When we talk about plants, we think of “good guys” who are good for the environment and good for our health. If you pay attention to health news, you may also notice that plant-based diets often appear in the headlines as a key to healthy eating.
But are all plants good for you? Scientists are telling you that this may not be true. What’s more, some plants may become more toxic due to the changing climate.
Some plants may become more neurotoxic
In a recent study, the researchers found that some plants can sicken or kill undernourished people around the world. In addition, because of the global warming, these plants may become more toxic and threaten people in wealthy countries.
This is because the priority of plants is to defend themselves instead of benefiting human beings. Since the current climate is changing greatly, plants have to update their chemical defense systems in order to survive the changing climate.
Just like professor Peter Spencer said, "they have all sorts of chemical defense systems that would make the Department of Defense blush with embarrassment at their former efforts."
The plants that are potentially neurotoxic include:
Cassava grows well on dry land, so many people in Africa regard it as a primary food. But when the situation of drought is worsening, cassava becomes more toxic, and people there don’t have enough water to wash out its toxic factors.
Besides, people there mainly depend on this single plant due to lack of resources, which can gradually lead to crippling disease.
Grasspea is a protein-rich legume eaten on the Indian continent and the Horn of Africa. Although it tastes great, depending on this single plant will lead to muscle weakness and paralysis.
3. Fruit of the ackee tree
Ackee tree is a native plant in west Africa. Only eating its fruit for a long time can cause fatal brain dysfunction.
4. Lychee fruit
Lychee is a delicious fruit from southern Asia. Now it has become one of the most famous fruits among the world. But eating too much for a long time can also cause fatal brain dysfunction.
As you can see, the amount of plant people eat matters a lot. It’s sad that many people have no choice but to rely on some of these crops to survive. But luckily, most of you still have more choices than them.
And if you really can’t refuse the yummy lychees just like me, several lychees are safe to eat. Just don’t eat too many!