6

votes

What Am I Missing by not Eating Green Vegetables?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 01, 2011 at 1:42 AM

Hi,

I have been eating primal/paleo for about six months now. I started out eating lots of green, non starchy vegetables, but I never found a way that I liked them and most things like kale, spinach and brocolli send me into gastro-intestinal distress.

For meat/protein, my diet is composed of mostly beef, fish, pork and eggs. For plants I eat lots of tubers, oinions, squash and root vegetables and some avocados, chili peppers, berries, tomatoes, bananas, coconut, almonds, pistachios and occasional other fruits and lettuce - but usually just iceberg and romaine - not the dark, nutritious lettuce. For fat I have ghee, butter and the fat from my meat. I eat hard cheese a couple times a week.

I supplement magnesium and vit d. I think the only green thing I eat with any regularity are avocados.

So can I get by without the greens? Or will I crash from some nutritional defienciency in five years? I feel very good on this diet.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 15, 2012
at 05:25 PM

I don't think raw veggies work for me, but I do have better skin when I eat lots of veggies.

Cf5c9ba3c06cf300ae23c52778dfd317

(545)

on May 02, 2011
at 04:17 AM

Raw cruciferous veggies= serious gastrointestinal issues for myself and many others I've talked to. Plus the goitrogen issues...

Cf5c9ba3c06cf300ae23c52778dfd317

(545)

on May 02, 2011
at 04:13 AM

Oh yeah, and Romaine packs a pretty hearty nutritional punch. Lots of folate, vitamin C + K. Kale, collards, chard etc can be amazing, you may just need to try cooking them differently- low&slow braised/stewed greens in plenty of fat = heaven.

Cf5c9ba3c06cf300ae23c52778dfd317

(545)

on May 02, 2011
at 04:07 AM

Yes clever tags good for a laugh, but certainly not good for any archiving purposes or access via searches.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on May 02, 2011
at 01:03 AM

@Dr K - Thanks!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on May 02, 2011
at 01:03 AM

@DudleyP - Here is a snippet from one of links above - "Let me be clear that I have no clue where the exact nadir of the polyphenol j-curve lies. It could be three Mark Sisson big-ass salads a day, or one a week. I have no idea. I just doubt it is either really high or zero. I would say that if you are a meat-and-water zero-carber, to start eating colorful tubers and root veggies with starch in them first. If you are getting a modicum of starch – my back of the envelope is 2K – twice the Kwasniewksi number of 10% of calories – 20%, then maybe add a few green salads a week"

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:50 PM

Turmeric and 100% cacoa should be used daily.....in my view. Soon I will share with you why

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:49 PM

Also brassia has a ton of DIM. Also a huge factor in stopping the potentiation of inflammation.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:47 PM

Holy cow! According to Nutritiondata.com, bockwurst has a whopping amount of Vit K. Well, I'm all set to go then. ;) (Tuna seems to do pretty well, too.)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:29 PM

Okay, thanks, Dr. K. I think kale is close to spinach in the K department, and I do that in bone broths from time to time. Ginger's interesting; I make a tea from it sometimes just because I feel like it, so now I wonder why that would be. And turmeric is always on my chicken. I asked because I'm open to individual suggestions, but as I said in a comment below, I'm not willing to slog through months/years of elimination trials while suffering. And I wouldn't be one of the paleos dissing veggies while praising tubers, lol. Tubers = instant fat gain for this carb-sensitive gal.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:03 PM

I kinda love the irony of some paleo that never say a word about tubers but down veggies.....or talk about sauerkraut or dill pickles as a pro biotic. It's exactly the same issue

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Nice post.....plus one

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:00 PM

Only caveat is that all brassia should not be eaten raw due to goiter issues. So steam them and the risk goes away. Broccoli probably has more anti cancer properties than any veggie on our planet. I always put turmeric on it

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:59 PM

Essential for cell health are spinach for is rich source of vit k 1 2 Mg and ca. Broccoli because of it's anti cancer I3carbinol and sulphoranes. Put all brassias down as great. Cilantro these days are a bigger need than in paleo days because of all the heavy metals we face in our food environment. Cilantro ginger and watercress are among the best know heavy metal chelators out there.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:53 PM

I'm glad this was helpful to some folks. I know there are people who adore their veggies -- I'm married to one of them. It's occurred to me occasionally that I could do some elimination/rotation trials, but then I think, "Meh." Not worth it, to go through months or potentially years of joint pain and weight gain, just to find out that, oh, say, asparagus is okay to eat. I did leave a note below about kale in bone broths -- I do that in the winter, a couple times a month. So I'm not religious about no veggies, just very happy w/o them most of the time, and wary of messing that up.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:49 PM

Interesting point, semirade! I throw some kale into my winter bone broths (one of several things that disqualifies me from the religious ZC sect, lol), and that doesn't seem to pose any difficulties. It's cooked, as you say, forever, so possibly that's why.

