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Old 03-15-2007, 06:13 PM   #1
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Spinach plus Cheese = Iron Loss?

I'm confuse with the whole absorbing iron situation from food. There are dishes out there that mixes spinach and cheese together and yet, you're losing the ability to absorb the iron from spinach due to CHEESE! So, what's the point of inventing dishes made from cheese and spinach when you're can't even absorb iron from the dishes?

I'm trying to eat healthy and figure out how I can get more out of my food without other food(s) interfering with absorbing the nutrients. I don't see a point in making a dish with spinach and cheese

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Old 03-15-2007, 07:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Human
...I don't see a point in making a dish with spinach and cheese

It tastes good?
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:10 PM   #3
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I think what is really important is to strike a healthy balance in what we eat. If we spend time trying to figure out what cancels what out, we'd never get anywhere with our meal preparations and, perhaps, end up eating rather unusual meals.

Part of eating is to enjoy the experience and still be able to follow wise dietary guidelines.
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:17 PM   #4
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1) it tastes good
2) not all my spinach dishes contain cheese or milk items, but my lasagnas do, if I don't use kale, and the same situation applies. But iron is not he only benefit of green leafies, and dairy does not negate all properties of such vegies, only a certain amount of iron absorbtion.
3) if that really concerns you, eat only 1 item at a time and let it digest for 2 hours beofre you eat the next, with the exception of rice and beans which should go together. eat most of your food raw, undressed, unseasoned, but make sure you have a meal of salt once a day.
4) yuno, sometimes I just want a tomato even when it's not a perfectly ripe red one.
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:59 PM   #5
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Im with AndyM cause it tastes good.I also eat my greens with no cheese if thats what I feel like.However I dont want to try to figure out what goes together with what, eat what you want within limits.
None of us are getting out of here alive anyway no matter what you do! So enjoy life.Unless you have serious health problems eat well ,not crazy but healthy and dont sweat the little stuff as the body has a way of balancing its self.
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:17 PM   #6
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Yep, calcium does interfer with iron absorption but vitamin c helps with iron absorption.

So...eat a bowl of spinach with a glass of oj.
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:39 PM   #7
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From the nutritionists I've spoken with, and there are several, the key to good nutrition is to eat a bit of all types of foods. Even animal fats play a significant role in good nutrition, as do poly and mono-unsaturated fats. Calcium and a host of minerals are necessary for bone health and a host of bodily functions. And protiens, well not only are they building blocks of tissues, but are taxis, so-to-speak, for other substance required by the body, and are also responsible for many of our bodily problems as well.

All substances in the foods we eat are necessary in the proper amounts for good health. But too much of any of them will stress or even injure the body.

Example, arsenic is a deadly poison, and yet it is a required trace element used by the brain to send information back and forth between neural transmitters. The reason that heavy metals (these include things like arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, etc.) are deadly is that they disrupt the normal transmission of information between the brain and the various systems that it regulates.

Carrotien, the chemical in yellow and orange vegetables that carries so much vitamin A, is a wonderful componant that allows the eye to react to light photons which strike the retina. Viatamin A is essential for color vision. And yet, there have been people who have suffered injury by consuming huge ammounts of Carrotien, thinking they were eating healty foods, to the exclusion of nearly everything else.

There are also those who believe that only raw foods should be consumed. And yet, many foods that we eat are far more digestible after being cooked. In fact, some foods are downright dangerous before they are cooked. Take the common lima bean. In the U.S., this humble member of the bean family is less toxic than in most parts of the world due to selective breeding practices. But the ordinary lima bean contains significant amounts of cyanide and is deadly poisonous if eaten raw. But boiling them leaches the cyanide into the water where it is then evaporated into the air with the steam. Cyanide is a toxin that works to cause asphixiation. It does this as it has an affinity to red blood cells. It sticks to them like crazy, negating their ability to carry oxygen to the body.

