Hi, there! Dr. Alan Christianson here. Are your veggies poisoned? What do I mean by this? There has been a big trend in popular literature, discussing certain foods. A lot of blog posts and experts have talked about things hidden in your food that seem really dangerous. The big dangers you hear about are oxalates, nightshade compounds, phytic acid and goitrogens. Honestly, if you follow all these lists, you would come away with no foods left to eat. So, let’s talk about this.
In general, these compounds are all in a class, called phytotoxins. Sounds pretty scary, right? Here, in the Sonora desert, a lot of our plants have physical defenses – sharp things on them. However, many plants have chemical defenses. These chemical defenses cause other plants not to grow right next to them, fight off fungi and repel insects. What are some of these major chemical defenses? What foods are they in? What are the real important steps you should be taking in your diet? Let’s talk about these things individually.