Plants' "protective Mechanisms"

Violence

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Peat often mentions how most plants are undigestible due to their own protective mechanisms they they have evolved to protect themselves from being grazed on and so on. These mechanisms supposedly manifest themselves in the plants being nutritionally weak, hard to extract nutrients from, or releasing antinutrients or toxins that are detrimental to the organism of the animal consuming it.

What I'm thinking is how little sense this makes. If i need a scientific lab analysis in order to establish those mechanisms, then obviously the mechanisms are a major fail and they don't do what Peat claims should be their purpose. If i eat a bunch of kale i will never know its not really good for me in the long run. Lets say i may feel like ***t eventually, but will hardly attribute that to the kale, and the machanism did nothing for the poor kale either. Its gone.

Im mentioning this because a lot of Peats anti vegie theories are built on this shaky and fairly laughable premise.
 

michael94

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and the machanism did nothing for the poor kale either. Its gone.
.

An organism or plant is simply a collection of genes expressed in an environment. Whatever gene may be responsible for anti-nutrients or the like does not go away because you eat one plant that carries the gene. It is enough to elicit a mild inflammatory response to gain a significant evolutionary advantage. Even a 1% advantage is huge over thousands of generations. Creatures generally have a wide variety of edible matter available to them and they will choose the ones that make them feel good over the ones that make them feel less good.


Peat often mentions how most plants are undigestible due to their own protective mechanisms they they have evolved to protect themselves from being grazed on and so on. These mechanisms supposedly manifest themselves in the plants being nutritionally weak, hard to extract nutrients from, or releasing antinutrients or toxins that are detrimental to the organism of the animal consuming it. What I'm thinking is how little sense this makes. If i need a scientific lab analysis in order to establish those mechanisms, then obviously the mechanisms are a major fail and they don't do what Peat claims should be their purpose

I don't need to understand the specific biological mechanisms to understand this makes me feel good that other thing doesn't. If I stick my hand in a fire it will burn, that's not fun. Full comprehension of the damage going on at a cellular level is not necessary. Good science simply requires conclusions that hold strong predictive power. This is why things like coffee became popular long before we invented microscopes and mass spectrometry to identify the molecules involved.


By the way, peat isn't anti-veggie or even kale. In fact he says well cooked greens are a good source of nutrients. The extent to which Peat is against something is the extent to which it limits energy availability and/or causes structural DNA damage.

For simplicity, say you have access to three diets. One gives you 9/10 health, the second 7/10 health, and the third 3/10 health. In this context any sane person would be "anti" the 7/10 diet, not because it is necessarily the worse option but because a better alternative exists.
 

tara

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Kale a a vegetable that in it's unchanged for is totally disgusting.
There are a few people who claim to like it raw, but even they are unlikely to want to eat a large part of their calories from kale. Which I think is consistent with our bodies recognising that large quantities of it raw are probably not supportive. I can enjoy a small amount thoroughly boiled (not unchanged) occasionally.
 

Amazoniac

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So, to sum up: if plants have toxins that don't exert their effects immediately on us, their defensive mechanisms are a failure.
Most vegetables have smaller organisms as their main predators, not us; so they develop toxins to protect them mainly from those predators and other stressors from the environment. That's why foods that are predated mostly from mammals are so bad for our health.
But even if we consider only the interaction of humans and those toxins from a given plant, we probably could not afford being poisoned by them in the long-termliving in an environment where food was difficult to obtain. Trust me, in a chronic caloric deficit you will perceive those tiny nuances, if you don't believe me, try it.
 
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“Foods with a higher, safer ratio of calcium to phosphate are leaves, such as kale, turnip greens, and beet greens, and many fruits, milk, and cheese. - from Ray Peat article "Phosphate, activation, and aging"

Peat quotes on greens in the context of just using their bolied water:

"I sometimes make a magnesium supplement by boiling a pound of greens (kale, beets, spinach, etc.) in a little water, making a concentrated extract rich in magnesium.”

"The things I most often recommend for magnesium are the water from boiling greens such as beet, chard, turnip and kale, and coffee."

"Cooked green leaves, or the water they were boiled in, is a very good source of magnesium, with other minerals in safe ratio." (both whole and water quote)

[GREEN JUICES] "The minerals and vitamin K are definitely valuable, but the high content of PUFA and tannins is a problem. Boiling the leaves and discarding all but the water can produce a good magnesium supplement.
[I supplement 5g of vit K2 mk-4 once a week, do you think green veggies are even necessary?] If you have other sources of magnesium, the green vegetables aren't needed"

Peat quotes on greens in context of eating the whole leaves:

"Those hormones, antagonistic to cortisol, can help to reduce waist fat. Chard, collard, and kale are good greens."

"Well cooked potatoes, with butter or cream, fruit, and well cooked greens are other foods have vitamins and minerals that are helpful."

"Well cooked greens are very good sources, coffee and chocolate are, too."

"but the first thing should be to make sure her calcium to phosphorus ratio is good, by having two quarts of low fat milk per day, or the equivalent in low fat cheese, with no grains, legumes, nuts, or muscle meats, and with some well cooked greens regularly. Vitamin K is important for calcium metabolism, too."

"Cooked green leaves, or the water they were boiled in, is a very good source of magnesium, with other minerals in safe ratio." (both whole and water quote)

It's okay to have a little well-cooked broccoli dipped in hummus, you won't get a goiter:

"Although Peat basically scorns legumes, he said hummus in small amounts isn't nutritionally harmful, though chickpeas and tahini are both allergenic for some people:"
"Some fibers, such as raw carrots, that are effective for lowering endotoxin absorption also contain natural antibiotics, so regular use of carrots should be balanced by occasional supplementation with vitamin K, or by occasionally eating liver or broccoli." - Email with Kasra
 
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We've been cooking food longer than we've been human meaning that the hominids we come from were cooking before we were around. Cooking plants and having a big liver like we do takes care of the plant toxins, that's the whole point of cooking and that's one of the points of having a liver.
 

lvysaur

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Kale is something we've bred, not something wild. It's also not the organism itself; one does not have to kill an organism in order to consume leaves.

There are reports of plants killing animals due to high tannin production as a response to over grazing. Even low doses of antimetabolic substances could sap an animal of the energy required to continue grazing, thereby protecting the plant.

Leafy greens aren't harmful by way of antimetabolic soluble compounds, because they've been somewhat bred out, and are usually cooked. They can be harmful by way of fermentable fiber.
 
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