Safe drinking water from boiled vegetables?

Posted by: shunyata

Safe drinking water from boiled vegetables? - 08/04/18 03:38 PM

Hi everyone!

I'm new to this forum. I suspect I'm dealing with AS since it runs in my family and I've had pain in my back for the last two years getting progressivly worse. Anyway, thanks to all the posts on this forum, eliminating starch from my diet seems to help me greatly.

However, I'm right now into following the GAPS diet, of trying to restore my gut health. I've recently bought some iodine to test my food with and I'm trying to figure out what boiled vegetables would be safe for eating, but since more or less every vegetable I boil turn out black or spots of black, I'm finding myself eating rather dull and tasteless food in the beginning of the gaps introduction diet, without being able to use vegetables like carrot, zuccini, broccoli, cauliflower etc. Celery seems fine though.

I got the idea that perhaps I could boil carrots and other vegetables and just use the water from that? Would that contain any starch?
Also since black pepper seems loaded with starch, perhaps boiling whole black peppers in water and them removing them means that the starch doesn't leak out into the water?

What are you experiences with this?

I also want to thank everyone in this forum. You have helped me greatly!
Posted by: Kellybells

Re: Safe drinking water from boiled vegetables? - 08/05/18 07:55 AM

Hi shunyata and welcome!

I'm surprised at some of your results. Zucchini and broccoli were staples for me in the first few months because I found them so reliable. I ate them almost every day and never had issues. Other veg on my safe list: spinach, asparagus, okra, globe artichoke, rutabaga/swede, onion. Carrots were another story - though ostensibly low in starch, they always turned fully purple, and when I ate them I reacted I woke a bit stiff the next day.

Starch actually leaches out into the water when you soak or boil veg. Think of a pot of water after cooking potatoes or pasta -it's cloudy and thick from the starch. In the early days, in an effort to make carrots less starchy, I tried slicing them into medallions (to expose more surface area for starch to leach out), soaking them, rinsing, and then boiling them. I didn't react afterwards, but I didn't do it very often because. If making a stew I would just soak overnight. (By this time my symptoms were under good control so I can't say whether it made a difference or not.)

I only ever tested raw veg, not boiled. Doing that I noticed some veg just had streaks while others went full purple. Veg with streaks were generally ok, full purple or black were not. Maybe try testing when raw, or else rinse off your boiled veg before testing in case some of the leached out starch is clinging to the surface?

A neat trick I learned from a poster here is to put ginger and water in a blender, strain, and then let the liquid settle overnight. The starch will settle to the bottom and you can pour off the ginger extract. I haven't tried it with any other foods, but I wonder if it could also work with starchy spices like black pepper...
Posted by: shunyata

Re: Safe drinking water from boiled vegetables? - 08/05/18 04:18 PM

The diet I'm following now suggests alot of boiled vegetables so it definitely narrows down the possibilities for me, but I'm thinking that I should eat the vegetables you mention, even if they are a bit starchy when boiled. My pain is not that bad after all, and soothing my stomach for a period in my life is not such a bad idea!

Interesting that you say that streaks of purple in your tested vegetables doesn't affect you, I thought every sign of reaction with iodine meant it would be bad for you. That would mean alot of the vegetables! Definitely going to remember that when the diet starts calling for raw vegetables smile
Posted by: Kellybells

Re: Safe drinking water from boiled vegetables? - 08/06/18 08:24 AM

I'm familiar with GAPS and follow some of the principles, like well cooked food, bone broth, and probiotic foods. I've just never done it start to finish. I think it makes a good fit with NSD, as the first few stages should limit how much starch makes it far enough down the GI tract to cause trouble.

With fruit and veg, zero starch is really hard to achieve. In the early days I aimed for a max of 2 grams per day (using to check starch levels and iodine to verify). Some low starch veg or fruit might have some starch streaks, like veins, but did not cause me pain when I ate them. Presumably not enough starch to cause trouble. I did a lot of experimenting to see what I could/could not tolerate - one thing I've learned from this site is that people have very different levels of starch tolerance. (And they change over time - I can eat foods now that I couldn't before).

Having said that, zucchini always tested clear for me. Broccoli florets also were fine, though sometimes the tougher stems further down were starchy. I didn't eat cauliflower, but would expect it to behave the same way as broccoli. Cabbage and kale were iffy for me - their starch content can clearly vary, so I always tested, limited how much I ate, and cooked it really, really well in the hopes it would digest quickly.
Posted by: DragonSlayer

Re: Safe drinking water from boiled vegetables? - 08/06/18 11:46 AM

Hello, shunyata:

Please refer to the Starch Content of Foods section.

I do not believe black pepper has any starch; I have never reacted to it.

Cooked broccoli has very tiny amounts of available starch and most of us never react to this. Carrots and cauliflower DO have too much starch, however; this is reasonable information with which to "calibrate" Your testing technique. I don't know about zucchini--some varieties are more starchy than others, it seems. Not sure about GAPS diet, but I did not eliminate nightshades (except potato and never consumed any tobacco).

I use a 1% iodine solution called "Atomidine" or "Atomic Iodine;" it can (atypically) be used as a supplement.

Posted by: shunyata

Re: Safe drinking water from boiled vegetables? - 08/06/18 11:53 PM

Yes the GAPS diet seems like a good start, at least for me. The theory being that part of why people react to all of these starches is that they have an inadequate ability to break down food in their gut thanks to eating too much junk food. But I don't know if it will work or not, but waking up because of pain in my back is the best motivator I have for changing my diet, that much I do know!

I'll be sure to check out cronometer as a guideline along with my iodine testing.

Do you use black pepper in your diet or not? I don't know if I react to it or not, but it turns black with iodine, so I have removed it for the last few weeks (I do miss it though!!)
Posted by: shunyata

Re: Safe drinking water from boiled vegetables? - 08/07/18 12:04 AM

First of all I want to thank you for answering a lot of the questions I have about dealing with AS through all of your posts here on It has really helped me!

I am a little confused that you don't believe black pepper has any starch. The iodine for me turns black very fast. To further test it (since its harder to test black colored food for starch) I tested white pepper which is the same pepper, only the outer shell removed, that too turns black very fast. Or is it perhaps that it's a starch you don't react to?

Like for me, glutinous rice seems to be digested without any problems, due to it being another type of starch.

What is the color of your iodine solution? Mine is lugol 2%, and it's dark brown which I sometimes think is a little too close to black when testing food.
Posted by: Janclebro

Re: Safe drinking water from boiled vegetables? - 09/11/18 08:14 PM

Hi Shunyata, my suggestion is that you rather start out too strict than too lax. Eliminate absolutely everything that you find at all starchy for a few days, then slowly start adding in the least risky veg to see which ones work for you. In the beginning I had to test cauliflower each time I ate it, and found only about a third of them were fine for me. I had a similar experience with zucchini, sweet peppers and baby corn. All of those I can now eat without testing. Broccoli was always fine. I haven't been able to eat carrots at all, I avoid garlic, go easy on onions and avoid asparagus and leeks because of inulin.I seem to have problems with cabbage even when it's not starchy (I generally find the spitzkoppe variety the most reliable), and even glutinous rice gives me problems. So this is all to confirm what Kellybells said - we're all different in our levels of sensitivity, and we each have to work it out for ourselves. It seems I'm one of the more sensitive ones (I've even had to cut out all sugar though am starting to reintroduce a couple of berries once or twice a week), so you might end up with a less strict regime. Even if pepper tests starchy, you might find that you use little enough for it not to matter. Good luck working it all out!