Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
12 Feb

Do You Really Need to Eat Vegetables to Be Healthy?

steak4The idea that vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet has been hammered into our collective consciousness by every authority out there. Parents, teachers, scientists, government health “experts” all stress the importance of eating your veggies. Problem is, they also told us that butter would kill us, margarine would save us, animal protein would give us cancer, and animal fat would give us heart disease. They said we should jog for an hour a day three days a week, that deadlifts would hurt our backs, and that we need to wear shoes with “good arch support.” Basically, conventional wisdom gets it wrong an awful lot of the time, so what should we think about the CW regarding vegetables? It’s a fairly common query I receive from readers:

Do you really need to eat vegetables – or plant matter in general – to be healthy?

Yes. Yes, you do. Maybe not a huge amount, necessarily. But you do need some.

With that out of the way, allow me to address some of the pertinent questions I receive from readers. See, MDA readers are an astute bunch. They don’t just send me one line emails with questions in all caps; they send questions and then proceed to lay out very persuasive arguments. Let’s look at some of them.

“What about the traditional cultures that ate little to no plants or vegetables and were healthy? Like…”

The Inuit – While they ate a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diet consisting of the fat and meat from seal, walrus, whale, caribou, fish, and other wild game, the Inuit actually utilized a wide variety of plant foods including berries, sea vegetables, lichens, and rhizomes. They made tea from pine needles, which are high in vitamin C and polyphenols.

The Maasai – Milk, meat, and blood were the high-fat, low-carb staples of the Maasai diet, particularly that of the male warriors. But it’s not all they ate. The Maasai often traded for plant foods like bananas, yams, and taro, too, and they cooked their meat with anti-parasitic spices, drank bitter (read: tannin- and polyphenol-rich) herb tea on a regular basis, and used dozens of plants as medicines (PDF).

Or the Sami – The reindeer herders of the Scandinavian north, the Sami people eat a low-carb, high-protein, high-fat diet of meat, fish, and reindeer milk. They also gather wild plant foods, particularly berries and mushrooms (Finland’s forests produce 500 million kg of berries and over 2 billion kg of mushrooms each year!), sometimes even feeding their reindeer hallucinogenic mushrooms to produce psychoactive urine.

Plants played small but important roles in their diets. Not as a source of calories, necessarily, but as a source of micronutrients, plant polyphenols, and medicinal compounds. We can’t know that they would have gotten the results they did without the plants.

“Animal foods provide all the micronutrients a person needs.”

Animal products include some of the most nutrient-dense foods available. They’re our best (and often only) source of vitamin A (retinol), DHA/EPA, and vitamin B12, as well as lesser-known nutrients like choline, creatine, and carnosine. But a diet devoid of vegetables and other plants will likely be a little low in certain nutrients that we need. Like:

Betaine – A vital liver-supporting nutrient, the best source is spinach.

Potassium – Important electrolyte and regulator of blood pressure, the best sources are avocados, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and bananas. Meat contains potassium, but you have to capture the juices to get it.

Magnesium – Involved in hundreds of crucial physiological functions, the best sources are leafy greens like spinach and chard.

Fermentable fiber – The best sources are plants.

Whoa, whoa. Fiber? What is this, the AHA? No. I’ve questioned the merits of insoluble fiber-driven fecal hypertrophy in the past, and I remain puzzled at the relentless pursuit of toilet bowl blockages, but I strongly support the consumption of fermentable fiber. If you’re convinced of the importance of a healthy gut microbiome populated with happy, vibrant gut flora – and you should be, by now – you can’t ignore their food requirements. They need fermentable fiber to survive and tend to your immune system, and the best way to provide that is to eat plants.

It’s also easy to miss out on nutrients like folate (if you don’t eat offal) and calcium (if you don’t eat dairy or small bony fish).

Plus, and this is an important point, we evolved eating wild animals. Wild animal meat and fat comes loaded with antioxidant compounds from all the wild plant matter they eat. Grass-fed beef (the more easily attainable alternative to wild meat) is also higher in B-vitamins, beta-carotene (look for yellow fat), vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin K, and trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and selenium. Unless you’re hunting game or eating “salad bar” beef (what Joel Salatin calls grass-fed beef), eating vegetables, herbs, and spices with your meal will help emulate the ancestral steak dinner.

