Question About Asparagus,arthicoke,spinach And Chard?


Jun 18, 2013
So fruit vegetables, root and bulb vegetables should be fine.

Cruciferous vegetables have a goitrogenic chemical called glucosinolates, which is reduced 87% by 30 minute boiling and discarding the water. Glucosinolates also form more toxic chemical like nitriles by for example chewing raw cruciferous vegetables.

What about stalk vegetables like asparagus or celery. Or spinach and swiss chard. Do they contain any toxins and how long to cook them?


Jul 24, 2013
I think chard is also technically a cruciferous vegetable.

I think generally it's wisest to approach other leafy greens, asparagus, and celery similarly to the cabbage/crucifer batch. That is, use them occasionally at most, and cook them extensively.

"Poor people, especially in the spring when other foods were scarce, have sometimes subsisted on foliage such as collard and poke greens, usually made more palatable by cooking them with flavorings, such as a little bacon grease and lots of salt. Eventually, "famine foods" can be accepted as dietary staples. The fact that cows, sheep, goats and deer can thrive on a diet of foliage shows that leaves contain essential nutrients. Their minerals, vitamins, and amino acids are suitable for sustaining most animal life, if a sufficient quantity is eaten. But when people try to live primarily on foliage, as in famines, they soon suffer from a great variety of diseases. Various leaves contain antimetabolic substances that prevent the assimilation of the nutrients, and only very specifically adapted digestive systems (or technologies) can overcome those toxic effects."


Thread starter
Jun 18, 2013
aguilaroja said:
I think chard is also technically a cruciferous vegetable.

Swiss chard is not part of the cruciferous vegetables or the Brassicaceae family . They are in the same family as beets and spinach, the Amaranthaceae family.


Jul 22, 2012
Depends what you mean by "fine,"
but, personally, in my interpretation of Peat...probably not fine.
Maybe "okay" depending upon how much you eat of them,
how cooked, what you eat them with, what your health goals are, etc.

I confess I'm a bit confused about asparagus in Peatdom.
Recently I listened to an interview with Peat where asparagus was mentioned.
May've been in the Patrick Timpone show.
Seems like a caller was pursuing some interesting but obscure question
about aspartic acid's possible value.
I think Peat poo-pooed the use of isolated aminos perhaps
and made some other observations.
Then, when asked about cooked asparagus,
Peat said, "Oh, that's fine."

Many will take that as a straight-up endorsement by Peat
of unrestrained asparagus consumption.
Being a party-pooper though, I don't.
It's like Peat's remark in the same interview that potatoes
are an "almost perfect food"--
for most enough to move potatoes right to the center of a supposedly Peat diet.
But, for me, when considered against the whole of Peat's writing/interviews,
I don't think potatoes emerge rated, most accurately, as "almost perfect."

Similarly here with asparagus,
even though Peat himself uttered the words
--eating cooked asparagus is fine--
I don't think that is the most accurate status for asparagus
considering all of Peat's writings.
Peat says things here and there in his many interviews
which don't really hold up when weighed against his total writings/interviews.
I'm not knocking him--
he just doesn't concern himself with such fine-tuned "rankings."

Put another way,
if you asked Dr. Peat this question:
"I want to be as healthy as I possibly can.
I don't care about variety or cost or pleasure.
I only care about achieving my best possible health.
I have access to most foods and plenty of money.
Is asparagus "fine"?
My guess is that, in that context, Peat would not rate asparagus that positively.

I can get pretty anal on these matters, eh? :>)


Jul 22, 2012
Been thinking more about asparagus.
I tried to upload the nutrient content from Wiki,
but it was blocked.
Few things I noted there:
-phosphate : calcium ratio of about 2:1 (not terrible)
-seems to have a lot of beta-carotene, which could be problematic for the thyroid-challenged
-on the good side, lots of Vitamin K, good array of B vitamins, especially folate, and good amount of magnesium and zinc
-fairly fibrous and starchy, so those drawbacks in Peatdom

And then we have the quote from Peat, perhaps apocryphal,
that "roots, shoots, and tubers" are safer food sources than grains/seeds,
but not as good a fruit.
"Shoots": I'm not sure we've ever nailed down that "quote" as verifiably from Peat.
But in any event, not sure exactly how to see shoots from a Peat perspective.

The reasoning--Peat's I mean--behind roots/tubers being better than grains and leaves,
is, at least in part, that those things grow underground,
and therefore do not need to use the degree/type of defensive toxins
that above-ground things like leaves and grains do.

So...shoots: they seem like a kind of in-between plant:
they spring from a root,
but then emerge above ground.
Do they, therefore, deploy some fairly potent defensive toxins?

Personally, I eat them occasionally and like them.
But I regard them sortuv like--as Peat recommended--a condiment.
As opposed to a staple, something to eat a lot of regularly.

One of my points in the previous post was more abstruse:
it concerned the problem (from my perspective) of taking even Peat himself
at his exact word
in various interviews:
"potatoes are an almost perfect food," cooked asparagus "oh, that's fine," etc.
As I said, it's not that I'm trying to catch Peat out or something.
Rather, it's just that he will occasionally, in interviews,
say things that aren't really, exactly consonant with the totality of his work.

One reason for this, in my opinion,
is that if Peat is being interviewed by, say,
a silly man who goes to commercial
to extol the benefits of some little trampoline product he sells
and of simultaneously rubbing one's tummy circularly...

...well, then Peat adapts to that context
and tunes his remarks appropriately.
In the case of asparagus, and the context in which he was asked about it,
my view is that Peat doesn't want to come across as a scornful, picky pedant.
He just hopes to nudge said silly man and his audience in the right direction.

As for chard, spinach, and artichoke,
these too are a little confusing for me in terms of how they should be viewed Peatanically.
Some sources say some of them are goitergenic.
I'm not sure about that.
But I would stop short of giving them the Peatian stamp of "fine."


Jul 17, 2018
Why do you have to cook spinach? I just ate it raw for calsium but i found it does not have much calsium anyway lol
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