Boiled Greens
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Boiled Greens refers to any Greens that must be/should be cooked to be eaten. It may be a shock, but not every vegetable is best eaten Raw.

That is not to say that the occasional Arugula Salad or bit of Coleslaw is a major threat to most people, but large quantities of the Cruciferous Vegetables listed above should normally not be eaten Raw. Broadly, the major medical reasons stem from Goitrogens (Sulforaphane & indole-3-carbinol), Oxalic Acid, and Glucosinolates (a toxic compound in large doses that in small doses protects against cancer). A more surmountable and less dangerous reason is plain old toughness. We are not doctors or researchers but we will try to shed a little light on each in the next paragraphs below.

Boiled Greens are the most risky Raw because they contain compounds that are toxic, but which can become much less toxic with exposure to heat.  In Cruciferous Vegetables, the Sulforaphane and Indole-3-carbinol, which are Goitrogens because they cause the thyroid to act up, are both damaged (in a good way for humans) by exposure to cooking heat. Similarly, Oxalic Acid is also damaged by cooking heat (Steaming, Boiling, etc.). It is the same story with Glucosinolates; cooking heat makes them much safer to eat. By the way, eating 2 pounds (.91 kg) of Raw Bok Choy a day, for several months, put an 88 year old woman into a coma, according to a report cited by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

Boiling Greens is, as the name implies, a good way to go. It can also be a labor saving and time saving move, as you can wash the Greens and Boil them at the same time. Of course, you should inspect the Greens before Boiling (and rinse / wash any obvious problem cases) and discard the water afterwards. Smart Kitchen’s Recipe for Boiled Greens can walk you through the process.

If you insist on eating Boiled Greens Raw, do so occasionally and in smaller quantities.


There are some Cruciferous Vegetables (Arugula, Broccoli, Kale, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Turnips, Turnip Greens, Collard Greens, Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts, Radish, Rutabaga, and Watercress) which can be eaten Raw but which should really be cooked for consumption.

Some other Vegetable Greens should be cooked because they contain Oxalic Acid, which can damage kidneys and be toxic at high enough concentrations. These include: Spinach, Chard, Parsley, Chives, Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Purslane and Beet Greens. Cooking or Steaming these vegetables will reduce the Oxalic Acid, which also blocks Calcium and Iron absorption.