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the potential problems with plants

within our definition of real food, we want to figure out what we do best on.  the majority of the problems we have within the realm of real food, including allergies and sensitivities, come from plants. this isn’t knocking plants – we love and adore plants!  this is simply the reality.

here is what we discuss, and what we can or should do about it :)

  • anti-nutrients
  • not all seeds are created equal
  • nightshades
  • bio-availability of nutrients
  • oxidative stress
  • polyphenols
  • fiber

scroll below for notes and resources :)


the potential problems with plants.


plants don’t want to be eaten. plants protect themselves against predators and pests in creative ways. one way is through what we call anti-nutrients.

read this write-up on antinutrients from Wikipedia, it’s actually pretty insightful.

  • phytic acid binds to minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc. this makes the minerals unavailable for absorption in the intestines. found mainly in seeds but throughout the entire plant.
  • protease inhibitors are substances that inhibit protein-digesting enzymes. found mainly in seeds.
  • amylase inhibitors prevent the action of enzymes that break down carbohydrates. they are present in many types of beans and other seeds.
  • oxalic acid and oxalates are present in many plants and in significant amounts in rhubarb, tea, spinach, and parsley. oxalates bind to calcium and prevent its absorption.
  • glucosinolates prevent the uptake of iodine, affecting the function of the thyroid and thus are considered goitrogens. they are found in plants such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, mustard greens, radishes, and cauliflower.
  • flavonoids chelate metals such as iron and zinc and reduce the absorption of these nutrients, and they also inhibit digestive enzymes.  flavonoids are a group of polyphenolic compounds that include tannins.
  • saponins act like antifeedants and cause digestive issues in most mammals while warding off most insects.


Paul C. Tijerina

Paul C. Tijerina | BS MFT CPT NLP | Nutritional Therapist & ATAVIST Life Coach