Even oxygen can be poisonous under the wrong circumstances. Ask any scuba diver why they don't breath pure oxygen in their tanks. They will tell you that at 30 feet below sea level, pure oxygen becomes a poison to the body. I believe that at 90 feet, regular air becomes poisonous due to the oxygen content, and at greater depths, they start breathing helium/oxygen mixtures to avoid nitrogen narcosis.

So as you can see, everything that we can see, feel, touch, or that comes into contact with us, including such things as electro-magnetic energy (light, microwaves, radio energy, the electro-magnetic radiation from your computer monitor), can be either beneficial or harmful to us. We are complex machines that require a myriad of chemicals and substances to operate. But just as a car engine needs the proper fuel to air mixture to work efficeintly, we need the proper mixture of nutrients, minerals, enzymes, and catalists, including acidic and alkaly substances, to keep our bodies operating. Fortunately, all we have to do is eat a little bit of everything to do just that. And I don't know about you, but that opens up endless possibilties for recipe creation, and for vertually limitless variety. And that's a good thing.

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Old 03-16-2007, 01:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Human
.... I'm trying to eat healthy and figure out how I can get more out of my food without other food(s) interfering with absorbing the nutrients. I don't see a point in making a dish with spinach and cheese
If we looked at every chemical component in every food and every potential reaction between all of those compounds in everything we eat, and only ate what was perfect without toxins or chemical binding or bonding reactions ... we would all starve to death!

Let's take spinach for example. Spinach contains a naturally occuring toxin - oxalic acid. Oxalic acid binds with minerals that are necessary in our diet like zinc, copper, magnesium, iron and calcium, making them nearly unabsorbable. And if enough of the oxalate is absorbed, it can find its way to your kidneys where it can combine with calcium to form kidney stones. So, even without the cheese, spinach is itself limiting the amount of iron you can absorb from it. And, the calcium in the cheese may actually be binding with the oxalic acid to keep it from being absorbed - thereby possibly making a "spinach and cheese" dish healthier than spinach alone! As it turns out - spinach is one of those "good news - bad news" foods ... it can be both good for you and bad for you.

Tea leaves, black pepper and parsley contain more oxalic acid than spinach - cocoa, most nuts, most berries and beans contain a little less. Oh, yeah, if you consume too much Vitamin C - your body synthesizes it into calcium oxalate ... back to the kidney stone problem, again.

Tomatoes also contain a lethal (on it's own) toxin - an alkaloid tomatine, present in very small amounts in ripe tomatoes but in higher conentrations in "green" tomatoes and most concentrated in the leaves. But, it turns out that tomatine forms an insoluble bond with the cholesterol in our digestive tract - which means the bound tomatine is not absorbed, neither is the cholesterol that it is bound to!!! I wouldn't go chewing on a bunch of green tomato plant leaves ... but treated like bay leaves - you can add a few toward the end of cooking your sauce and then remove them before serving to put back some of the fresh tomato "green" flavors and aromas lost in cooking.

But, like Goodweed noted ... carrots are good for you - too many are bad for you. Every day we hear the cries, no the SCREAMS, that ALL sugar is evil ... yet without sugar in our diet (found in vegetable, fruits and meats) we would fold up and collapse like a child's defalted balloon - and die. Salt, another "satanic" ingredient in foods is also necessary for our survival - without both sodium and potassium salts your heart would quit beating, and the rest of your body's electical system would also quit. Raw honey, which is a good food, can be toxic to children and the elderly - acutally even refined honey is toxic to some people.

Eating a well balanced diet to supply the necessary nutrients is about the best you, or any of us other humans, can hope for.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Robo410
1) if that really concerns you, eat only 1 item at a time and let it digest for 2 hours beofre you eat the next, with the exception of rice and beans which should go together.
Actually, you do not have to eat the rice and beans together in order to get all eight amino acids that would make it a complete protein. You can have the rice for breakfast, the beans for lunch, or the rice and beans for supper, and still get the benefits.
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