What if plants aren't good for you?
We’ve been told that vegetables, nuts and grains (aka plant leaves, roots, stems and seeds) are essential for optimal health.
I strongly believe that these parts of the plant are a net negative for humans, and that the only part of the plant we should be eating is the fruit.
Think about it from a plant’s point of view….
Plants MUST defend their leaves, stems, roots and seeds, if they want to pass their DNA on to the next generation.
Therefore, vegetables (leaves, stems, roots, seeds [seeds,nuts,grains,beans]) are the MOST defended parts of plants.
They simply do NOT want to be eaten, and they contain MANY defense chemicals that are designed to mess with your digestion.
These defense chemicals include tannins, saponins, isothiocyantes, lectins, oxalates, and cyanogenic glycosides that are going to damage your gut; inhibit nutrient absorption, mess with your hormones, and generally, make you fart a lot.
The fact is, the vast majority of plants are inedible if not toxic to humans, as a result of these defense chemicals.
Fruit is a different story. Plants WANT this to be eaten to move the seeds (hopefully undamaged, so they can still germinate) to a new location.
This explains why plants make their fruit sweet and colorful, adding far fewer plant defense chemicals than vegetables (leaves, stems, roots, seeds) or unripe fruit.
I know many of you have heard that vegetables are good for you. You’ve been convinced they are “associated” with improved health outcomes. he fact of the matter, is that the majority of the research involving vegetables (leaves, stems, roots, seeds) is correlative. It’s observational epidemiology.
In this type of research, there’s no experiment being done – only correlations can be drawn (i.e.not causative inference). There’s a large opportunity for bias and confounding (healthy user bias and unhealthy user bias) to arise.
In the interventional controlled trials that have been done with vegetables, the results are often mixed: some studies show no benefit to inclusion and no harm to exclusion). Overall, they tend to be underwhelming, and even ignore potential side effects of the compounds in vegetables, which are commonly purported to be beneficial.
Yes, the chemicals in vegetables may still have pharmaceutical functions within the body, much like medicine, but all pharmaceuticals have side effects. In the case of plant defense chemicals, I believe the risks of these side effects outweigh the benefits.
Many would argue that these plant chemicals are useful for hormesis (e.g. activating NRF2 as pro-oxidants, which leads to more endogenous production of glutathione). I believe this effect is redundant, and can also be achieved through many other avenues like saunas, cold plunging, exercise, and fasting.
Plants do indeed contain some vitamins and minerals, but nothing that we can’t get fromorgans, meat and fruit in more bioavailable forms. By contrast, there are many nutrients in animal foods we CANNOT get from plants in appreciable quantities (e.g. creatine, carnitine, choline, biotin, anserine, taurine, K2, B12, riboflavin, B6, collagen and peptides like BPC-157, etc.).