Eliminating Plant Defense Poisons




By Atom Bergstrom

Atom’s Blog

Re: What is the difference between boiling and steaming?

According to Ray Peat …

“The vegetarian forgets how toxic plants have to be because they don’t have the ability to fight or run, so what they use is chemicals for defense.”


Most plants contain potent defense toxins.

Plants hand us their fruit to spread their seeds, but aren’t thrilled when we eat their hands instead of their fruit.

Boiling destroys more of a plant’s defense poisons than steaming.


According to Wikipedia …

“Steaming, compared to boiling, showed 42% higher amount of glucosinolates in broccoli cooked for medium firmness.”

Glucosinolates are “antioxidants,” according to Dr. Evil and Mini-Me (the pharmaceutical and supplement industries).

And antioxidants are good for us, right?

What about carbon monoxide?


According to Wikipedia (every Yin has its Yang, and every Yang has its Yin) …

“The glucosinolates are natural components of many pungent plants such as mustard, cabbage, and horseradish. The pungency of those plants is due to mustard oils produced from glucosinolates when the plant material is chewed, cut, or otherwise damaged. These natural chemicals most likely contribute to plant defence against pests and diseases, but are also enjoyed in small amounts by humans and are believed to contribute to the health promoting properties of cruciferous vegetables.”

Damaged? Small amounts? Believed?


According to Wikipedia …

“Phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties have been found to retain significantly better through steaming than through boiling or microwaving.”

Phenolic compounds are former villains, back when they were called “tannins.”

Name change is a game change.

Most consumers buy the finger pointing at the Moon, rather than the Moon itself.

Any Moon will do, as long as we follow the finger that points to it.


According to “Cooking Vegetables for Optimum Nutrition,” Paleo Leap, 2017 …

“Overall, boiling is the most intensive cooking method around. It results in the greatest loss of everything, but that’s not actually all bad. For one thing, not all chemical compounds in plants are nutritious, and boiling is just as destructive to antinutrients as it is to everything else. Boiling is the best way to reduce the goitrogen content of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and kale.”


Many Ray Peat advocates throw away the vegetable and keep the broth.

Many Paleo backers throw away the broth and keep the vegetable.

Being a Yes-No-Maybe guy, I keep them both.


According to Wikipedia …

“Steaming compared to boiling retained β-carotene in carrots.”

Is that a “good” thing? Some say, “Nay!”


According to Ray Peat …

“I avoid carotene, because it blocks thyroid and steroid production, and very large, excessive, amounts of vitamin A, retinol, can do the same.”


Beta-carotene is toxic to many people confronted with cancer, diabetes, low thyroid, sluggish liver, cigarette smoke, etc.,


What about the nutrients destroyed by boiling? …

1) Leave the lid on the pot when boiling.

2) Save the cooking water. It’s rich in nutrients.


The reason a chef puts a lid on a pot while cooking is to stop the volatile acids from escaping into the air.

The heavier nonvolatile alkali residue precipitates and settles to the bottom of the pot.

Metals (iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese, selenium, etc.) tend to uncoil DNA and invoke entropy and aging.

Trace metals too.


Before you buy another bottle of trace minerals at the health food emporium, remember that trace minerals, especially the alkaline ones, are instigators of aging and DNA/RNA errors.


Joan Arehart-Treichel (“Probing the Aging Process: GRC scientists are seeking not the Fountain of Youth but ways of helping us all live to a healthy old age,” Science News, Jan. 8, 1977) wrote …

“First, they [Gunther Eichhorn and his colleagues] have found that the content of trace minerals in cells changes with aging, mostly increasing, thus suggesting that trace metals may be a vital factor in whether cells live out their genetically programmed lifespans or not. Second, they have found that metal ions can sabotage the transcription of DNA into RNA. (For example, platinum complexes can hook onto a DNA molecule and keep RNA from copying a correct message from it.) They can also alter the specificity of enzymes that act on DNA, produce cross-links between DNA chains, or even degrade RNA. (The ions, however, do not appear capable of degrading DNA, which has led to the postulate that DNA may have been chosen over RNA as the primary bearer of genetic information because DNA is not susceptible to metal ions.) Finally, the researchers point out that metal ions can mess up the transcription of RNA into proteins in unforgivable ways.”


