Nuts, Seeds & Grains

 

Nuts are dried or dehydrated fruits.

Seeds and nuts are covered by a hard envelope that is resistant to digestive enzymes. Once the envelope or shell as we call them is removed, the seed can be eaten and digested.

The seed and nut contains the embryo and stored food of the fruit. An angiosperm embryo consists of seed leaves called cotyledons that serve as a reservoir of nutrients.

The coconut is a monocotyledon whose food supply consists of a single reservoir of fats and oils.

Other monocots such as grasses store their food also in a single reservoir but is in the form of carbohydrates.

Dicotyledons are made up of two halves.

 

The endosperm contains the carbohydrate store, which provides the nutritive support and energy needed for the growth of the seed.  The endosperm is often photosynthetically active. The germinating embryo requires these carbohydrates and fats to develop. Seeds are thus a high caloric food.

Some seeds such as peanuts and soybeans contain significant amounts of protein. Grains such as rice, wheat, barley and corn contain mostly carbohydrates and represent the seeds of fruits from members of the grass family.

 

The library of compounds present in nuts, seeds and grains

provide athletes with a source of fuel, high in phytonutrients.

 

The variety of the fruits and nuts that span the old and the new worlds reveals nature’s preference to produce sweet, moist fruits in warm tropical climates.

Temperate regions on the other hand are noted for drier nuts, smaller berries and higher fiber content fruits.

In addition, it is commonly believed that spices are derived more from tropical environments while herbs tend to come from temperate regions.

Spices appear to interfere with microbial growth and help cleanse food of pathogens. This trait contributes to the health, longevity and reproductive success of the humans that consume them.

Microbial flora flourishes in warm temperatures, which spurred development of spicy cuisine in hot climates. The use of hot spices by warm weather cultures represses microbial growth and contributes to the cooling process by raising core body temperatures.

In addition, other phytochemical compounds found in  plants prevent the formation of nitrosamines.

Nitrosamines causes cancer.  Preventing the  formation of carcinogenic compounds is one goal of  The Athlete’s Diet.

 

Plants help detoxify the body and aids in the elimination of harmful metabolites.

 

More in this category: « Plants Antioxidants »