Share
Explore BrainMass

Plants for Foods and Nutrition

Plants have been used as a source of food and nutrition since the beginning of time and have been an integral product in the practices of hunting, gathering and agriculture, the methods used historically to acquire food.  Generally, the origin of food begins with plants because even the meat products which animals and humans consume were raised on plant varieties such as cereal grains.

In terms of nutrition, plants possess nutrients necessary for initial growth and are generally high in unsaturated fats. In terms of fats, plant varieties maintain healthy fats like Omega fats and some seeds even produce rich oils like canola and sesame oil. However, some seeds cannot be consumed because they may simply be too large or may even be poisonous. For example, cherry seeds contain cyanide which is a poison.

Fruits and vegetables are commonly consumed plants. Different fruits and vegetables are native to various locations around the globe, with growth patterns being controlled by climate. Fruits have evolved to be accompanied with plants and contain seeds within them. Furthermore, vegetables are another favoured plant species and include bulbs such as onions and root vegetables such as carrots, to name a few examples.

Additionally, certain fruits and vegetables act as excellent sources of minerals and vitamins. For example potassium (K) which is needed for maintaining normal fluid balances is found in bananas and sweet potatoes. Vitamin C, important for antioxidant support, is present in various fruits such as oranges and strawberries.

Evidently, plants are an important source of food and nutrition. A healthy diet must include a mix of plant species so that certain minerals and vitamins can be acquired. During all stages of life, plants are essential to one’s health and in the natural world, plants are a part of every food web.