5 Ways Green Smoothies Are Killing You!
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Are you the type that eats a monster green smoothie every morning before work that’s packed with spinach, kale, arugula, and chard as well as other so-called healthy ingredients, maybe blueberries, cocoa, banana, almond butter, peanut butter or something to mask the bitter taste of the greens?
It’s supposed to be healthy right? Maybe not!!!
These smoothies prescribed by the so-called health community are supposed to give you energy throughout the day, give your body the nutrition it needs, and maybe help with any health problems you are having.
I know the title, “5 Ways Green Smoothies Are Killing” sounds like an exaggeration but maybe they are?
What if these green smoothies are actually doing more harm than good? What if they are harming you from the inside? What if they are attributing to or making symptoms worse?
That green smoothie habit could be hindering your health!
In this post, I am going to share the research I have found which clearly indicates that green smoothies could in fact be impacting your health in a negative way.
Cruciferous veggies contain numerous heavy metals but one of the main culprits attributing to health problems seems to be thallium.
Thallium is a nasty heavy metal that has historically been used as a poison for rats and even humans. Saddam Hussein used concentrated thallium as a “go-to” in his arsenal of killing techniques. (1)
Thallium is found both naturally and un-naturally in soil where vegetables are grown. The problem with thallium is that the plants absorb the heavy metal and thereby enters the food chain causing problems for humans.
Eric Hubbard a molecular biologist and health practitioner noted that his clients, most of which were health-conscious, had reported many unwanted symptoms such as fatigue, neurological problems, nausea, brain fog, and even hair loss.
With his investigative nature, he was able to use urine analysis and trace these symptoms to the overconsumption of cruciferous vegetables and green smoothies. (2)
Other heavy metals found in leafy greens are nickel, lead, cadmium, cesium, aluminum and arsenic all of which cause health problems.
Furthermore, heavy metals are synergistic which means when combined and consumed together it multiplies the negative effects. So when you have both thallium and say lead together it’s multiplying your health problems but when doctors run an analysis on your blood and urine they find low levels of metals but don’t associate your symptoms to them because they don’t realize the synergistic effects of combining multiple metals together are what’s causing problems. (2)
Also, another factor regarding heavy metals is that they bioaccumulate meaning over time they build up and make matters worse.
According to the lead scientist for Doctor Data, Dr. David Quig, has stated that, “if it’s in the soil the leafy greens are going to take it up.” (2)
Another crazy factor to think about is that the Food and Drug Administration in the US has a rule called Title 21.
This rule prevents the sale of food that has more than 1ppm (Parts Per Million) of mercury, lead, and the rest of the toxic metals.
Our friend Eric Hubbard has found samples of kale containing very high levels of heavy metals exceeding the 1ppm restriction. For instance, he has samples containing 1.14ppm of thallium, 20ppm of nickel, and 120ppm of aluminum. If the FDA did its job most of the kale in the grocery store would be banned.
Oxalate is a naturally occurring molecule found in plants which look like needle-shaped crystals under the microscope.
Oxalate can be found in these smoothie ingredients: spinach, chard, dandelion carrots, beets, and some berries. What people don’t really know is that oxalate is destructive to humans when overly consumed and as you will see it’s easy to exceed the safe level with just one smoothie.
Some Oxalate Problems:
- Oxalates have a negative impact on the lining of the digestive system which can cause leaky gut and other gut diseases.
- Oxalate contributes to the creation of kidney stones. Basically your body can’t excrete oxalate so it builds up and over time the kidneys can also be affected. Also within the past 25 years, 80% of all kidney stones have been the result of oxalates as compared with only 30% over 25 years ago. The correlation shows that with the increase in the eating of processed foods and easy availability of vegetables year-round and promotion of smoothies and plant-based diet recommendations.
- Oxalate can bind to the plaque within your arteries increasing plaque density.
- Oxalate damages your cells’ mitochondria which in turn can decrease cell energy and cause fatigue.
- Oxalate can comprise the immune system by stressing it out and therefore creating autoimmune diseases.
- Oxalate can bind to tissue resulting in inflammation, joint pain, muscle pain, tendonitis, and other painful conditions.
- Oxalate has been associated with fibromyalgia osteoporosis.
- Oxalate can contribute to mineral deficiencies.
- Oxalate induces breast cancer and is found in breast tissue.
How much is too much oxalate? The guidelines state anything over 250mg of oxalate is bad. Basically just 6 spinach leaves put you over that limit and just one cup of raw spinach has 656mg. (3)
It doesn’t take much. When I ate/drank smoothie’s I would put a whole bag of spinach from Trader Joes in the blender thinking it was ultra-healthy. No wonder I had so many digestive and mental issues!
Sally K Norton has done a tremendous amount of research on oxalate. She has stated, ” It is said that lost vitality, disease and damaged kidneys can be the unintended consequence of sincere efforts to be healthy.” This pretty much sums up the plant-based health movement.
Sally has an amazing talk which goes into detail the dangers of oxalate.
Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables like kale.
