Why the Plants We Eat Need to Have Overcome Invaders

The ancient healing power of Secondary Plant Metabolites.

Cindy de Villiers


Photo by Tiard Schulz on Unsplash

As we crunch into the perfect apple or carrot (often conveniently peeled, sliced, and wrapped in plastic) we become smug in the thought that we have increased our intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. We are keeping our bodies healthy by eating nature’s bounty. We have not killed any animals; there were no worms or larvae in the apple to start with.

Most of us give little thought to how producers can manipulate nature to such a degree as to give us perfect fruit; nor do we think about the impact this manipulation has on the nutritional quality of what we are eating or on the Earth. We have bought right into the message heralded by the smiling face entreating us to eat fruit from Mrs. X’s Apple Farm.

Plants In the Modern Human Diet

I am not about to decry any “diet”. In my thirty-plus years as a Functional MD it has been my experience that there is no one optimal diet for all humans, nor is there one diet that will benefit a human throughout their entire life. I may prescribe the carnivore diet for a period in those with severe auto-immune disease. I may modulate the quantities of carbohydrates and fat in those wanting peak performance. Aside from nutrition, however, I prescribe plants for medicine.

  • Ahh, a relief; I knew eating fruit was healthy.

As with all things in life, however, there is more to it.

  • Arrggg; Not another thing I have to think about.

Unless we want to give away our minds, health, and money to those who wish to control us, thinking is what we need to do.

Human Evolution Alongside Plants

It has been suggested that early humans were “hyper-carnivores”. However, our early ancestors likely used plants as medicine.

Self-medication using plants has been seen in non-human primates, elephants, rats, and artiodactyls. As an example, Chimpanzees self-medicate with bitter leaves to protect against parasites. Researches suggest that in primates, self-medication is associated with longevity, brain size, and body mass. In other words, it is…



Cindy de Villiers

Practicing Functional MD developing a diagnostic and treatment online platform, incorporating wearables and AI. Always questioning.