Health Dangers of Eating Seeds

Health Dangers of Eating Seeds

Health Dangers of Eating Seeds

There are health dangers of eating seeds. In the first article of this series, Health Dangers of a Plant-Based Diet, we discovered how plants have motivations for their survival, not human health. And to protect themselves, plants use phytochecmicals to deter predators from eating them. These toxins fight back against fungi, insects, and animal predators – including us humans.

Seed Survival and Successhealth dangers of eating seeds

Some plant structures are more vital than others to the success of their species. Seeds are such a structure. It’s why there are health dangers of eating seeds. Because seeds are so important plants take extra measures to ensure they get protected, spread, and have the best chance of growing and producing their own seeds.

What are seeds?

Of all plant parts, seeds tend to be the most tricky. Grasses, trees, and legumes are plants and have seeds that we call different things. Grains are the seeds of grasses which include wheat, corn, oats, and rice. Walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans are all nuts, which are the seeds of trees. And legumes like peas, lentils, soybeans, and chickpeas have seeds called beans.

But they are all just seeds. And it’s not worth getting caught up in trying to determine whether a peanut or a cashew is a nut or legume. Just know they are seeds.

Your morning bowl of oats topped with nuts and chia seeds – all seeds.

These seeds are the plant’s babies. Ensuring the babies survival and success is of paramount importance to the plant. Contrary to popular belief, the nutrition in seeds is intended for that growing baby plant, not for human health and nutrition. And trying to steal that nutrition for ourselves often has dire consequences.

Coming soon in this series we are going to look into each of these seeds in more depth:

But for now it’s important to understand 2 broad categories of seeds – Naked Seeds and Protected Seeds – as this will give us insight into how smart plants are, their motivations, and what, if any, seeds we can eat.

Health Dangers of Eating Seeds: Naked vs Protected

Naked Seeds

Some seeds are covered in a protective hull which acts as a shelter. Others are naked. Naked seeds are exposed babies. They grow on grasses and vines and have to use internal deterrents to prevent predators from eating them. Parent plants drop these seeds right where they grow, so that in the winter, when the parent plant dies off, the offspring can sprout right there in the same area.
naked seeds

Although these naked seeds seem bare and exposed on the outside, on the inside they are potent fighters armed with chemical warfare agents.

A “healthy” spinach salad topped with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and cucumbers has an arsenal of weapons. Some weapons like tannins are bitter. Others like phytates interfere with nutrient absorption aiming to malnourish the predator. Similarly, enzyme inhibitors disrupt a predator’s food processing. From the plant’s perspective, if they are going to get eaten, they are at least going to cause negative consequences for the predator to discourage their consumption in the future.

Protected Seeds

Unlike plants with naked seeds which want to drop their seeds nearby, some plants want their seeds to be spread further away so that the offspring doesn’t have to compete for space and sunlight with the parent plant.

To accomplish this, plants enclose their offspring in a protective hull. This housing allows a predator to eat the baby offspring without killing it. The seed can survive through the predator’s GI tract completely intact. The predator can then eliminate the seed in it’s dung, a natural fertilizer for the baby seed, in a distant location.

Spreading Seed

It’s fascinating to think how clever these plants are.

We think we are using apple trees, when in reality they are using us.

An apple tree entices us and other animals like a gorillas visually with big red colorful fruit.protected seed

Further, they load it with sugar, appealing to our taste buds. And not just any sugar, but with fructose. This special sugar doesn’t stimulate leptin which is a hormone that signals to us animals that we are full when we’ve eaten enough. Since fructose doesn’t turn this hormone “on” we keep on eating more and more apples.

This was beneficial for the gorilla that needs to store up fat for the winter. Since the fruit was only available in season they would pad their fat stores with the overconsumption of seasonal fruit. Incidentally, gorillas only gain weight during the season when fruit is ripe. While this is helpful for apes in the wild, it’s not so helpful for us domesticated humans with no famine in sight.

In addition, plants make these fruits easy to pick and even lace them with sugar alcohols that have a natural laxative effect. This speeds the seed through the digestive tract, further improving its survival chances.

Green means “Stop” Red means “Go”

The tree uses us. It attracts us with color, and it makes addicts of us with sugar. All so that we animals can spread its seed.

It’s crazy to think how the apple tree controls our behavior.

While the seeds and it’s protective coating are still developing, the apple is green and bitter. Green doesn’t attract us like red does. It blends in. And we want a sweet sugar loaded apple, not a bitter, sour one.

Plus, during this unripe period, the apple has the highest toxic load. The gorilla loves apples but is deterred from picking it until the apple is ripe.

Gorillas, like humans and all fruit eating animals, have color vision.

Once the protective covering of the seed has fully developed, the apple turns red, increases its sugar content and decreases its toxic load. The red, sweet, and less toxic apple is snatched up by us animals who will do the trees bidding, and spread it seed.