According to Adano Ley (Swami Nitty-Gritty) …

“We don’t suffer from lack of eating. We suffer from potluck eating.”


People living in Western countries don’t suffer from a QUANTITATIVE lack of minerals.

They suffer from a QUALITATIVE lack of minerals.

Supplement sellers focus on mineral absorption.

They ignore mineral utilization and elimination.


Qualitative? What does that mean?

Emanuel Revici, M.D. (Research In Physiopathology As Basis Of Guided Chemotherapy—With Special Application To Cancer, 1961) wrote …

“An excess of potassium is found in cancer cells: the greater the degree of malignancy, the greater the excess of the element. Along with the cellular excess, the amount of the potassium in the blood drops to low values, even below 4 mEq. The low blood value cannot be related to lack of potassium, since quantities of the elements are eliminated in the urine. It has to be considered as a kind of defense through the higher level to an excessive amount of the element at its proper level. This relationship has led to the comparative study of the potassium content of red cells and serum as a means of obtaining indications concerning the intervention of this metal at its proper cellular level. The changes in the potassium content of red blood cells are considered to parallel those occurring in the cells in general. It is not the ratio between these values which is of interest, but each value by itself. Low amounts in red cells and in serum correspond to a quantitative deficiency; high amounts in both, to an excess of the metal; low amounts in cells and high in serum indicate a metabolic anomaly corresponding to a depletion of potassium in the cells as seen in offbalance D; while a high amount in cells and with low values in the serum indicate a cellular offbalance of the type A.”

'Eliminating Plant Defense Poisons' have 7 comments

  1. July 26, 2017 @ 8:37 pm Atom

    A man fell from the third floor of a building, and consulted me about his damaged back.

    “Let me ask you a crazy question. What color comes to your mind when you think of your back?” I asked.


    “Did you have a spiritual or religious trauma just before the fall?”

    “I was initiated into Transcendental Meditation. I got a mantra the morning before the fall.”


    Another man had a prostate problem.

    “What color comes to your mind when you think about your prostate?” I asked.


    “Did you have any problems involving both your father and religion?”

    “My father was excommunicated from the Catholic Church.”

    The prostate gland often indicates a father trauma, just as the uterus often indicates a mother trauma.



  2. July 27, 2017 @ 1:11 pm John

    Hi Atom,
    the three best drinks to help a fat woman lose weight ?


    • July 30, 2017 @ 2:27 pm Atom

      Orange juice at Spleen-Pancreas Time.

      Tomato juice at Small Intestine Time.

      Pineapple juice at Triple Heater Time.


  3. July 28, 2017 @ 12:24 pm Amber

    Master Chen advocated boiling when I took a workshop. He was specifically talking about sweet potatoes…and to drink the water!


    • August 7, 2017 @ 8:10 pm Atom

      Master Chen ate his first salad soon after arriving in the U.S.

      Some folks think the Chinese don’t have peanut allergies because they boil their peanuts instead of roasting them.


  4. September 11, 2017 @ 5:06 pm Jon

    Any recommendations for eliminating non-pitting edema that develops in the lower extremities towards the end of each day? I’m a 21 year old male, have tried many things and would really appreciate your advice. Thanks!


    • September 12, 2017 @ 1:01 am Atom

      Anything can cause anything, and anything can cure anything.

      Four major causes of edema involve estrogen, polyunsaturated fatty acids, nitric oxide, and/or serotonin.

      Farmers feed polyunsaturated and highly unsaturated fatty acids to farm animals to fatten them up — it’s water weight (a euphemism for edema).


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