Most human plant foods can be eaten by most people as full meals and not cause any illness—for example pasta, potatoes, pump- kin and carrots. Some human plant foods can only be taken in small amounts. Herbs and spices are examples of condiments that add flavour and smell to other foods, but if they are taken as whole meals they will quickly cause serious illness and possibly death—they have naturally occurring toxic chemicals. How do you think you would feel if you ate a whole bowl of pepper as a meal?
Hundreds of plant toxic chemicals have been used as medicines throughout history—for example the hundred of herbs currently used in herbal medicine. These can be beneficial for health, as long as they are not overdosed; for example the bark of the willow tree has been used for centuries as a pain reliever. The active chemical in willow bark is called salicin, which has been converted into the drug known as Aspirin. Overdosing of either will lead to illness.
One real concern about plant toxins that is often overlooked is the weakening effect they have on the body if they are regularly eaten. For example, if you eat grass-pea seeds as a substantial part of your diet for a few months you will experience a neurologi- cal disease called lathyrism. This is what Jewish inmates in one Ukrainian concentration camp experienced in 1942. The camp’s Nazi officers provided inmates with flour made from grass-pea seeds. It was ‘death by bread’. It only took a couple of months of eating these seed breads for most inmates to become paralysed.
How much plant toxin is too much? It depends on the relationship between the individual plant toxin, the immune-nervous health and genetic predispositions of the person who is eating the plant (and often the microorganism flora of their individual bodies). If you decided to eat meals composed of onions as your only food source over a period of a week you will experience acute ill- ness. If you eat them in small amounts as a garnish, you will not experience illness, because you give your body time to detoxify. If you fully cook them it will be safer for you, because you will be denaturing some of the toxins. However if you ate a small amount of onions with every meal for months or years, you increase the chances of developing immune, nervous or organ dys- function, in a very specific way to your body. They could even trigger epigenetic gene changes.
For the average healthy person to develop lathyrism for example, requires that they eat grass-pea flours as a third of the total diet for a couple of months. However if grass-peas are continuously eaten as a tenth of the diet, most people would not develop obvious symptoms. They would however, slowly develop chronic low-grade ill-health symptoms, and it would take a couple of years or longer for the symptoms to develop. Eventually each individual would experience increasing bouts of muscular stiffness, weakness, and ongoing cramping of the leg muscles, general muscular-skeletal rigidity, chronic bladder irritation, osteoarthritis, and other chronic symptoms.
In general, if we continually eat the same plant foods day after day, week after week, month after month, year in and year out, we increase the chances that our bodies will eventually have a problem with the naturally occurring toxic plant chemicals in our foods.
Before the 1960s, Australians ate the plant foods that were only available in the different seasons. This gave their bodies a break from accumulating plant toxins. The last three generations of Australians have been regularly eating the same array of plant foods, day after day, with no thought of the ill effects this can have on their health. Eventually these accumulated toxins will cause chronic ill health in most people. Our staple bakery products made from wheat, rice, corn, oats, barley, rye, etc, are the cause of much ill-health as we age, particularly if we additionally eat other plant chemicals, such as sugar, continually with these bakery products.
In order to maintain mental and physical health, you should consider doing a Grain-removal Detox for two or three weeks, during which you remove all (100%) grain-derived foods and drinks. If you do this three or four times a year you would find that you feel mentally and physically younger. This type of detoxing is similar to the now popular idea of regularly undertaking intermit-tant fasting, to improve general health. To undertake a Grain-removal Detox simply change from eating grain-derived bakery products and commercial foods to those that are grain-free. Deeks can help you with this.
If you want to know more about grain-removal detoxing, click this link and register to participate in a Deeks closed podcast ex- plaining this Detox in detail, with me. It is free—and you can ask your questions.