Kristen Sparrow • June 08, 2015
A very provocative take on why fruits and vegetables make you more resilient. Hint: it’s not the vitamins. They contain various “anti grazing” substances to keep them from being eaten and when we consume them, it is a form of hormesis, a mild stressor, that makes us stronger. Vitamins actually block that stressor reaction and might be undoing what you’re trying to achieve in taking them. Fascinating! Found this via Moises Velasquez-Manoff blog.
“They’re not all antifeedants, he argues. Plants churn these substances out when stressed, prompting further adaptations to the particular threat, be it drought, infestation by grazing insects, or excessive ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
For grazers, these stress compounds in plants may convey important information about environmental conditions. So grazers’ ability to “perceive” these signals, Sinclair argues, likely proved advantageous over evolutionary time. It allowed them to prepare for adversity. A grape vine stressed by fungi churns out resveratrol to fight off the infection. You drink wine made from those grapes, “sense” the harsh environmental conditions in the elevated tannins and other stress compounds, gird your own defenses, and, in theory, become more resistant to degenerative disease.”
This is a very good reason to eat locally. In Chinese Medicine, they teach that the most healthy food for you is that which is grown in your own yard. Maybe this is why.