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  • Writer's pictureArden Sleadd

The dark side of broccoli and kale

Updated: Jun 22, 2022

Can you believe it? Most vegetables are TOXIC to humans.

It used to be, I would have looked on this salad with longing--or guilt. Not anymore.

“If you thought that spinach-and-almond smoothie helped you detox, think again. The oxalates alone will create such a toxic load, you could end up in the hospital.”

It’s a pseudo-religious belief in our culture that vegetables are the best of foods, while eating animal meat is questionable, even cruel. The vegan community has been convinced by various gurus that plant-based eating is the more ethical path, as well as a healthier one.

Since writing a previous article two months ago about various new diets, I have made the complete switch to “carnivore-ish” or animal-based eating (meaning I still eat fruit). After trying Paleo-Keto for two years with nominal results, I was convinced by reading The Carnivore Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Optimal Health by Returning to Our Ancestral Diet, by Paul Saladino, MD.

I will limit this article to what’s wrong with many plant-based foods, as told by Dr. Saladino, with some content from Sally K. Norton, nutritionist.

Phytoalexins: Natural Pesticides

Most plants were designed to ensure their survival by producing compounds that are unpleasant to predators. There are literally tens of thousands such chemicals known to be toxic to man, and 42 such compounds exist in cabbage alone. Phytoalexins are “natural pesticides” that damage our DNA, thus pro-carcinogenic. The subcategories of phytoalexins include:

  • Glucosinolates - when chewed, they become isothiocyanates such as sulforaphane, a thyroid hormone disrupter, prominent in the goitrogenic Brassica family: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, arugula, turnip, bok choy, watercress, radish, turnip

  • Polyphenols - heralded as anti-inflammatory, but there is evidence they actually are pro-inflammatory, triggering the immune system to reduce inflammation—at an inefficient cost to the body. These include resveratrol, circumin (also inhibits detox, found in turmeric), and catechin (inhibits vitamin C absorption, causes thyroid abnormality, found in tea)

  • Flavonoids - pro-oxidant endocrine disruptors, found in high levels in clover, quercetin, estradiol; goitrogenic isoflavones also found in soybeans

  • Oleosins - found in plant oils, also immune triggers (coconut oil, avocado oil)

  • Lectins - cause leaky gut and travel to the vagus nerve and brain, where they affect dopamine production, leading to Parkinsonism; pro-inflammatory, found at high levels in legumes, grains, seeds, nuts, tubers, and nightshades: tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, goji berries, cayenne, chili powder

  • Oxalates - particularly harmful, they cause 80% of kidney stones, are highly damaging to cell walls due to their needle-like shape, are stored in 85% of the thyroid glands of persons over 50, cause gut dysbiosis, Hashimoto’s, joint/muscle pain, vulvodynia; found at high levels in turmeric, spinach, rhubarb, kale, Swiss chard, beet greens, beets, sweet potatoes, chocolate, peanuts, almonds, onions, cassava, etc. Suffice it to say—avoid green smoothies! If you thought that spinach-and-almond smoothie helps you detox, think again. The oxalates alone will create such a toxic load, you could end up in the hospital.

  • Tannins - another polyphenol that blocks enzymes, inhibits digestion and nutrient absorption; found widely in the stems, leaves, roots, buds, and bark of many plants; present in wine, unripe fruit, chocolate, black and green teas (See also

  • Salicylates: used in aspirin and assumed to be beneficial as anti-inflammatory, they are actually pro-oxidant as they oxidize the membranes of lipids (leading to plaque buildup) and damage DNA; also negatively affect glucose metabolism and male sex hormone production; found in virtually all green plants

Not only are these plants—often called “superfoods—full of toxins, but the nutrients that co-exist in the plant are often not bioavailable—that is, they exist in a non-usable form, or are blocked by the toxins. While much of this flies in the face of popular opinion, it is substantiated by solid research.

Nutrient Density is the Ticket

As I, a serious greens-and-nuts fan, read this book, I was astonished. But it seemed to be well-grounded in science, so I trusted the author and gave it a go. By avoiding all these plant foods and eating only animals and fruit for the last 4-5 months, my pain and fatigue is now greatly lessened; my strength and endurance has increased perhaps threefold. I have a little ways to go yet, but after 30 years of progressively-worsening health and debilitating pain, I can say the current reversal of my chronic illness is nothing short of miraculous. This is what we should call nutrient-dense living!

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