One of the most powerful ways I’ve been able to explain why not to eat plants is to show people a picture of a plant and walk them through how nature is designed to protect the plant.
When you think of all animals and plants we have to take into account how they protect themselves from predators. Each thing in nature has a way to protect itself because the number one goal is to survive. Animals have two ways to protect themselves: to run away or to fight back. This is why they have legs for running and hooves, teeth, claws, etc to fight back with. But plants don’t have these weapons to protect themselves. So instead, they have been designed in a very specific and intelligent way to protect as well as repopulate. Their weapon of choice is chemical warfare. Nature’s design is for plants not to be eaten. I will walk you through each part of a plant and explain its purpose for survival.
Starting from the bottom up. Roots are the anchor of a plant. They are how a plant gets its nutrients, creates stability, and makes its home. So it wants to do everything in its power to not be dug up. When an animal starts to nibble on its root, it will release certain toxins such as solanine (IBS & autoimmune issues) and polyphenols (thyroid, tumor & kidney issues). These are the roots ways of telling the animal to stop eating me. It doesn’t always affect the animal immediately but they can get a poisoning feeling and get very sick after.
When we think of stems, we think of fiber usually. In the last 30 years, we’ve been told that fiber is the bee’s knees. And there are some positives for sure, but the negatives probably outweigh the positives. There is a reason that when you eat a lot of fiber you get a really upset intestine area. It’s the plant making itself impossible to break down so that the next time you try to eat it, you won’t want to. The fiber component itself is the plant’s way to teach the animal to not eat any more of its kind.
However, we as intelligent humans think that’s really good because it makes me poop more. But the colon is actually a smooth muscle. It naturally contracts spontaneously and doesn’t need fiber to shove itself in there and much more into your stools. Big stools mean your body isn’t digesting food, which isn’t a good thing. The plant is trying to protect its body. It needs this body to get nutrients from the leaves from photosynthesis. Not all things in the stem category are not editable, however. Tubers such as potatoes and carrots are really more of a stem-like fruit. Not all parts of the tubers should be eaten but the main belly of them is pretty low on toxin levels.
As we get higher on the plant the toxin levels can be a little lower, but also have different effects on the body. When it comes to leaves, the plant normally puts out a toxic release on the spot. Meaning when you taste kale and it’s bitter, that’s the plant saying, DO NOT EAT ME. Other animals instantly would realize not to have that plant, but heck, we think the bitterness means health. There are many things in leaves that are toxic such as oxalates and glucosinolates. These normally are not toxic in small amounts but it’s the volume that adds up over time. And we normally don’t eat one or two leaves, we eat a ton in a salad. Again, this is nature saying, “Don’t eat me, because I am needed for keeping the plant alive”. The leaves are performing photosynthesis, capturing water and CO2 for the plant to prosper.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really think people ate flowers until I did some research and realize people do. Flowers are one of the ways nature spreads itself through pollination. It wants to protect itself as it needs to pollinate with other flowers to grow new offspring. I think it goes without saying there are toxins in flowers. That is why many of them are toxic to eat in any setting, but the ones that we have tried to enter into our diet for (some reason) and that do not cause instant harm are not good for us either. All these things we are putting in our body from plants are leading to things like autoimmune diseases, leaky gut syndrome, and rapid free radicals in the system.
We finally go to the part of the plant that it actually wants you to eat. That’s why this is sweet and juicy. The plant knows it can regrow more fruit, so it creates this to stop the animal from destroying the rest of it. It’s nature’s gift to other animals while at the same time playing its long-term game of survival. Yes, it has sugar, but natural fructose causes very little increase in blood glucose and insulin release. Contrary to what so-called “experts” have said about fruit, it’s actually extremely good for you and is one of the few plant-based foods you should consume regularly.
When we are talking about seeds we mean legumes, nuts, wheat, rice, corn, and all kernel-based seeds. The goal of a seed is the replant itself somewhere else. This way, the plant can spread itself for a better chance of long-term survival. That’s why fruits mostly have seeds. They want the animal to eat the seed then poop it out. So why is this bad for humans then, isn’t this nature’s plan? Yep, it is, but the issue is we don’t eat seeds in the way nature intended.
Its goal wasn’t to kill the animal or make it sick, it just wanted to pass the seed through animals that move. An animal would eat a few fruits, and move on, maybe ingest 5-10 seeds total. The seed then goes through the process of making sure it’s not broken completely down and absorbed. So as it goes through the digestive system it pulls all the nutrients from the lining to help protect itself. This is why they are called anti-nutrients and are laced with tons of toxins like lectin, phytic acid, isoflavones, and much more. The seed is doing everything in its power to stay as much intact as it can.
That’s why you’ll find kernels of certain things in your stools. This would be no big deal if we ate 5-10 seeds a few times a week. The issue is that we eat handfuls of them, we eat them in butter, oils, and other processed ways. So we’ve eliminated some protectors mother nature created. Fiber is one of these protectors, and it helps the seeds move through quickly so less damage is done to the body. We also now have nuts shelled so we can consume a ton at a time. Shelling nuts actually speeds up the rancidity of the oils, which isn’t healthy either. These are all the reasons we recommend eliminating processed nut and seed oils and butters right away because they are extremely toxic.
Call to Action
- Eat the fruit of a plant
- Avoid eating the seeds
- Leaves really depend, but be cautious of quantity if you really need them
- Some roots are edable, most stems are not
- Fermenting most vegetables does help break down the toxin levels over time