“What about people who just hate vegetables? Or who don’t like them all the time? Shouldn’t we listen to our instincts?”

I have a sneaking suspicion that the ability to sense nutrients noted in many animal species is also present in people. Like how salt-deficient cattle will gravitate toward the salt lick, maybe some people just don’t need that extra hormetic stimulus provided by the plant, and their bodies are letting them know by making vegetables taste bad. Maybe they’re so darn optimal that they only require the basic vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients to maintain their health.

But remember: the body is kind of a dumb instrument. It evolved in an environment when little mistakes could be very costly. A sprained ankle could mean death, destitution, or a limp that never leaves; these days, a sprained ankle means some ice, some elevation, and parking a little closer to the office/grocery store. Eating the wrong plant, or the wrong part of the wrong plant, might destroy your liver; these days, you just Google “[plant] toxicity.” So we’re subconsciously hypersensitive to things that may (have once) pose(d) a threat that we may miss out on some good stuff. Plant toxins, also known as phytonutrients, are one of those things.

Carrie already explained how some folks’ distaste for bitter plant toxins might be an adaptation from the days when a portion of the available plant food was too dense in toxins/phytonutrients for regular consumption – an adaptive holdover that prevents us from enjoying the extremely healthy, hormetic, moderate levels of plant toxins in cultivated plants.

I actually get where these people are coming from. I’ll go days where I don’t really want any green things on my plate, where a salad (even a Big Ass one) just doesn’t appeal to me. I’ll also have days where I don’t really feel like eating a steak, where a few bites of it is plenty. I tend to listen my body in these cases.

People known as “supertasters” are particularly sensitive to the bitter compounds in plant foods and generally eat fewer of them as a result; some research indicates that they may be at a greater risk for certain cancers, while other research indicates that supertasters weigh less, with a lower risk of heart disease, than “normals.” However, that’s because they’re more picky about food and eat less of it in general, not because bitter vegetables are fattening. It’s not conclusive either way.

The Bottom Line

Plants complement meat. They make meat taste better, make it healthier by preventing the formation of carcinogens during cooking when you incorporate them into marinades, and reduce the impact of those harmful compounds when you consume them alongside. Cruciferous vegetables are a classic example; that broccoli you’re eating with your steak contains phytonutrients that reduce the potential mutagenicity (cancer-causing properties) of heterocyclic amines in well-done meat.

Vegetables also compliment meat. They notice when meat has had its hair and nails done, or when it’s lost weight. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard kale say the words, “Have you been working out?” to a lamb shank. Even if they’re not always totally sincere, they obviously care about making meat feel good about itself. That’s awesome. Harmony on your plate is always good.

If you hate veggies and refuse to eat them, fine. You can get most minerals and vitamins elsewhere (though it’s tough, and some spinach would take care of most of them), and using supplements is an option. But if I were you, I would at least strongly consider drinking tea, eating phytonutrient-rich fruits like berries, eating phytonutrient-rich legume extracts like dark chocolate, and using lots of different spices and herbs in your cooking. These won’t have a large caloric (or carb) load, but they will offer nutrients you simply can’t obtain from animals and they provide the largest plant bang for your buck.

Before you throw in the towel, be sure to try lots of different plants. There are thousands of edible and medicinal ones out there, with tens of thousands of recipes and preparation instructions available right this instant just a few keystrokes away. You’ll find something you like if you keep looking.

What does everyone else think? Can you be truly healthy without including plants, particularly veggies, in your diet?

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. This article is misleading when talking about animal foods and Vitamin A.

    Sweet potatoes have the higest content of Vit A: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2667/2

    Compare that to your salmon: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4108/2 or brisket: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/3504/2

    There is no comparing meats and dairy to vegetables when it comes to Vit A. Eat your sweet potatoes and enjoy them!

    George Mounce wrote on February 12th, 2014
    • Beta-carotene is found in plants and requires conversion into Vitamin A. Some people can’t convert at all while most only convert small amount of Beta-carotene into Vitamin A.