62f354c72aae8bd8f641ada886d583a2

(265)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:34 PM

Thank you for this. It kind of goes along with my question about my picky husband.

66283d390809787a11a81be7ee5fb98d

(280)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:12 PM

Dr. K, I'm non-snarky curious too.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on May 01, 2011
at 04:48 PM

I like your tags :)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 02:41 PM

I'm curious, Dr. K (not snarky curious; actually curious) -- which fruit(s) or vegetable(s) do you consider essential, and why?

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on May 01, 2011
at 01:00 PM

As I recall, hopefully correctly, Dr. Harris or another learned writer, suggested that vegetables be treated more as a condiment.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 12:33 PM

I disagree totally

C80bb4f697a72b771ae44cc3637df8f7

(179)

on May 01, 2011
at 03:55 AM

This line of questioning has really put my mind at rest. I really seem to only tolerate 'salad' occassionally and really enjoy squashes, brussels and meat. I do eat raw cauliflower on my salad but if I have to look at another broccoli stalk...steamed, raw or grilled, I think I will scream. Thanks for the input!

66283d390809787a11a81be7ee5fb98d

(280)

on May 01, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Very well said!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 01, 2011
at 02:40 AM

I'd agree totally.

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6 Answers

3
66283d390809787a11a81be7ee5fb98d

(280)

on May 01, 2011
at 02:00 AM

If your meat is grass-fed and you're including organs from time to time, I don't think you really need anything else. No such thing as an essential fruit or vegetable in my opinion.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 01, 2011
at 02:40 AM

I'd agree totally.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 12:33 PM

I disagree totally

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:29 PM

Okay, thanks, Dr. K. I think kale is close to spinach in the K department, and I do that in bone broths from time to time. Ginger's interesting; I make a tea from it sometimes just because I feel like it, so now I wonder why that would be. And turmeric is always on my chicken. I asked because I'm open to individual suggestions, but as I said in a comment below, I'm not willing to slog through months/years of elimination trials while suffering. And I wouldn't be one of the paleos dissing veggies while praising tubers, lol. Tubers = instant fat gain for this carb-sensitive gal.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:00 PM

Only caveat is that all brassia should not be eaten raw due to goiter issues. So steam them and the risk goes away. Broccoli probably has more anti cancer properties than any veggie on our planet. I always put turmeric on it

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:49 PM

Also brassia has a ton of DIM. Also a huge factor in stopping the potentiation of inflammation.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:03 PM

I kinda love the irony of some paleo that never say a word about tubers but down veggies.....or talk about sauerkraut or dill pickles as a pro biotic. It's exactly the same issue

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 02:41 PM

I'm curious, Dr. K (not snarky curious; actually curious) -- which fruit(s) or vegetable(s) do you consider essential, and why?

66283d390809787a11a81be7ee5fb98d

(280)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:12 PM

Dr. K, I'm non-snarky curious too.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:59 PM

Essential for cell health are spinach for is rich source of vit k 1 2 Mg and ca. Broccoli because of it's anti cancer I3carbinol and sulphoranes. Put all brassias down as great. Cilantro these days are a bigger need than in paleo days because of all the heavy metals we face in our food environment. Cilantro ginger and watercress are among the best know heavy metal chelators out there.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:47 PM

Holy cow! According to Nutritiondata.com, bockwurst has a whopping amount of Vit K. Well, I'm all set to go then. ;) (Tuna seems to do pretty well, too.)

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:50 PM

Turmeric and 100% cacoa should be used daily.....in my view. Soon I will share with you why

2
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on May 01, 2011
at 12:27 PM

Please see the attached links. Short summary - there are hormetic benefits to plant/polyphenol consumption. Immoderate amounts would detract from this benefit, but in moderation is sensible.

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/02/polyphenols-hormesis-and-disease-part-i.html http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/02/polyphenols-hormesis-and-disease-part.html

http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2011/2/28/william-munny-eats-his-vegetables.html http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2011/3/1/polyphenol-hormesis-follow-up.html

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 01, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Nice post.....plus one

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on May 01, 2011
at 01:00 PM

As I recall, hopefully correctly, Dr. Harris or another learned writer, suggested that vegetables be treated more as a condiment.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on May 02, 2011
at 01:03 AM

@DudleyP - Here is a snippet from one of links above - "Let me be clear that I have no clue where the exact nadir of the polyphenol j-curve lies. It could be three Mark Sisson big-ass salads a day, or one a week. I have no idea. I just doubt it is either really high or zero. I would say that if you are a meat-and-water zero-carber, to start eating colorful tubers and root veggies with starch in them first. If you are getting a modicum of starch – my back of the envelope is 2K – twice the Kwasniewksi number of 10% of calories – 20%, then maybe add a few green salads a week"

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on May 02, 2011
at 01:03 AM

@Dr K - Thanks!

