we consume them and how much: only part article is here; read the whole article @ link
THE SUNNY SIDE OF CYANIDE
" Broccoli chemical kills stomach cancer bug" was a nice-sized San Francisco Chronicle headline on May 28, bringing joy to veggie-lovers everywhere, and to Felix Letter aficionados in particular. The findings reported in the May 28 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science showed that the chemical, sulforaphane, "killed helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and often fatal stomach cancers.
"And the good news is there appears to be enough of it in broccoli sprouts and some varieties of broccoli to benefit people who eat the vegetables."
Dr. Paul Talalay of Johns Hopkins U. School of Medicine "had previously reported sulforaphane is an effective anti-cancer agent and the new studies extended that work to the bacteria that cause stomach cancer and ulcers."
And Closer To Home...
My 'investment' in alerting readers to healing powers in plant substances closely related to sulforaphane goes back to FL# 69 in 1993, which first explored the history of medical uses of sulfocyanate, an earlier term for thiocyanate.
Sulphoraphane in broccoli, it so happens, is an isothiocyanate, i.e., a derivative of thiocyanate. Sulphoraphane and thiocyanate both have the same fundamental cyanate and sulfur components.. ("Theion" means "sulfur" in Greek.)
Thiocyanate normally is found in your body fluids such as plasma, saliva, urine. Plasma thiocyanate levels appear to be related to your intake of thiocyanate and/or cyanate from edible plant sources, which happen to be extraordinarily plentiful in nature and attractive to many creatures including humans. Since cyanate (from cyanide) can be toxic, your body attaches sulfur to it (mainly from sulfur-containing amino acids like cysteine in protein foods), transforming it handily into thiocyanate.
It Seems to Have Many Uses
Conventional medicine since the 1940s has shown minimal interest in thiocyanate. This may change, now that a derivative of thiocyanate is being hailed as both anti- bacterial and anti-cancer agents. But in the 1930s and '40s, potassium thiocyanate was prescribed medically to lower high blood pressure.
From FL#69: "Other early medical reports said thiocyanate was a strong bactericide (this was before the penicillin era) and a useful remedy for dysentery. It also reduced the frequency and severity of migraine headaches."
C loser to our own times, in the 1974 Proceedings of the First National Symposium On Sickle Cell Disease, scientists in the National Institutes of Health reported thiocyanate to be the best anti-sickling substance (in test tubes) of all likely substances tested. Its effects, they concluded, were "profound."
In recent experiments, Oklahoma biochemist Oji Agbai employed highly magnified scanning electron micrographs to demonstrate similarly "profound" resistance to sickling of red blood cells [rbc's] from sickle cell patients, but only after he added an optimal concentration of thiocyanate to test tubes containing their blood samples. A less-than-optimal concentration did not stop sickling of rbc's.
He says this implies sickle cell patients need to make conscientious efforts to keep their own plasma thiocyanate high enough to discourage sickling of rbc's.. (Sickled rbc's not only cause poor delivery of oxygen to tissues, but are so fragile they rupture easily, creating intractable anemia.) Dr. Agbai believes plant foods supplying thiocyanate and/or cyanate may need to be consumed at every meal. To augment this, he developed and patented a thiocyanate supplement, Dioscovite. *
*Dr. Agbai can be contacted re Dioscovite and his book, Sickle Cell Anemia: A Solution At Last, at Natural Health Research Institute, 6390 E. 31st St., Suite E, Tulsa, OK 74135. Tel & FAX: (918) 627-7997.A Remedy From Nature?
Last summer, Dr. Agbai, who grew up in West Africa, was invited by the governor of Ebonyi State to give talks across Nigeria to doctors, scientists, and educators about native foods that traditionally prevented inheritors of sickle cell genes from suffering the life- threatening forms the disease has taken in urban Africa today, similar to its lethal aspect in the USA. He also described case studies of Dioscovite's effectiveness and safety in improving hemoglobin and hematocrit levels without transfusions in terribly anemic sicklers in the USA
To doctors in Nigeria, his talks about the healing powers of thiocyanate derived from their own traditional plant foods came as a revelation -- they were all trained in western medicine which, of course, doesn't yet have a clue!
The splendid news is Dioscovite has just been accepted and registered as a food supplement by the Office of Drug Registration & Regulatory Affairs in Lagos, Nigeria. Soon, a number of doctors in Nigeria will be conducting their own trials, observing effects on sickle cell patients of Dioscovite and regional foods such as African yam, manioc, and sorghum.
Cherished foods, not just broccoli, turn out to be sources of thiocyanate and/or potentially toxic cyanate, including mung bean sprouts, lima beans, chickpeas, bitter almonds, apricot kernels, radish sprouts, cabbage, mustard greens, collard greens, kale, brussel sprouts, turnip, turnip greens, cauliflower, macadamia nuts, flaxseed, blackberries, and raspberries.
Maybe, just maybe, there are lessons for us to learn from nature's design.**
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