      Susan wrote on February 12th, 2014
  2. Here’s a good veggie story for you. I was in South Dakota for my niece’s wedding, stayed a week with my brother. After 3 days, I was dying for some veggies, my parents and I went to the only Chinese restaurant in town, it was great. On my last night there after the wedding, my brother cooked up some wonderful corn fed beef steaks. My niece went to the store for red wine and asked what I would like, I asked her to bring some veggies to go with the steak. They came back with “corn on the cob.” When I said that wasn’t a vegetable, they thought I was nuts. Ended up just eating the steak and iceberg lettuce salad.

    Gypsykim wrote on February 12th, 2014
    • I’m from SD, and I can corroborate your story. Growing up, I was lucky enough to eat from our garden, and as a result, I love all vegetables. Years later, however, when I brought home my future wife (who was vegetarian at the time), hilarity ensued on several occasions, including my sister’s wedding.

      Erok wrote on February 12th, 2014
      • Repeat after me: “Corn is not a vegetable; corn is a grain”. Amazed at how often I’ve had to tell people this little fact.

        shrimp4me wrote on February 19th, 2014
    • Haha thts funny

      Ryan wrote on August 21st, 2014
  3. doesn’t this throw Terry Wahl’s view out of the window, ie HUGE plates of veg every day? Would also be interested to know shelf life of spices, although I buy fresh turmeric roots from a Chinese grocer and freeze them and just grate them up like ginger as and when needed.

    Tracy Ellis wrote on February 12th, 2014
  4. Over the years since I’ve adopted a real food approach, the desire to eat according to the seasons gets stronger. I just don’t want a salad in winter. I like vegetable gardening but I can’t imagine how much time and space it would take to grow all the vegetables my family eats for a ear. I also join a CSA in summer. Nothing compares to local organic food picked at ripeness. I live in the Chicago area, so nothing is growing right now. I haven’t looked into cold frames or root cellars.

    ValerieH wrote on February 12th, 2014
    • Seasonal food is largely dependent upon your latitude. I grew-up in Michigan, and my wife is from the Philippines. My growing season was curtailed by wintery weather, hers was perpetual. My diet depended upon commerce, hers remained the same year round.

      What latitude or region of the world is the paleo diet based upon.

      Duane wrote on February 12th, 2014
      • There was and is no such thing as a “standard” Paleo diet. It depended on where you were.
        Closer to the equator far more plant foods would have been consumed, (with the possible exception of the Masai) whereas in the higher latitudes closer to the Arctic circle meat predominated. In the mid latitudes between the tropics and the halfway mark between the equator and the poles (45 degrees North or South) at least in the higher rainfall areas, it would have been about 50/50.

        Paul in Australia wrote on February 12th, 2014
  5. What about juicing? I can’t handle the texture of veggies and fruit, but I can drink anything blended or juiced? Am I receiving the same nutritional benefits?

    Katy wrote on February 12th, 2014
  6. I’ll side with Dr. Kurt Harris on this that most of the beneficial properties don’t exist in the antioxidants in vegetables themselves but the hormesis they trigger in response to oxidizing them. 0 salads a week is probably bad and 300 salads a week is probably bad. Find what works for you!

    Dr. Anthony Gustin wrote on February 12th, 2014
  7. All vegetable lovers should check out Dr. Art Ayers website Cooling Inflammation. The go to site for all things related to diet, gut flora and health.

    Jack wrote on February 12th, 2014
  8. Reasons for eating more cooked vegetables:

    http://drlwilson.com/ARTICLES/VEG%20DIET.htm

    James wrote on February 12th, 2014
  9. As someone recovering from a long-term restrictive eating disorder ( arolling combination of anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, and not to miss out, anorexia athletica), I have been refeeding under the direction of a therapist for 8 months. Where this time last year my food was ‘clean’ vegetable based, with lean protein and ‘good’ fats (as I perceived them then), I have spent the last few months eating barely any vegies or fruit. I eat what I want, when I want, and my minimum calorie intake is 2500 a day, (from 800 per day when I started) I have gone from being an insomniac, whose nails never grew, with terrible anxiety, cold body (temp around 95 – 96) to a warm bodied (98.8) sleeping machine with strong nails, and glowing skin. Yes, I have put body fat on, but I also grew muscle – yes – lean tissue – even tho I did not lift for 8 months. I have only just started eating veges again, because I feel like them, but they are not the main meal any more. My blood work is fantastic, except a little low (but in the normal range) for protein – mainly because I was also not eating much meat for those first few months. My understanding of what constitutes a ‘healthy diet’ has shifted so much and i no longer pour scorn on my poor husband who hates most veges and would happily live on meat with a few veges now and then, and who is lean, strong and hellishly healthy. Our bodies are wise – and we have been scared into giving up almost every food group at some time or another. Claiming my own body-wisdom for the first time in my life has had such an impact on me – and it is good to read a sane summary like yours!

