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An article from one of our emails we got recently,

There is a lot of strong belief in the raw foods community that greens are an essential part of health.

I know that greens do not have a place in the sample diet. I was wondering what your thoughts were on juicing organic greens? Are they easier to digest when juiced through a juice extractor?
Also, what are your thoughts on sea vegitation such as blue green algae and chlorella as a part of health?


 

To summarize this article:

It says green vegetables are not good and should not be eaten at all.

There indeed is a strong believe that you need greens to be healthy. In my opnion this mainly originates from the idea that nature = green, and nature = good, so green = good.

But to me it seems that every animal needs different food. Herbivores need greens, carnivores need meat.

We are not specialized to digest greens. and greens are not designed to be consumed by humans (like fruits are), but even contain all kind of substances to protect them against being consumed:
Fruits are sweet to be attractive, so that the consumer spreads the seeds that fruits contain; fruits are the means of the fruittree to reproduce and therefore designed to be consumed.
Greens on the other hand are not the fruits of the tree, but the leaves. and these leaves contain all kind of substances that need to protect them against being consumed. that is why herbivores have especially designed digestive systems that can counteract these defense systems of those greens; cows for example have 4 stomachs to be able to properly digest these greens.

We humans don't. We humans are designed to digest easy to digest foods only, like fruits, nuts and animal food.
What happens when we consume greens is that the hard to digest fiber need to be bacterially decomposed, which originates gasses and a swollen belly. That is why herbiores (even that they are specialized in digesting greens) always have such swollen bellies. (cattle, elephants, gorillas etc)
While carnivores are always slim and agile, because they have little trouble digesting their food.

Also, all greens contain a lot of substances that are to a more or lesser extend toxic, to minimize the number of animals that can digest those greens, so that more of those greens will survive. These substances are generally called enzym-inhibitors. They further make the digestion of greens more difficult and inhibit the uptake of part of the nutrients that greens contain.

So why would we need those greens then?

We don't.
there is no nutrient that those greens contain that fruits / nuts / animal food do not contain in a higher amount.

There is a lot to do about phyto-chemicals that are contained in specific greens, which are claimed to increase your health.
But what is the exact function of those phyto-chemicals?
They can bind to aggressive chemicals, preventing them from damaging our body. The problem is however that many of those phyto-chemicals have aggressive properties themselves (that is why they easily react with aggressive chemicals in the first place)and can therefore also damage your body.

Furthermore, by far the most harmful chemicals that enter your body, come from cooked foods. When you don't eat the cooked foods, you don't need any phytochemicals to bind to the aggressive chemicals from cooked foods.

quote: I was wondering what your thoughts were on juicing organic greens? Are they easier to digest when juiced through a juice extractor?

Yes, easier then when you consume the whole greens, since the juices do not contain the insoluble fibers. BUT they still contain all the enzyminhibitors, and they inhibit the uptake of nutrients and your digestion.

So why would you juice greens if you can juice fruits instead?
The juices from the greens contain far less energy than the fruit juices, and they also contain the enzymine hibitors. So on this diet you easily lose too much weight if you drink the vegetable juices.

quote: Also, what are your thoughts on sea vegitation such as blue green algae and chlorella as a part of health?

We don't need them.
What we need, are nutrients.
If we absorb all the nutrients we need, and hardly any bad chemicals, we will be in good health. Consuming greens makes this harder.
These constituents of greens that are claimed to benefit our health, are actually drugs / medicines; they may be beneficial if you have a specific disease / illness / disorder, but a healthy human being should not take them. You don't take drugs / medicines to prevent disease, do you?

Functioning of regular medicines / drugs are all based on the properties of plant chemicals, so we can use drugs / medicines / plant chemicals to cure people, but we should not take them like we eat regular food. We should regard plants as containing drugs / medicines; we should not consume them just like that, like we don't take chemotherapy to prevent cancer...

quote: These foods are said to be important to the rebuilding of the blood because of the chloraphyl content.

Your body can perfectly compose new blood. If it couldn't, you would be dead right now.
Your body has everything to its disposal that it needs to compose new blood.
Who says you are having trouble composing new blood?

quote: I do have complications with my cycle and was told by a holistic health practitioner to increase the greens and sea vegitation in my diet to balance out my female system.

If you have hormonal imbalances, you first need to know what exactly this imbalance is: too much or too little of what hormone exactly. Only once you know that, you can start thinking about what the cause is and what a possible remedy is.
Did that holistic health practioner know what hormone is imbalanced?
Or does this practioner reason that it does not matter whether (for example) your progesterone level is too high or too low, the greens and sea vegetation will take care of it all?

That is not possible: the chemicals in these greens either decrease the level of a hormone, or increase it, or do nothing.
They cannot increase the level of progesterone when it is too low and a the same time decrease the level of progesterone when it is too high. that is impossible.

So that is (in my view) a bunch of crap.
If someone wants to treat you, that person first needs to make a proper detailed diagnosis about what exactly is wrong in your body, and should only prescribe drugs / phytochemicals that function exactly accordingly to your specific need, based on a proper diagnosis.
So you first need to know what exactly it is that causes your cycle problems.

quote: I suppose I could wait and later incorperate the greens as a munch food to judge their effect on my skin.

Yes, it is best to first totally clear your skin and only then start adding munch foods, so that you get a clear picture of what their influence is on your skin.
But please think about what munch foods you then are going to incorporate into your diet; for what reason.
If you want greens because you like them more than any other munch food, that is a good reason consume them as munch food.
If you need certain greens because you know that the specific constituents of those greens are exactly the chemicals that you need to treat that specific condition of yours, that is also a good reason to try them as munch food.
It is best to have a very clear picture of what you need and what you want, so you only consume the foods that exactly meet those needs.