2
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 02:40 AM

Speaking as someone whose health only improved as I dropped more and more plants (I'm now "zero-carb," although that's a bit of a misnomer), I'm not convinced leafy greens bring much extra to the nutritional table, especially since you're eating fatty meat, fish and eggs.

While I've got the mic, I'll put forth my amateur theory of plant-eatin' nutrition: Plants create an amazing array of chemicals that are entirely devoted to defending themselves against critters that want to eat them. Critters, including humans, have evolved counter-defenses, but I think some humans (like me) don't counter-defend as well as some others against many or most of these chemical weapons. (See Susan Allport's The Primal Feast, starting on page 108, for a great explanation of the plant kingdom's vast arsenal: http://tinyurl.com/6cdzwjm .) I think children's general rejection of vegetables based on bitterness is a certain kind of body wisdom, and I think adults who dislike veggies shouldn't feel it's a moral failing to not eat them. (Not that I think Paleos necessarily moralize about this -- I'm just saying in general.)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:53 PM

I'm glad this was helpful to some folks. I know there are people who adore their veggies -- I'm married to one of them. It's occurred to me occasionally that I could do some elimination/rotation trials, but then I think, "Meh." Not worth it, to go through months or potentially years of joint pain and weight gain, just to find out that, oh, say, asparagus is okay to eat. I did leave a note below about kale in bone broths -- I do that in the winter, a couple times a month. So I'm not religious about no veggies, just very happy w/o them most of the time, and wary of messing that up.

66283d390809787a11a81be7ee5fb98d

(280)

on May 01, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Very well said!

62f354c72aae8bd8f641ada886d583a2

(265)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:34 PM

Thank you for this. It kind of goes along with my question about my picky husband.

C80bb4f697a72b771ae44cc3637df8f7

(179)

on May 01, 2011
at 03:55 AM

This line of questioning has really put my mind at rest. I really seem to only tolerate 'salad' occassionally and really enjoy squashes, brussels and meat. I do eat raw cauliflower on my salad but if I have to look at another broccoli stalk...steamed, raw or grilled, I think I will scream. Thanks for the input!

1
D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

on May 01, 2011
at 07:57 PM

I couldn't live without my Kale spinach and broccoli = my favorites!!!! I wouldn't change even if it did give me gastro difficulties - are you cooking them long enough? I've been diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus, and diverticulosis - so gut probs are a norm for me - since on paleo, they've been mimimized - however I need to cook kale and cruciferous veggies to death - otherwise they do cause a bloat! Not so with spinach - but broccoli and kale are cruciferous - maybe you should stick to spinach, green beans and asparagus, zuchinni and veggies like that.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:49 PM

Interesting point, semirade! I throw some kale into my winter bone broths (one of several things that disqualifies me from the religious ZC sect, lol), and that doesn't seem to pose any difficulties. It's cooked, as you say, forever, so possibly that's why.

0
39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on May 05, 2011
at 04:14 PM

Have you played with different kinds of cooking methods? I'm not enough of a scientist to know, but I wonder if different cooking methods might change things?

I've recently started braising greens in homemade chicken broth. A small amount of broth (covering 1/4 -1/3 of the veggies) in a heavy dutch-oven or similar pot, put on high enough to steam, cook until done on stovetop. Cabbage takes 10 minutes. For kale or chard I'd fry some bacon in the bottom of the pot first, scrape up the fond, and cook lower and slower.

0
E35d651e011b3ad72d22decf79537749

(143)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:57 PM

If you decide that you WANT more greens (they make my belly happy, skin clear, and teeth white) I suggest a smoothie. You can pack at least four packed cups of spinach, kale, and collards into a quart sized smoothie with some water, fat (I like flaxseed oil - is that Paleo?), and a cup of fruit (usually berries). Makes me feel goood. But I guess if it doesn't make you feel good, you shouldn't eat it :)

Cf5c9ba3c06cf300ae23c52778dfd317

(545)

on May 02, 2011
at 04:17 AM

Raw cruciferous veggies= serious gastrointestinal issues for myself and many others I've talked to. Plus the goitrogen issues...

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 15, 2012
at 05:25 PM

I don't think raw veggies work for me, but I do have better skin when I eat lots of veggies.

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