    Ruth wrote on February 12th, 2014
  10. Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived for a year on an all meat diet with no ill effects- a lot of fat is necessary though and organ meats. Reading Weston A Prices work, it doesn’t appear as though the Inuits actually ate all that much vegetation from his viewpoint. In the book ‘The art and science of low carbohydrate living’ the authors researched the use of oolichan grease and pemmican in traditional cultures, which were the main dietary sources for these peoples.

    Check out Petro Dobromylskyj’s blog aka hyperlipid at http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.co.uk/ He has some interesting posts on the toxicity of some plants and fruits

    If you believe that carbohydrate is an unnecessary macro nutrient, doesn’t that include all fruit and vegetables? Is there actual proof that eating copious amounts of fruit and vegetables is beneficial?

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating fruit and vegetables. But based on what I’ve read you can survive and thrive without them.

    Heather wrote on February 12th, 2014
    • “Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived for a year on an all meat diet with no ill effects…”

      Someone else has mentioned a year-long diet of some sort, but a year is not a long time!

      SumoFit wrote on February 12th, 2014
      • Long enough to prove a point. Owsley ‘The bear’ lived on an all meat diet for 47 years! I personally wouldn’t live on an all meat diet- it would be too impractical plus I like some veggies and fruit as my junk food.

        Vilhjalmur Stefansson also lived with the Inuit people for years using their traditional diet, the one year study of an all meat diet was based upon his travels in the polar regions and his stay with these people.

        There are other European explorers around in the early 20th century who traveled thousands of miles in polar regions who ate practically all meat diets.

        I just don’t agree that you need to eat copious amounts of vegetables and fruits to be healthy.

        Heather wrote on February 13th, 2014
  11. I don’t mind veggies and do eat a decent variety, but I do notice some digestive discomfort with some. I normally always have some fermented veggies, spinach or leaf lettuce in the form of a salad and some broccoli or asparagus.

    Gary Deagle wrote on February 12th, 2014
  12. Anyone else regret replacing rice/potatoes with cauliflower? We tried it once, and our guts were simply not prepared for the consequences.
    I think it was just because we ate so much of it, pretending it was mashed potatoes, and if we tried again, slowly, it would be fine. But, nooo, I can’t even mention cauliflower now without being reminded of “that one time!”

    Erok wrote on February 12th, 2014
  13. I find that what I like is determined almost entirely by what I believe is healthy for me. I grew up in a household where bacon fat was collected from the skillet and used later to fry eggs. Then along came the saturated fat scare, and I learned to be repulsed by bacon fat–any animal fat, for that matter. I learned to reverse my repulsion toward starch and learned to love my healthy whole grains. Oh that sweet aroma of freshly baked bread! Then, about this time last year I discovered the wisdom of LCHF and paleo, and suffered a form of culture shock, which lead to a complete reversal of my culinary preferences. Now I cannot see a loaf of bread without thinking, “heart clogger”. I collect bacon fat and use it to “sautée” my 2 eggs every morning, and it is delicious. It’s all in my head!

    Carol wrote on February 12th, 2014
  14. I don’t know anyone who hates ALL veggies. I imagine there are some out there, but it’s probably rare. Instead, what I see are people who hate a lot of the veggies, but are still fine with or enjoy a few, maybe onions, tomatoes, peas, potato, etc. I am not a big veggie eater myself but I still eat some and miss them if I go a long stretch without eating any. Also, since eating healthier, my palate has changed and I can taste the flavors in things better and differently now that sugar, wheat, and chemicals are no longer reprogramming my taste buds away from their natural state.

