When Edible Plants Turn Their Defenses On Us

by Rachel Baker on October 28, 2013

Though vegetables are a staple of healthy eating, every once you come upon a vegetable or fruit that you need to be very careful with.

Fruits and vegetables are unquestionably essential to a healthful diet.

But there’s another side to some of these plants that, thankfully, most people never see: the tiny amounts of toxins within them. The minute amounts of poison found in many seeds, leaves and roots are the result of the protracted arms race between plants and the animals that try to eat them. It’s the reason why you’ve never a cashew (the shells might make you break out in a poison ivy-style rash) or eaten green potato fries (read on for details).

Most of the time, the human body manages to dispose of the toxins with minimal effort. But every now and then, an edible plant can be a problem.


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