Hi everyone – I’m new here :) My mother has been a raw foodie for over a year now and I’m trying to help her find an answer to a strange problem. I’m her ‘link’ to a computer as she barely knows how to turn one on :)
Recently she started drinking more smoothies – she was drinking 2-3 quarts of greens a day, usually kale or collard greens. Just this past week she started getting a very strong, very foul aftertaste while drinking her greens – so bad that she could hardly choke down the whole thing. For the last 2 days she has completely cut out the greens – and is missing her smoothies!
Does anyone have any idea as too why greens would suddenly give her this reaction? We can’t figure it out.
As we become healthier, we get more sensitive to and less tolerant of the bitter, indigestible substances in dense greens. This is a sign of increasing “vital resistance”.
The bitter taste that some dense greens like kale and collard greens have is evidence that they contain toxic, indigestible substances. If you eat greens alone and they taste good to you, it’s fine to eat them. The bad substances are there, but they are in smaller quantities than your body is able to detect in its present state (that’s why new raw fooders often love the taste of bitter or dense greens but later find that they lose their taste for them). If you try them alone and they taste bad, however, they should not be eaten.
Who knows more about what your body can digest – a nutritionist or your own taste buds? Believe it or not, your taste buds are the ultimate experts on what your body needs! This is what is REALLY meant by the hypocritical admonishment “trust your body” that we so often hear in the raw community. I say “hypocritical” because most people who utter it advocate eating things that REQUIRE us to distrust our bodies. In truth, the taste buds are in constant intimate communication with our digestive organs. They are designed to give us the feedback we need to decide what to allow into our bodies and what to reject. They have been our loyal servants – nature’s perfect guardians of health – since the very beginning of our species. If they deserved all the skepticism that we view them with in modern times, our species would not be here. They should not be questioned. AND, they should not be deceived. If something tastes bitter, the substance imparting that taste is not digestible by the body. Hiding the bitter taste by blending it with fruit is playing a dishonest trick on the body. Green smoothies are all the rage and that’s fine because they are a major improvement over what people would typically eat instead. For that reason, they are a fine transition food as long as they keep a person from eating worse things. However, they are not optimal foods—they are a serious compromise, especially when they are made with tough, cellulose-dense greens like kale and collards.
The popular idea being advanced currently is that greens are perfect foods for humans. This is not true. Imagine being in pristine nature and having to choose between bitter-tasting leaves and sweet mangoes hanging from the tree. Which would you choose if you had no other information other than what your senses (taste, smell, sight, etc.) tell you? We can’t get the glucose we need from greens. Our taste buds know this. Greens are a fine addition to a fruit-dominated diet, but they should only be eaten if they are appealing.
If your mom wants to eat lots of greens in addition to fruit, she should try making salads. Romaine or iceberg lettuce are more digestible than either kale or collard greens. If nutrients are bound up in a cellulose package (cell) that our bodies can’t open, of what use are they? The nutrients in green foods like lettuce, celery and baby spinach are more readily accessible to our bodies.
Being healthy is not about choking down foods that you don’t like. It is just the opposite. Nature set it up that way. Nature doesn’t require any species to eat things that don’t appeal. Isn’t it beautiful? :)
I also wanted to mention a bit more about the reputation that dense greens enjoy, despite their indigestibility. It’s true that they have lots of nutrients, perhaps more than any other food. But it is not the quantity of nutrients that a food contains that determines whether it is suitable for us, but whether we can break down and assimilate the food. Judging dense greens as superior foods because of their nutrient content or profile is the same trick that the meat industry uses to sell its products. Have you heard the latest beef commercial, where Sam Elliot tells us how many multiples of iron and B-12 beef contains over other foods? What we know is that the human body has no need of iron and B-12 in the quantities contained in beef, and when we eat beef thinking we’re doing our bodies a favor, we suffer. That’s because we can only use what our bodies need, and eating an excess of nutrients only burdens the body. Plus while we’re getting all those ‘wonderful’ nutrients, we’re also getting things we don’t want—indigestible substances and toxic by-products of the digestion of these inappropriate foods. We can get all the nutrients we need without eating things that create so much waste in the body. Our bodies actually need nutrients in very, very small amounts. For example, all of the vitamins that a human body needs for a whole year will fit in a thimble. Fruit and good-tasting, tender greens provide our bodies just what is adequate while producing very little waste.
Also, dense greens advocates sometimes concede that dense greens are difficult to digest because of their cellulose content but will offer that blending or juicing is the answer. It’s not. These processing methods greatly increase the surface area of the food, which is exposed to the air. This accelerates the decomposition process, and nutrients are lost. It’s similar to cooking, where some constituents in inappropriate foods are made more digestible (because their long chain sugars are broken down into simple ones, for example) but other parts of the food are made unrecognizable and unusable by their exposure to heat. Blending and juicing aren’t quite that bad, but they are not the answer. For all the benefit you think you’re getting from eating these foods, your body is also being burdened by overconsumption of nutrients that it is only designed to get in small quantities, plus the unusable nutrients that have been oxidized by the processing. This is another argument against green smoothies.
Even so, I wish to make it clear that I am not condemning this practice, just like I donâ€™t condemn any device that allows people to make small changes that lead them in the direction of optimal health. I just think that itâ€™s important to know the truth as weâ€™re making these changes, so we can make informed choices.