    From a historical perspective, what I see with most tribal eating patterns are peoples who eat a majority of meat and tubers and (in tropical areas) fruits, and a smaller amount of veggies. Veggies are so low calorie, native people would have trouble meeting caloric needs if they were wailing on the veggies instead calorie bearing foods, so this makes sense from a survival perspective too. I just do not see native tribal cultures eating huge salads for dinner when meat or other things are available. It’s not natural. Even in natural cultures, the taste buds do not crave such a thing and I think that is an important consideration and hint as to what is natural for us. What natural foods do we naturally want to eat? If veggies are so great, why do we not love their taste much more? I do think our taste buds are designed to make us want what is good for us and that worked well for a long time up until a whole slew of artificial and new chemicals and foods were invented for which we have not yet had time to adapt.

    Eva wrote on February 12th, 2014
  15. I barely eat veges any more unless someone else cooks them for me. But I do eat grass fed beef or lamb liver almost daily – the nutritional profile of liver will blow any plant matter out the window.

    Mark wrote on February 12th, 2014
  16. You mentioned substituting with teas if you aren’t eating much vegetables, which teas are recommended?

    Glen wrote on February 12th, 2014
  17. Broccoli and steak may go well together, but never ever never put broccoli and cauliflower on the plate together. They’ll go to fighting and mess up a good meal. Same goes for Brussels sprouts and potatoes prepared in any way.

    Chuck Womble wrote on February 12th, 2014
  18. If you just eat meat, and who would want too, your going to be constipated big time! You need fiber not to mention all the vitamins and phytonutrients in veggies to be healthy. Make sense? Great.

    Michael wrote on February 12th, 2014
    • No, you don’t get constipated without veggies. A sudden change in the amount of fiber, water, fat in your diet can cause constipation or the opposite, but it has nothing to do with the amount.

      Sofie wrote on February 12th, 2014
  19. This makes me thinking:

    “They also gather wild plant foods, particularly berries and mushrooms (Finland’s forests produce 500 million kg of berries and over 2 billion kg of mushrooms each year!), sometimes even feeding their reindeer hallucinogenic mushrooms to produce psychoactive urine.”

    I live in Finland and I know Lapland and some sami people as well, but I have never heard feeding reindeer with hallucinogenic mushrooms. Where have you found this information? And what is psychoactive urine??
    Berries we pick a lot! That´s true!

    Mikko Kokkonen wrote on February 12th, 2014
    • “I live in Finland and I know Lapland and some sami people as well, but I have never heard feeding reindeer with hallucinogenic mushrooms.”

      I believe you — this sounds like an urban myth.

      SumoFit wrote on February 12th, 2014
  20. There’s a scene in Forks Over Knives where they talk about how other cultures eat very little meat, using it only as flavoring.

    Yeah, well, I do that with vegetables: Onions flavor my bacon and liver.

    Timely post for me–I’d been wondering whether I need to incorporate more vegetables into my diet, but rationalized that meat is more calorie- and nutrient-dense, so I can’t be missing out too much.

    Ben wrote on February 12th, 2014
  21. I haven’t eaten any vegetables at all since I was a small child. I have always hated them. I occasionally go through periods where (mostly because of “conventional wisdom”) I have one V8 a day. But more often than that I go for months without even that.

    I am 48 years old, rarely get sick, and all the numbers from my last physical were in the optimal range.

    Sample of one, but there you have it.

    Wes wrote on February 12th, 2014
  22. My daughter went vegetarian (from hot-dog-bologna diet) a number of years ago after reading some melodramatic slaughterhouse expose. But…she hated vegetables! Vegetarian for her was Mac and Cheese, Bread, maybe peanut butter for many years. When I called her “my vegetarian daughter who hates vegies” I did get the eyerolls!

    Seriously, have been listening to Dr. Terry Wahls talks about her “Wahls Protocol” for neurologic disease. It includes 9 cups of vegies/day: greens, sulfurs, and colors. She says that she designed it around the actual micronutrient content of modern agricultural foods rather than wild foods; seems reasonable to me. (She also adds grass fed meat, organs, fish, and seaweed.)

