Local Plants and Your Immune System

May 2, 2017

 

"Plants have their own immune system"


It came up as a comment derived from a key point by a workshop participant.
 
True! As humans we have both an adaptive immune system using antigens and antibodies to quickly respond to invaders, and an innate or passive immune system which uses cell surface receptors to elicit defense responses. Plants only have an innate immune system, so not as sophisticated as ours.
 
But plants also make a lot of anti-microbial proteins. And then there's another immune system inside the plant cell. It recognizes when molecules show up inside the plant cell and activates defense.
 
Plants naturally contain antioxidants and bug fighting elements. So when we eat these antioxidants, it helps our immune system fight disease too. Here's the trick. The fresher the plant, the more disease fighting organisms we get! 
 
In comparing Organic, Conventional vs Local produce. Local wins because the fruit or veggie will be fresher, contain more antioxidants and nutrients. This is a perfect time of year to do research in your own area to find out how you can eat local.
 
Support local farms by joining a Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA) or growing your own garden. Your body will thank you by providing you with more nutrients and energy.

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