Plants want to protect their babies because the seeds are the promise of the next generation. Plants in the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, goji berries, etc.) contain alkaloids in their stems and leaves. Grasses contain chemicals that weaken or paralyze its predators — and even make them sick. One type of grass, whole wheat, contains all three of the chemicals below in its hull, husk, and bran:
- phytates, AKA anti-nutrients, that prevent mineral absorption
- trypson inhibitors that prevent digestive enzymes from working
- lectins that stop communication between the cells by creating gaps in the intestinal wall barrier, AKA leaky gut
Sometimes plants want us to eat their “babies” because of two benefits. First, predators take the seed far away from the parent plant — so that they don’t have to compete for resources — and then the predators fertilize the “baby” when the seed is combined with poop upon elimination.
To prepare the “baby” for going through the predator’s gastrointestinal tract, the parent plant encases the seed with a hard outer shell. To prevent predators from eating the fruit before the seed is encased, the plant produces lectins in the fruit and skin which can cause harm to the predator. The fruit also stays “green” which ironically means “stop”/don’t eat yet. When the seed is fully coated, the plant utilizes the predators’ color vision and tempts the predator with yellows, reds, and oranges. (Think about McDonald’s and the colors it employs in its marketing.) At the red, orange, and yellow stage, the plant also increases the sugar content and reduces the lectin amounts to encourage the predator to eat the fruit.
Why do we gain weight when we eat fruit? Plants are master chemists, and they create fructose instead of glucose. When you eat glucose, you feel full because glucose raises insulin levels, which raises the levels of the hunger-suppressing hormone, leptin. When you eat fructose, you don’t receive the signal to quit eating, and you quickly gain weight. In fact, great apes only gain weight during the season when fruit is ripe. Plants want you to eat as much fruit as possible so the “next generation” has more chances to be fertilized.
Unlike in our past, we now have fruit all year round, and we are gaining weight all year round. Also, growers are picking fruit before it is ripe to prevent it from spoiling before it reaches the next continent. To trick us into believing the fruits have ripened, the fruits are sprayed with ethylene oxide so that they turn red, orange, or yellow. However, when a fruit is picked before it is ripe, the parent plant has not had the chance to coat the seed completely and, consequently, has not reduced the lectin levels. Don’t be tricked! Eat fruit in season and eat locally. Also, use fruit as a treat and not as a main component of your diet.