They say ‘everything in moderation’, but rarely about vegetables. Perhaps it’s because they look so innocent. In any case, too many veggies (especially when raw or under-cooked) can wreak havoc on digestion and metabolism.
This is especially true for people with existing metabolic problems, people with sub-optimal thyroid energy system performance and inflammation issues. These days that’s a lot of people. To put it simply, the more exposure to biochemical stress, the more of an issue vegetables can be.
Even for healthy people, too much difficult or impossible to digest vegetable matter, can promote bacterial overgrowth, but this becomes more likely, the more metabolic energy systems are interfered with. As bacteria spread throughout the intestines, bacterial endotoxin exposure increases, directly interfering with metabolism.
Endotoxin (LPS) exposure, can trigger the release of a cascade of stress related inflammatory hormones, whilst itself directly causing inflammation. All of this can encourage immune system interference, infection, degeneration, aging and disease.
The greater all of these issues are in the gastrointestinal tract, the more the liver has to deal with, and the higher the possibility that the inflammatory things will pass into the main system, impacting upon other organ systems and worsening the severity of the situation. It is a well known principle that disease often begins in the digestive system, and for good reason.
Even though it is true that plants contain valuable nutrients, they also have many defensive chemicals (as well as polyunsaturated fats) which interfere with enzymes, inhibit digestion, and disrupt other processes essential for metabolism. Veggies can also be a major source of allergens, and some have been shown to contain carcinogens.
Cruciferous vegetables are goitrogenic, and can therefore directly interfere with thyroid function, suppressing metabolism and further fueling stress and inflammation.
Starchy vegetables (especially when under cooked) are great for feeding bacterial overgrowth. They are also converted to pure glucose, and have the potential to promote insulin issues and blood sugar dysregulation, especially when consumed in combination with the polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). This is a good recipe for increasing stress and disease risk.
Eating well cooked potatoes with a saturated fat like butter or coconut oil can be a safer combination, and can be beneficial for people with a digestive system that can handle it. Having orange juice with a high fat starchy meal can protect against inflammation and oxidative stress, even when the PUFA content of the food is high.
In the inverted world of today, people are promoting low sugar, high starch, fibrous raw veggies (including the skins), as a health system, in many ways the opposite of what used to be the case, back when obesity and ‘metabolic syndrome’ type diseases were far less common. I know correlation is not causation, but there are good arguments showing why this (although not the only reason) is not a coincidence.
The broth from boiled leafy greens can be consumed for its nutrients, including magnesium and calcium (without excessive phosphorus, which is a major cause of inflammation and disease). Boiling the leaves removes many of the interfering chemicals.
Carrots are an exception, as they are best eaten raw for their antimicrobial qualities, helping to remove endotoxin, and other stress promoting substances. Cooked white mushrooms and bamboo shoots, have similar beneficial effects, including reducing estrogen excess, which is a major promoter of disease.
In the right context, vegetables can obviously be a beneficial part of your diet, however I think many people are suffering from inflammatory disease and digestive distress, more so as a result of eating too many vegetables (or at least too many of the wrong kinds of vegetables, consumed the wrong way), than because they’re not eating enough.
Have you ever experimented with vegetable reduction?
If you like what I have to say, and you want more information (including lots of studies), showing ways that too many veggies can cause health problems, please check out some of my other articles, including ‘Don’t Eat The Vegetables!’. And please share this and sign the email list up top.
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