This stuff is nasty as it may hamper your thyroids ability to make hormones. Often times humans with an iodine deficiency will see an increase in thyroid disruption as the result of drinking too many smoothies.
A lot of functional medicine doctors advise their patients to practice an elimination diet thereby taking certain cruciferous vegetables out of their diets.
There have been studies showing glucosinolate plays a positive roll in fighting cancer but these studies are based on epidemiological studies so they should be taken with a grain of salt.
Check out Dr. Georgia Ede’s take on epidemiological studies:
Green smoothies are packed with fiber and we have been told for decades now that a diet high in fiber is good for us!
We have also been told that fiber helps keep our bowels moving and is a great solution for constipation. Well, this theory and faulty advice is most likely wrong.
First, let’s look at a scientific study done by Dr. Peery. His study showed that a decrease in the consumption of fiber decreases constipation.
This study also showed that those that ate less fiber had less diverticula in their digestive tract. People that ate high concentrations of fiber had more diverticula. (4)
Basically fiber irritates the intestines and forces the intestines to produce more mucus to protect itself thus causing discomfort, bloating, gas, constipation, and pain.
Experienced bloating, gas, or discomfort after drinking a smoothie? Maybe this is why.
Plant Pesticides and Chemicals
In order for plants to survive, they have evolved over time by making their own pesticides to ward off those that would eat and kill them.
These pesticides are toxic to humans and found in the ingredients of your smoothies. Here are a few.
- Lectins are proteins that bind to carbs. Plants use lectin to defend themselves in nature. Lectins are hard for your body to break down and over time and with high concentrations can cause or attribute to leaky gut syndrome. Dr. Steven Gundry has written about them extensively in his book, “The Plant Paradox”. You can find lectins in smoothies with nuts, peanut butter, and fruits.
- Goitrogens are nasty compounds that can negatively affect the thyroid. This substance is found in soy and cruciferous vegetables. Soy, in general, is nasty and when you are putting soy milk in your smoothies you may be asking for trouble.
- Cyanogenic Glycosides are found in almonds, flax seeds, linseed, and fruits like peaches cherries and plums. This stuff when concentrated is straight-up cyanide and can easily poison humans. When eaten on a normal basis it can create neurological problems and problems with your thyroid.
- Phytic Acid which can be found grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes can cause mineral deficiency which in turn can cause depression, heart problems, infertility, impotency, compromised immune function, and hair loss. But, but, but phytic acid has shown to have some positives like lowering blood glucose and decreasing the size of kidney stones.
- Protease Inhibitors are another nasty substance that does just that, it inhibits the function of enzymes and their ability to break down protein. Studies have shown that these inhibitors are attributed to poor growth in test subjects. You can find it in many plants but those most common with the making of smoothies are soy and fruits such as bananas figs and apples.
- Flavonoids help with the pigmentation of plants but when consumed in high concentrations by humans they can cause genetic mutations, contribute to free radical production and mess with the function of hormones. Be careful of smoothies with citrus, cocoa, blueberries, parsley, and bananas because that’s where you will find the flavanoids.
- Salicylates are another compound that can give you gut inflammation and diarrhea. Also, people with asthma have experienced increased complications. (5) (6) (7)
As you see there are plenty of chemicals in plants and with it comes plenty of debate as some studies show these chemicals to be beneficial while others show them to be dangerous in high concentrations.
As Dr. Georgia Ede points out people naively favor the positive data over the negative. In fact, she goes further and discusses how fruits and vegetables have limited to no significant benefit and that it is heretical to suggest that fruits and vegetables are anything but good. (7)
If you need a more comprehensive list of toxic chemicals which can be used to help your vegan friends than you may want to consider resorting to “10 Chemicals in Plant Food Slowly Killing You.”
Smoothies Just Suck
One of the other takeaways from this research is that “Super Foods” are not really that “Super” and they can easily be attributed to health problems especially when eaten in the form of a smoothie.
A blender essentially makes the dangerous plant chemicals more bioavailable and potent. Plus you are eating a high concentration of fruits, veggies, and/or nuts in one serving that is completely unnatural. To think these high concentrations are healthy is asinine.
Furthermore, it’s a big mistake to assume all that we hear about green smoothies being healthy is true. When you look at it from a different perspective you can clearly see the many problems smoothies have.
Drop the smoothie and pick up a steak. Also maybe consider adopting a carnivore style diet. It’s done wonders for my health and that’s coming from an ex smoothie junkie. Check out this post for the wild things I found within the carnivore diet.
Helpful Links and Resources on Toxic Plant Foods
- The Carnivore Diet by Dr. Shawn Baker
- Diagnosis Diet-Dr. Georgia Ede
- Sally K Norton
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Consult with and ask your doctor about any diet or medical-related questions. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.
- Thallium by GRRL Scientist for The Guardian
- The Vegetable Detective
- The Dangers of Oxalates and the Green Smoothie Health Fad
- A High-Fiber Diet Does Not Protect Against Asymptomatic Diverticulosis
- The Carnivore Diet by Dr. Shawn Baker
- The Carnivore Code by Dr. Paul Saladino
- Your Brain on Plants: Micronutrients and Mental Health