    Jim wrote on February 12th, 2014
  23. So glad Mark wrote this article, thank you. I am one of those “veggie-haters.” And I am really embarrassed to tell that to people in real life. I can’t explain it, just the smell, look, and touch of just about all veggies makes me want to vomit (no joke). It’s so tough to be primal when that’s the case and I feel frustrated and at a loss. Strangely though, I can have just about all veggies when it’s in juice form, but it’s expensive and inconvenient to buy one every day (and having them in my house is out of the question). I’ve recently started to incorporate guacomole in my diet, and have discovered I can eat crunchy kale chips, which is step in the right direction, but I would love to somehow get real veggies in my system. Mark gives good advice above with how to deal with not eating veggies, does anyone else have advice? I feel like this is the one big massive obstacle in my life to a healthy lifestyle and I would love to solve it. It’s depressing and painful. Thanks!

    Tarek wrote on February 12th, 2014
    • Check out the title essay in the Jeffrey Steingarten book “The Man Who Ate Everything”. Nothing about it is paleo, but it’s a very funny account of a food editor who decided to do an experiment to get over his food aversions. He mainly succeeds, incidentally.

      Allison wrote on February 12th, 2014
    • I started to really enjoy vegetables when I discovered that I could roast them in the oven. Really, what a revelation! Other than frying in an iron skillet, I can now enjoy most veggies after coating them in fat, putting them on a cookie sheet (often with bacon slices) and roasting them at a high temp until I can smell them cooking. I am now a cauliflower junkie — I coat it in powdered curry and roast it that way. Smothered in mayonnaise or aioli it’s just to die for. Cook root veggies this way (love beets & bacon) or even wedges of cabbage drizzled with olive oil. Try it sometime.

      Colyn wrote on February 12th, 2014
  24. One of the best things about going primal was exploring new veg. I made it a point to try things I had never had before, ranging from squash to jicama to kale to brussel sprouts to my newest favorite, chard. We were definitely a processed melted cheese over broccoli family while I was growing up, but it’s been insanely fun introducing my family to these new veggies and the great ways to cook them. My parents are slowly making the transition from meat, potatoes, and bread to meat and veg, and it’s awesome. Mashed cauliflower and roasted brussels have been hits with my family, right alongside my dads slow smoked ribs and grilled ribeyes.

    Stacie wrote on February 12th, 2014
  25. Having grown up hating most vegetables (I referred to them as forgettables), I can relate to the folks who say they don’t like most of them. But amazingly, as I got older, I began to like them and now I pretty much like them all, with a few exceptions.

    I strongly suspect that as I grew up and stopped having chronic ear infections requiring antibiotics, that my gut flora changed to a more functional state. And as a result of that, my “second brain” began to enjoy and even embrace the nutrients from such a wide variety of offerings from the plant kingdom. I actually started to enjoy the taste and feel of these foods. Nowadays, I can eat a huge 15-ingredient raw salad as my entire meal and feel completely content – and full for many hours.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that the majority of people in the developed world have some degree of gut dysbiosis. And that dysbiosis in large part influences and even dictates our moods and energy levels as well as our likes and dislikes regarding food. Bad bacteria thrive on sugar and junk food, while good bacteria thrive in the absence of sugar and in a nutrient-dense environment.

    In other words, fix your gut and your mind, body and tastes will change for the better, too.

    Also, regarding this article and betaine – Mark says spinach is the best source, but what about beets? Aren’t THEY really the best source?

    Russ wrote on February 12th, 2014
  26. I’m apparently a “supertaster”. I love sour foods but if you put bitter on my plate… not going to happen.

    Rema wrote on February 12th, 2014
  27. The answer is YES, that is why I try to have veggies with every meal of the day.

    nikko wrote on February 12th, 2014
  28. If veggies tasted as good as a chocolate iced, cream filled donut, I’d be good.

    Jura wrote on February 12th, 2014
  29. I’m amazed at the number of people who approach this topic as an either/or – meat vs. veggies proposition.

    Physiologically, we are Omnivores. Our dentistry and gut design is comparable to other omnivorous species.

    Eat meat and eat veggies, it’s what our bodies are built to do.

    If you have a problem with eating one or the other…something is wrong with you either physically or mentally.

    Anyone can psychologically convince themselves into food aversions, than declare they are “allergic” or whatever to rationalize irrational aversions.

    Of course, if you’re the type to get physically ill from eating one or the other, something is certainly out of whack with your digestive system and you need to fix it…because a normal, healthy human gut is meant to digest both meat and veggies.