  Your reply is wonderful. You know I was on that Raw Foods diet, and I had the hardest time with all the greens, even if I juiced them. It seems that, even though Raw Fooders disdain supplements, they still have a "supplement mentality," kind of frantic to get all kinds of excess vitamins and minerals from their diet.

Maybe it's because of the success of people like Ann Wigmore in curing cancer with this type of diet, but you are so right. Why should we be bombarding our bodies with phyto-chemotherapy every day of our lives when we aren't even sick?

  Roger that! Very clearly said and makes much sense!

Great question!

I never was a raw fooder but my body always told me that greens were hard to digest. I was stuborn and ate them anyway but no more! Thank you

  Thank you. That was quite a response!

"But what is the exact function of those phyto-chemicals?
They can bind to aggressive chemicals, preventing them from damaging our body. The problem is however that many of those phyto-chemicals have aggressive properties themselves (that is why they easily react with aggressive chemicals in the first place)and can therefore also damage your body.

Furthermore, by far the most harmful chemicals that enter your body, come from cooked foods. When you don't eat the cooked foods, you don't need any phytochemicals to bind to the aggressive chemicals from cooked foods."

OKAY.... I have another question. What about the chemicals that enter through the polluted air and into our lungs? Are phyto chemicals helpful in ridding the body of those? And if so, is there anything in the fruits that would help us detoxify from these kinds of pollutents?
I just want my understanding to be as holistic as possible, since I am getting earfulls of contradicting advice from the raw foods community.

  It is a fact however that vegetables are regarded as very healthy by as well regular nutritionists and alternative practioners; by MacDonald's fans and macrobiotic adepts. We have been indoctrinated that greens are healthy and it is therefore very hard to believe that we don't need them, and that they even are a burden to our body.
Aren't we almost daily told that vegetables are so healthy?
  I'm always up for a new paradigm. It's also been common belief that milk 'does a body good' as well and that is a big lie....
 

quote that I forgot to talk about:
:OKAY.... I have another question. What about the chemicals that enter through the polluted air and into our lungs? Are phyto chemicals helpful in ridding the body of those?

No. The phyto-chemicals in food can only bind to other substances in food, those forming compounds that are not absorbed in the body.
Specific phyto-chemicals however, can also decrease the activity of enzymes that can activate bad food-chemicals and bad chemicals from pollution, but these enzymes are originally designed to protect the body against bad chemicals in in the air (from bush fires for example), and inhibiting their activity therefore also affects your defense against other bad chemicals...

quote: And if so, is there anything in the fruits that would help us detoxify from these kinds of pollutents?

Yes, the anti-oxidants from any food help us to protect us against the pro-oxidative influence of these pollutants.
But supplementing is not a good idea, because
when you absorb too many of these antioxidants (vitamin E, C and beta-carotene), they get pro-oxidative properties, which means that they harm the body instead of protecting it.
The best thing to do therefore, is to offer your body all the antioxidants it needs, so that it can decide how much it wants to absorb, instead of forcing your body to absorb too much, by taking supplements (the body has trouble adequatly decreasing the absorption rate when vitamins / minerals are consumed in very large amounts and in such concentration)

quote: I just want my understanding to be as holistic as possible, since I am getting earfulls of contradicting advice from the raw foods community.

and not just from the raw food community; also regular scientists strongly differ in opinion regarding supplementation and the role of antioxidants...
Therefore it is essential to try to understand all sides of the story so that you fully understand what everybody is talking about, and then draw your own conclusions...

 

 

Picture of a dandelion leaf.

Picture of a dandelion green.
Click the dandelion green above to watch an interesting video.
 
Dandelions: the ultimate lawn weed. 
Picture of dandelion flowers.   Harvesting Wild Dandelion Greens

 

Harvesting dandelion greens can save money. They're high in vitamins A and C, and iron. Why pay extra at the store to purchase foods with similar (or, often, inferior) nutritional value, when you have a free source in your yard? Just avoid harvesting near roads, since road salt and/or toxins may be present. Likewise, you obviously shouldn't harvest from a lawn where herbicides have been used.

But what about the taste, you ask? Dandelion greens taste like other salad greens with a "bite," such as chicory and escarole. And how you go about harvesting them also plays a role in the taste. You should harvest dandelion greens in early spring, before the flowers appear. That's when they're the tenderest and least bitter. After the first frost in fall is another time when dandelion greens aren't so bitter.

If you give harvesting dandelion greens a try, you just might end up being glad that dandelions are so darned hard to get rid of!

 

The very  weeds that sprout in your lawn, like dandelions and chickory, were purposely brought to the United States by our immigrant forefathers as edible plants.

Edible weeds are high in nutrients and minerals (like iron, and vitamins) and, unlike, cultivated herbs that you would grow in your garden or buy at the store they don't need pesticides or artificial chemicals to grow - they just find a place they like (nesteled between coastal rocks, protected in a forest, ect.) and grow!

 

  

Next time you're about to yank an offending plant from your immaculate garden of perennials, think twice: you just might be looking at dinner.

Free dinner.

And I figure - if you're pulling them out of the garden, why not eat 'em?

 

There is not enough Grade B and above foods in the markets today. I use mineral supplementation (not vitamins or man made foods) such as the Grade A foods that I use to supplement my diet. I cannot always get Grade A when I go out so I make sure that between some of the Grade D foods that I eat and my green superfoods that I eat that it all balances out to a Grade B or above. They aren't cheap but it saves me money since I don't have to go to the doctor and I am more productive and not tired as much and I can do more per day than I would if I had less energy.

 

See my Brix page to learn more about the grades of foods.

 

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