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Leafy green intolerance

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  • Leafy green intolerance

    Long story short, I had problems with digestion (diarrhea and gas mostly) for years before cutting all grains out of my diet. Everything improved after that. Been grain free (at least that I know of) for a few years now. Nowadays if I get sick, it's out of the ordinary instead of the daily trial it was before.

    I'm not a huge fan of greens but I try to eat them every now and then because absolutely everyone (from SAD to paleo to vegan) says they are good for you. When I eat them sautéed in fat they are delicious, but I get diarrhea. If I have a big salad I also get diarrhea. I thought it was the oil so I cut back a bit, but I can eat oil on or in other things without being sick.

    Last week I made green soup. Cooked a bunch of greens in lard the first time, olive oil the second (was out of lard). Then added stock (beef the first, chicken the second). All ingredients I've eaten in other recipes with no problem. I used an immersion blender and ended up with a delicious, green, creamy soup! But I get diarrhea when I eat it.

    Today I ate soup at 1 and by 2:30 I was in the bathroom. So if it's going through me that fast it's not like I'm getting anything out of it except for taste.

    So now I'm more seriously looking into this. Is it possible to be intolerant to greens? It's different things I'm trying from kale, beet greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, turnip greens. But they're all leaves.

    I wondered if it was the green (chlorophyll?) but I have no problem with cucumber skins, green bell peppers, broccoli, asparagus, etc. Just leaves.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

  • #2
    hmmm I have experienced something similar when I eat spinach cooked or raw. It's made me wonder if I am intolerant to it or if it just moves things along. I don't feel bad like I do when I eat something I am intolerant or allergic to. It's just that most of the time I do have to head to the bathroom pretty soon after eating it. interested to see of others have similar experiences.

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    • #3
      Is it possible you have a problem with oxalates?
      Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

      http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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      • #4
        Sometimes if I eat a lot of greens and not much else, it'll go through me pretty fast. I'm talking about cooked greens, I almost never eat raw greens. And I never eat raw spinach. Last week I had collard greens with ham hocks and by the time I had finished them all off (three bunches) over several days, they were going through me fast. But I was also not eating much else, I just wasn't very hungry, so maybe that's why. What about putting greens into an omelet/egg bake? Or maybe eating the rest of your meal and saving the greens for last?

        If nothing changes the effects, well, don't eat them, IMO. If they mess you up, they mess you up. Listen to your body. When you think about it, given their minimal caloric content, I wonder how much leafy greens Grok would've eaten. My guess is not much. I eat collard greens because I looooooooove them, but it's a trial to get me to eat kale, spinach, chard, etc.
        29/F
        5'4.5
        Highest weight: 220
        Starting weight: 195
        Current weight: 179
        Goal weight: 127

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        • #5
          I'd put money on a gut flora issue. Have you been on antibiotics for long periods in your life? Do you take probiotics? How do you do with sauerkraut?

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          • #6
            I don't feel bad when I eat them, no cramps, no stomach upsets, just serious diarrhea. Sounds similar to what Primal123 says. Sorry if this is TMI, but it's obviously going through me without much change, so yeah, I'm not getting anything from it.

            I am intolerant to grains and had so many things clear up from cutting them from my diet, but didn't do that til my 40's. I grew up with lots of pasta with my Italian grandmother, lots of wonder bread and cookies and a mother who totally bought into the "meat is bad, grains are good" diet advice. I also have a mild heart defect so whenever strep throat went around as a kid or I had dental work done I was put on prophylactic antibiotics. I'm sure I've got some gut issues still going on. It does seem to be mostly greens, though at times I've suspected other things.

            Just to clarify, I did have a lot of antibiotics, but other members of my family have gluten intolerance too, so it's two separate issues. Lucky me

            I've made my own sauerkraut and liked it but got out of the habit. Whenever I tried store bought probiotics it really messed me up. Major painful gas, not sure what the heck was going on there. Home made fermented foods don't bother me though. Is that something I should eat daily?

