Greens Intolerance – November 15th, 2015


Nutritional Endocrinology Practitioner Training (NEPT)
Clinical Pearl
November 15th, 2015

Greens Intolerance

I Have you ever had a client who you thought would respond to adding greens to their diets and it backfired? As health practitioners, we strive to get our clients to eat more greens because they are all brimming with nutrition and antioxidant protection. But sometimes, due to biochemical individuality, your client might get worse when you increase their greens. Below are a few clues as to what might be going on.

1- Oxalate sensitivity: oxalic acid is found in many green vegetables. While most people excrete it very nicely, those with leaky gut and a genetic predisposition have difficulty getting rid of it, and it causes a myriad of symptoms. For some folks with oxalate sensitivity, taking calcium and/or magnesium citrate with high oxalate foods can be helpful.

2- A genetic polymorphism that makes it hard to excrete sulfur or to utilize it in beneficial ways.

3- Sensitivity to isothiocyanate, found in cruciferous vegetables. For some people, they can’t properly break it down due to impaired detoxification pathways, and the buildup of isothiocyanate can impair thyroid function. Supplementing with iodine and/or sea vegetables rich in iodine can counteract this.

4- Leaky gut and inflammation in the intestines. The fiber in raw greens can be like sandpaper to an inflamed gut, and a month on lightly cooked blended greens, green juices and sea veggie and mushroom broths can help heal and repair while providing lots of nutrients.

5- Low stomach acid, which makes it hard to break down the cell walls of greens. Blending and juicing can be very helpful, along with taking bitters, zinc and sometimes HCl.

These are the most common causes of greens intolerance. Have you encountered any others? So if your client tells you that their green smoothie hurts their tummy, take them seriously, and look at possible causes. One by one, like a good detective, you can it narrow down and support them in their healing.