We’ll cover fruit more in depth in a subsequent article, but of all plant parts, fruit may well be humans best option. It’s the only part of the plant designed to be eaten. Unfortunately, the fruit today is quite different from the fruit of yesteryear. We’ve bred them for size and sugar, we’ve engineered them for survival of seasons and sprays. We pick them unripe, treat them with chemicals, then transport them across the world.

What was once a seasonal treat that helped pack on pounds transformed into a daily “health” food, loaded with sugar and an enhanced toxic load.

Heath Dangers of Eating Seeds: Antinutrients

The salad I mentioned earlier is loaded with antinutrients. These are plant compounds that interfere with our ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, can damage our intestinal lining, and trigger inflammatory responses in the body. Antinutrients are often responsible for food sensitivities, allergies, digestive ailments, and autoimmune diseases. They can cause symptoms such as headaches, joint pain, and asthma.

Of all the various plant parts, the seeds are often the most likely to hurt human health. We are going to cover plant antinutrients throughout this series. And seeds are often the most potent of plant part.

Eating Plant Seeds

Under most circumstances, I don’t recommend it.

But if you must, there are a few ways to mitigate the plant attack.

  1. Soak
  2. Sprout
  3. Ferment

While I think eating seed-bearing fruits can be the best option for humans, because of modern day manipulation I’d exercise caution with even these. Most of us don’t need to store up for a winter famine. But choosing local, in season, ripe, organic fruits is the best bet.

Simply not eating plant-based foods is the even safer bet.

[NOTE: You can now access the complete “Health Dangers of a Plant-Based Diet” series here]:

28 Replies to “Health Dangers of Eating Seeds”

  1. why did alot of dinosaurs thrive on plants if they are so bad? just give up the hard seeds that irritate the gut and you’ll feel alot better…they have a lectin coating that is harmful to humans

    1. Some dinosaurs were herbivorous, some carnivorous, some omnivores.

      For example, a cow has a very different digestive track that enables them to eat and survive on grass than a human that can’t ferment plant fibers into appreciable SCFAs.

  2. What about nuts with very hard shells? What is it all about. They are big so very few animals can swallow them and poop out intact with the hull.

    1. Yes, I personally don’t eat them, and they tend to be quite high in antinutrients and phytochemicals that can be damaging.

  3. Thank you for all your resources, I am recovering from Oxalate poisoning right now after going from a so called “healthy” whole food plant based diet which I ate for at least the last 14 years to Keto two weeks ago and now edging into full Carnivore, after finding out about Oxalates and the fibre myth I threw out out every grain, oat, rice in the cupboard and the homemade bread with the seeds went out for the Birds. The first thing I noticed after the first night I ate no veg with my meat was no bloating or gas for the first time in years. I think it must be possible to go completely no fruit, no veg on this diet and get all the minerals I need, but i am nervous of how to achieve that. Right now I am only having a few leaves of low oxalate veg as a garnish with dairy! and a few in season berries.
    Will bone broth do it for the minerals? If so do you have a recipe you can post please, because when I search online a lot of people post recipes including veg scraps and Black pepper, so they obviously have no idea. I am also very much looking forward to your guide on Macro Nutrients on this diet. Thank you.

  4. Ok,,so can anybody help us find a good source for putting together a seedless and nut free diet?

    1. I’m not sure what you mean by “do we eat…” – you can eat however you like.

      Personally, I do not eat raw meat, though I do eat extremely rare beef (which some people call raw).

  5. I agree that it is ideal to not consume plant seeds, but I do not see any problem with eating plenty of ripe fruits and vegetables that are raw, fermented or cooked as they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. A diet of only meat would not allow a human to thrive as the longest-lived people thrive eating lots of fruits and vegetables. The eskimos had a relatively short life-span. Even grains and legumes are acceptable to eat if they are soaked, sprouted or fermented and then cooked prior to consumption as you mention in your article and many societies have thrived eating starchy grains and vegetables so what is the problem exactly?

    1. Everyone thinks vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, but it’s a shame because humans have a really hard time absorbing those nutrients (compared to animal sources of food). Vegetables can block nutrients so they really become an anti nutrient. You obviously haven’t read all of Kevin’s posting on this, If you did, u would understand that eating just fruits and vegetables leads to nutrient deficiencies.

  6. Hiya! I’m nearly five months into the carnivore diet and after losing sixteen pounds worth in bloat the first month, I’ve not gained a pound nor lost but this is besides the point. I’m really unsure why. I came from a plant-based, low-fat diet for nineteen years, and-then a pathetic, delusional ‘Fruitarian cleanse’, so I’m very undernourished, still look like an ill vegan, have very little muscle mass and cold all the time.

    I’m 5’8, 123 pounds. My waist is 26 inches, my chest 29 inches, hips 36 inches and bicep 9 inches. I’m nineteen years old.

