Sonia Jones ND from the Haven Spa and Health Clinic, Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
We all know the saying there are always exceptions that prove the rule. Here we discuss the general rule that all natural foods are good for you, but there are exceptions to this rule, that might surprise you.
Some natural foods contain compounds that hinder your health. For instance – oxalic acid is found in rhubarb, spinach, parsley, strawberries, cranberries, beets, and Swiss chard. Oxalic acid binds with minerals like calcium, iron and zinc in the digestive tract hindering their absorption. If you are prone to kidney stones I suggest you avoid the above foods, as kidney stones are often made up of oxalates, coming mainly from the diet.
Phytic acid also hinders absorption of minerals, it is especially high in wheat. Grains like brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, barley, and oats are much better for you. Wheat bran would be super high in phytic acid and causes a mineral deficiency. So remove one grain from your diet and add five more grains.
Sulphur rich foods cause some people digestive problems like wind and discomfort or even pain, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, and onions. If your digestive system blows up with these foods, never eat them raw, cook them with seeds like dill, caraway, fennel these seeds help the digestive system to cope better. Sulphur is an important part of our body’s make-up and has long been used as part of a healing program for arthritis. Sulphur has been prized since ancient times for healing throughout history by bathing in sulphur springs – often recommended for rheumatic or skin problems, high blood pressure, neuralgia or digestive disorders and so much more. So if you have problem with its digestion, no problem. There is an answer, soak your feet in Epsom salts (sal de Epsom) it is magnesium sulphate and the feet (being highly absorbent) will allow the body to soak up what it needs, by-passing your digestive system.
The deadly nightshade family they contain traces of a poison known as Solanaceae. The foods most people eat that are from this family are tomatoes, potatoes, aubergine or also known as eggplant, and any colour peppers. The alkaloids in these vegetables can and do acidify the blood. Alkaloids have been known to subtly remove calcium from the bones and deposit it in soft tissue and for some it a contributory factor to kidney stones, osteoporosis, arthritis, aches and pains in general etc.
Then there are foods that contain goitrogens, these compounds block the body from using iodine, this could negatively affect the thyroid function, if the function is already weak. Found in foods like soy and products made from soy, mustard, and cabbage. If you suspect your thyroid is struggling – cut down on soy products. The little you might have in the way of mustard is not worth worrying about.
Tannins also hinders the absorption of minerals like iron, calcium etc. Where would you find substantial amounts of tannins? Substantial amounts are found in black tea. If you are going to drink black tea – then cut down the amount you have and don’t drink tea with your meal.
So what does this all mean? If you have a problem like osteoporosis, you should think about the amount of foods mentioned above that you are consuming. Give your body the best chance possible to absorb and utilize minerals. So if you are eating loads of wheat and wheat bran consider cutting down or giving up wheat altogether and add the other grains to your diet. If you suspect you have a thyroid problem avoid all soy and soy products. If you are someone who is full of aches and pain, it would be worth asking yourself if you eating too many foods from the dead nightshade family? If you have a propensity to form kidney stones you need to write down everything you eat, to see if you are eating too many of the above mentioned foods.
If you don’t have any of the above problems, just make sure you are not eating these foods too often, moderate the amount you eat by varying your diet with other natural foods. One of our biggest problems these days is that most people in reality eat few foods, when you think of the various foods there are to choose from these days. There are no longer seasons in the supermarkets, generally foods are available all year round. Some people consider that pasta one day, pizza the next, and a cheese and tomato sandwich is eating a variety of foods. When in reality they are all variants of wheat, tomato and cheese.
The key – eat more variety of natural foods, eat the above mentioned foods less often. Many people have said to me in the past if they cut down or remove these foods from their diet they will have nothing left to eat!! This is the point – their diet has become very limited. There’s a whole world of food out there, a vast variety – for instance most people eat one or maybe two grains, when in fact there are loads of grains to choose from. We know from statistics that most people eat very few fruit and vegetables except potatoes and tomatoes, yet there is an exciting variety of fruit and vegetable to choose from.