Don’t Eat All Plants

It’s true that many plants provide an abundance of nutrients, but, say researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University, “Plants and fungi were not put here for our benefit — they need to defend themselves. They have all sorts of chemical defence systems.” On the list of plants that are not all-good for you are fruit of the ackee tree, an evergreen native to west Africa and favourite of Jamaica; lychee fruit, a delicious tropical fruit from southern Asia now eaten worldwide; grasspea, a protein-rich legume eaten on the Indian continent and the Horn of Africa; and cassava, a plant whose roots and leaves are consumed in across sub-Sahara. These plants can rapidly and fatally affect brain function or, in the case of cassava and grasspea, gradually induce crippling disease.

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