Flashback Friday: Which Vegetable Binds Bile Best?

Flashback Friday: Which Vegetable Binds Bile Best?
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Which foods are best at removing carcinogenic bile acids from the body: asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, eggplant, green beans, kale, mustard greens, okra, or peppers? And do they work better raw or cooked?

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To lower the risk of diet and lifestyle-related premature degenerative diseases and to advance human nutrition research, relative bile acid–binding potential of foods and fractions need to be evaluated. Since the bile acids are absorbed back in to the system they may increase cancer risk.

Some vegetables bind bile acids better than others. We know that those eating more plant-based diets are at a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, which could in part be because of phytonutrients in plants that act as antioxidants and potent stimulators of natural detoxifying enzymes in our bodies. They can also lower cholesterol and detoxify harmful metabolites, functions that can be predicted by their ability to bind bile acids so as to remove them from the body.

This group of researchers discovered three important things. First, an over five-fold variability in bile acid binding among various vegetables that had similar fiber content, indicating that the bile acid binding is not related to the total dietary fiber content, but instead some combination of unique phytonutrients yet to be determined.

Second, they found that steaming significantly improves the bile acid binding of collards, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, peppers, cabbage, as well as beets, eggplant, asparagus, carrots, green beans, and cauliflower, suggesting steaming vegetables may be more healthful than those consumed raw.

And finally, which vegetables kicked the most bile binding butt? Turnips turn-up last. Then comes cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, spinach, asparagus and green beans. Mustard greens and broccoli are better. Then eggplant, carrots and Brussels sprouts basically tie for the #5 slot. Then collards at #4. We have beets, kale, and okra left in the running. Any guesses as to #1? Kale gets the bronze, and beets get the gold. Kale, surprisingly, got beat.

Both these papers ended the same way: inclusion of all these vegetables in our daily diets should be encouraged. Our two leading killers are to a large extent preventable by appropriate diet and lifestyle modifications, such as eating these vegetables, which when consumed regularly, may lower the risk of premature degenerative diseases and improve public health.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

To lower the risk of diet and lifestyle-related premature degenerative diseases and to advance human nutrition research, relative bile acid–binding potential of foods and fractions need to be evaluated. Since the bile acids are absorbed back in to the system they may increase cancer risk.

Some vegetables bind bile acids better than others. We know that those eating more plant-based diets are at a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, which could in part be because of phytonutrients in plants that act as antioxidants and potent stimulators of natural detoxifying enzymes in our bodies. They can also lower cholesterol and detoxify harmful metabolites, functions that can be predicted by their ability to bind bile acids so as to remove them from the body.

This group of researchers discovered three important things. First, an over five-fold variability in bile acid binding among various vegetables that had similar fiber content, indicating that the bile acid binding is not related to the total dietary fiber content, but instead some combination of unique phytonutrients yet to be determined.

Second, they found that steaming significantly improves the bile acid binding of collards, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, peppers, cabbage, as well as beets, eggplant, asparagus, carrots, green beans, and cauliflower, suggesting steaming vegetables may be more healthful than those consumed raw.

And finally, which vegetables kicked the most bile binding butt? Turnips turn-up last. Then comes cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, spinach, asparagus and green beans. Mustard greens and broccoli are better. Then eggplant, carrots and Brussels sprouts basically tie for the #5 slot. Then collards at #4. We have beets, kale, and okra left in the running. Any guesses as to #1? Kale gets the bronze, and beets get the gold. Kale, surprisingly, got beat.

Both these papers ended the same way: inclusion of all these vegetables in our daily diets should be encouraged. Our two leading killers are to a large extent preventable by appropriate diet and lifestyle modifications, such as eating these vegetables, which when consumed regularly, may lower the risk of premature degenerative diseases and improve public health.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

Why would we want to bind bile in the first place? Make sure you see the “prequel” to this video, Breast Cancer and Constipation.

More raw versus cooked comparisons in:

Beets also have a number of other remarkable properties. Check out my video series on Doping with Beet Juice, including Hearts Shouldn’t Skip a Beet.

Since this video originally came out, I’ve added more videos on the benefits of beets:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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