    Keoni Galt wrote on February 12th, 2014
  30. They said we should jog for an hour a day three days a week, that deadlifts would hurt our backs, and that we need to wear shoes with “good arch support.” – These are pretty much true.

    Gary wrote on February 12th, 2014
    • No, they really aren’t. That is pretty much the point of this site.

      I haven’t worn shoes with arch support in years, and my feet have never felt better. Love my Vibram Five Fingers.

      YvonneJean wrote on February 13th, 2014
      • Goodie for you. An example of one doesn’t prove a thing. I’m a doctor and I treat plenty of heal pain and knee pain. Orthotic foot supports bring lots of relief. We were designed to walk on grass, dirt and sand. If that’s what you’re on then great. Most people aren’t and need the support.

        Gary wrote on February 13th, 2014
  31. For humans: omnivory > carnivory. Even true carnivores like cats and dolphins still eat a decent amount of plants. And hell, do you really want to exclude dark chocolate?

    Bill Lagakos wrote on February 12th, 2014
  32. One beautifully cooked veggie dish a week would probably be enough , for most strict carnivores.

    zenmooncow wrote on February 12th, 2014
  33. Even though the Inuit, Maasai etc. didn’t seem to eat many vegetables, they did eat the whole beast. This included intestines full of fermenting vegetable matter. (Yum) Given the choice, I think I’ll just eat my veggies.

    Susan Preston wrote on February 12th, 2014
  34. So how come there used to be so many problems with scurvy?

    Tessy wrote on February 12th, 2014
  35. I’m a vegetarian and I love to it all vegetables, If you’re all vegetables then you’re getting all essential nutrients for being healthy.

    Bharat wrote on February 12th, 2014
    • No vitamin B12 which is vital for neurological health. I have permanent damage from an undiagnosed deficiency.

      Susan wrote on February 13th, 2014
  36. According to Edgar Cayce, vegetables are necessary for PH balance.

    http://www.edgarcaycediet.com/caycediet101.htm

    Cayce diet 101: keeping the body alkaline

    The recommendation to “keep the body alkaline” is a recurrent theme in the Edgar Cayce readings, and it is suggested that one of the ways we can achieve this is by centering the diet around alkaline-forming vegetables and fruits. We are advised that we can improve metabolic function, maintain a high state of health, and prevent colds, infections, and other illnesses by maintaining the body in an alkaline state. Reading 523-1 says, “Be mindful that the diet is such that it keeps.toward alkalinity for the body at all times; for this will not only prevent infectious forces but will aid in keeping the blood stream in such a manner as to aid in eliminations.”

    buddha wrote on February 12th, 2014
  37. One of my favorite ways to eat veggies is a tomato-based soup. So, I’ll take 2 tomatoes, boil them down, then add another veggie such as cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, etc.. add spices, add olive oil, and add a heaping load of grated parmesan cheese. The parmesan cheese really makes eating vegetables much more palatable for me. And I love the flavor of parmesan with the tomatoes.

    Or with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese baked in the oven.

    Another favorite is tempura ie japanese-style. Although it’s not primal because you need flour. Or maybe there is a way to make it primal. Add a dipping sauce (chili, soy, …) and it’s pretty darn good.

    Beef and broccoli.Never get tired of cooking the broccoli with sesame, soy, oyster sauce, chili etc… flavors really make the broccoli taste great.

    buddha wrote on February 12th, 2014
  38. A tea made of pine needles , can be rich in C vitamin? I said that about the boiled water , casue temperature destroys C vitamin , isn’t?

    GABRIEL wrote on February 13th, 2014
  39. Vegetables compliment meat… ahahaha! priceless.

    Stacy wrote on February 13th, 2014
  40. This is a wonderful blog post. I actually was researching this very thing a few weeks ago. I sometimes have to force myself to eat veggies this time of year, it is so cold and gray, and a salad has no draw to me. I noticed that what I found about nutrients is if I wasn’t eating offal, I was not going to get all of the nutrients I needed. I generally do eat some spinach or broccoli daily out of habit, though. Mark is so funny with the complementing of beef.
    When I have more time, I am going to reread this and click on all of the links included.
    Great job!

    cnymicaa wrote on February 13th, 2014

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