Janice Stanger, PhD

Janice Stanger, PhD

Posted August 22, 2010

Published in Health

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Plants are Nutrient Factories

Read More: antioxidants, carotenoids, phytochemicals, plant-based diet, Vitamin A, whole foods

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Animals Are Nutrient Consumers

Plants are the base of earth's food chain, using solar energy to fuel nutrient manufacture. These green factories effortlessly put together the complex carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and phytochemicals that animals need totrees in park_small.jpg survive and thrive. Plants also absorb minerals from the soil to weave into their own cells.

Animals who eat plants reap the benefits of these nutrients, needed for their own lives. With the exception of vitamin D, which forms in skin when sunlight hits it, animals cannot make the raw materials essential for their survival.

When you eat animal foods, you are consuming highly degraded remnants of the plants the animal lived on. The animal used virtually all the protein, complex carbs, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals from food for his or her own purposes. Plant foods fueled the animal's growth, reproduction, breathing, digestion, immune system activity, blood circulation, organ and brain functioning, and all the other activities needed to function. In the process, just about all the good stuff in the plants got utilized or burned up, with the waste and excess eliminated in urine and feces.

The remaining nutrients in an animal's muscles, organs, or milk is tiny when you compare it to the original plant sources. This is why the largest land animals are all plant-eaters. Think elephants, rhinos, bulls, horses, elk, and hippos as examples. Plants are the most efficient foods, nutrient dense and healthy.

Vitamin A is an excellent illustration of this principle. Animal food defenders tout the fact that plant foods do not contain this nutrient, necessary for night vision, growth, and immunity, as a drawback for plant-based diets. In fact, the presence of vitamin A and the absence of raw materials that get made into this vitamin shows how degraded the animal foods really are.

Vitamin A is fat-soluble only. This means any dietary excess accumulates in your fatty tissues,

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