            Not sure about oxalates, I don't know anything about that. I'll look into that.

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            • #7
              I don't think it's oxalates. I'm reading up on them and there are various foods (like bell peppers and sweet potatoes) that are high in them that I don't have a problem with. Unless the greens have a lot more than those, I don't know. Oxalates are confusing, lol!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ShannonCC View Post
                I don't feel bad when I eat them, no cramps, no stomach upsets, just serious diarrhea. Sounds similar to what Primal123 says. Sorry if this is TMI, but it's obviously going through me without much change, so yeah, I'm not getting anything from it.

                I am intolerant to grains and had so many things clear up from cutting them from my diet, but didn't do that til my 40's. I grew up with lots of pasta with my Italian grandmother, lots of wonder bread and cookies and a mother who totally bought into the "meat is bad, grains are good" diet advice. I also have a mild heart defect so whenever strep throat went around as a kid or I had dental work done I was put on prophylactic antibiotics. I'm sure I've got some gut issues still going on. It does seem to be mostly greens, though at times I've suspected other things.

                Just to clarify, I did have a lot of antibiotics, but other members of my family have gluten intolerance too, so it's two separate issues. Lucky me

                I've made my own sauerkraut and liked it but got out of the habit. Whenever I tried store bought probiotics it really messed me up. Major painful gas, not sure what the heck was going on there. Home made fermented foods don't bother me though. Is that something I should eat daily?

                Not sure about oxalates, I don't know anything about that. I'll look into that.
                Do you take Nexium or any Rx stomach acids meds?

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                • #9
                  I'm finding that I feel best eating meat, seafood, fats and fruit. Some potato, but on more active days. All the veggies I was trying to stuff in before wasn't doing good things for me.

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                  • #10
                    It's because we aren't vegetarians. Have some liver instead.
                    Crohn's, doing SCD

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                    • #11
                      Do you eat dairy? Did the probiotics have dairy in them? You may need to find a dairy kind. I have heard that it can take a while to find one that works best for you. Start small! Eat probiotics as opposed to supplementing, if possible. Given your history with antibiotics, it may take a while for gut flora issues to recover, if that's what's going on for you.

                      Do you have problems with other high-fiber foods? IIRC, most leafy greens are pretty fibrous.
                      Depression Lies

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                      • #12
                        Its not the greens. Its the huge amount of cooked fats without anything solid.

                        Steatorrhea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread55594.html

                        Have you tried raw FRESH lettuce without anything? and chewing it properly?
                        Last edited by cobalamin; 01-22-2013, 04:01 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Hmm, I had lots of antibiotics as a child as well and I now have several food allergies/intolerances.

                          Shannon, I just read today that almost all commercial probiotics tested positive for maltodextrin made from gmo corn. I have also read that people who have celiac disease and possibly gluten intolerance cannot consume maltodextrin. So that may have been the problem with the probiotics and not the homemade saurkraut. Sounds like fermented foods may be a better choice.

                          Haven't read the link abouve yet but I usually don't put much fat on spinach. Off to go read that link.

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                          • #14
                            Huh, I think that may be it. My symptoms don't fit that Wikipedia page, but still, the idea makes sense. And the discussion on MDA hits home in a few places.

                            I used to think I had problems with scrambled eggs but I had no problem with eggs cooked in other forms so I started thinking it was the fat I was cooking it in. It didn't make sense though because I can eat fat with other things, but scrambled eggs aren't solid so yeah, I guess that's it.

                            I wouldn't say it's a "huge" amount of fat though, but I guess it's enough that I need something solid to eat with it. I eat fat with other, more solid, foods all the time and I'm fine.

                            I'm not eating leaves plain without something to make them yummy though (blech! lol!). Eh, I eat other veggies. Maybe it's not a big deal if I don't eat a lot of them.

                            Primal, thanks for that tip on the probiotics. Yeah, I think I'll stick with real foods anyway. Saurkraut is easy enough to make and so are pickles. I just have to get back in the habit

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