    I eat lots of raw dairy and plenty of fatty beef and lamb but nothing. My leaky gut is still here, my SIBO is rife, I’m still constipated (I go every time but it’s rabbit, dry droppings. Sorry for TMI!) and I feel lethargy after every meal.

    I’ve been told it could be a sluggish gallbladder but I’m so concerned to go on an Ox bile suppliment as it contains vegetable matter which I do not need. Do I just keep plodding along for another five months, or do I need this silly Ox suppliment? I’m very anti-meds and suppliments, so super concerned.

    Thank you! Please email me your response to ieuanrose@gmail.com

    1. I’ll shoot you an email if you prefer but here’s my thoughts:

      I don’t think you need ox bile, but it sounds like you are likely undereating. And also sounds like you could greatly improve health with a weight training program.

      I’d also go towards Level 2 in the 30 day guide (and reduce/eliminate all that dairy)

      I’m not sure how you know you gut is leaking or that SIBO is rife, but I think if you eat more, lift weights, and try sticking more with Level 2 or 3 you’ll likely see improvement.

      1. Have You noticed the word…. Fiber? Fire? strange…

        I think that Dairy may cause him bad… dairy need to be really grass fed ,hay fed not only raw, the goat will be better? I dont tolerate butter, why Kevin, i am thinking about it… lectins ?

  7. Very vague article. Specifics to each type of harm is not given, nor is specific research. Seems very biased, “refusing to eat plant-based foods”. Most links redirect back to your blog, supporting your opinion. I think for a proper analysis, both sides of the situation should be given. Instead of making assumptions.

    1. I agree! But leaving all lack scientific research aside, it is amazing to me how the author tries to humanize plants!! No, plants do not have an ‘evil plot’. No,
      plants (seeds, grains, etc.) are not trying to trick us. No… just… no!

      1. I don’t think “humanize” is the best word – but viewing organic life from a survival vantage is paramount – and yes this includes plants, animals, bacteria, etc.

        1. hi. i find kevin’s article very compelling, but it doesn’t lead me to conclusion to eat meat. instead it leads me to eat high fruit (ripe, organic, local in season etc) as i already do.. and limit my grains.. as I already do. I understand why some folks might “need” to go carnivore for a bit bc they can’t go right to high fruit – that’s what I did years ago with lots of tender leafy greens. it was helpful as a temporary measure to be sure. eating meat is now pretty gross to me but i don’t judge others if that is where they are at after decades of eating highly processed grains and dairy and meats sometimes all combined into one meal and find themselves sick or injured etc. also some people will find just cutting out wheat and corn helps a lot bc they have eaten it throughout their lives and do ok on rice (if western country) bc didn’t consume as much over their lifetime.

          eating a high fruit diet does take some effort to connect with the highest quality local farmers in your area via farmers markets etc. but it can be a fun experience to re-connect with the people who grow your food and the land and the trees/vines/bushes that bare your fruit. it’s really a beautiful process. but it will have peaks and valleys as you progress and change and you experience different internal and external landscapes in which to navigate.

          thanks for your very informative article. good luck to everyone on their health journeys.

          1. Thank Siobhan for the comment.

            One thing to consider – if you limit grains and don’t eat much meat – it will be very difficult to get adequate protein.

          2. Eating only fruit is literally the worst thing you can do for your health. Eating only meat is the best thing you can do for your health. Forget your studies, forget your opinion, go and look at people that eat only meat and see their supreme health. Then go and look at people on plant-based diets (the entire world – pizza, McDonalds, Subway, Standard American Diet, Standard Western Diet, – all plant based [corn, wheat, rice, vegetables]), vegan diets, fruitarian diets, and use your eyes to look at them and observe. They are neurotic, plagued with various health problems, depressed, hyperactive and out of touch with reality.

            Meat contains every nutrient you could ever need – it has literally everything the body needs, in its most bio-available form. Everyone that eats only meat puts on healthy muscle mass, loses fat, improves skin and hair health, gut problems and other auto immune diseases disappear and their blood sugar normalises and stays normal all day round. Meat is life.

  8. Great article, and something I’ve thought about often (as well as the karmic consequences of consuming something that was intended to create new life, it is often considered that fruits are the only thing on the planet that want to be eaten, and thus inccur the lowest amount of negative karma beside not eating at all, something which I do believe is possible through spiritual development/training, and learning to subside on the cosmic energy/qi that surrounds us all, although something like that is beyond the scope of 99.99999% of modern-day humans, also perhaps an interesting parallel to the Biblical “Garden of Eden” whereby eating the fruit was the first fall of man-kind into mortality).

    However the statement that avoiding plant-based foods entirely seems a bit odd, surely things like leaves, shoots, roots, and stuff like brocolli, brussel sprouts, are fine, especially when cooked to some degree to increase the digestibility (traditional Chinese medicine is very against the eating of raw vegetables/salads due to both the cooling effect on the stomach/digestive juices, as well as the tough nature of the plant fibres/structures which are hard to break down).


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