Monocots vs Dicots Explained
The science is in, and the best way to lead a long and healthy life is by loading up on MICRONUTRIENTS. The best sources of these are found in plant foods, which is why from a young age we are told to eat all of our fruits and veggies. These nutrient rich foods provide us with vitamins, antioxidants, and much more to help us in the fight against chronic diseases. While it’s a good idea to eat as much of a variety of these as possible, not all are created equal, some types help us a bit more than others. In order to help you eat with purpose, let’s break them down into two categories: Monocots and Dicots.
Monocots – There’s a lot of sciencey stuff that explains the difference between monocots and dicots. We’ll keep it simple. Monocots are flowering plants with one seed leaf. Think onion, garlic, grains, sugarcane, oats, bread, pasta, etc.
Dicots - Flowering plants with two seed leaves. Examples of these are: fruits, vegetables, mangoes, lentils, blackberries, potatoes, and avocados.
Which is better?
You can see from the examples above that dicots win any nutritional contest over monocots, HANDS DOWN. Note that monocots aren’t all bad. Some of our favorite tropical fruits and herbs like bananas, pineapple, plantains, turmeric, and ginger are monocots. Then there’s the occasional veggie like corn, yam, and leeks. But still, when you compare those with dicots like pumpkin, quinoa, kale, coriander, lettuce, and carrots, dicots take the cake. There’s only so many calories you can take in each day, so choose wisely…
The Importance of Micronutrition…
This is one of the most important lessons you can learn for your health: fill your plate with more veggies than anything else. Because those veggies aren’t just veggies. They’re vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Grasses can’t compete, and bread or pasta don’t stand a chance. Ever notice how you can eat a big bowl of pasta, but after about an hour you are hungry again? That’s because your body recognizes that it wasn’t able to meet all of its micronutrient needs. You’ve just loaded up on “empty” calories, and your body will demand more until it’s obtained all the necessary nutrients. There are about 30 different vitamins and minerals your body can’t make, so you need to get them from your diet. Eating nutrient dense foods is an efficient way of managing your weight, since they’ll keep you full for much longer. On top of that, micronutrients are essential in allowing our bodies to run smoothly. Check out our video below that further discusses the difference between monocots vs dicots.
Why Is This Important?
Specifically, without dicot micronutrients, our immune and cellular systems can’t protect themselves from free radical damage, lipofuscin, protein carbonyls, and tau protein… the causes of inflammation, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
- Free Radicals- Formed in the body from exposure to environmental stressors like pollution, sunlight and exercise. You can have a healthy balance of free radicals, but too much causes oxidative stress, damaging your cells down to your DNA. This leaves you more vulnerable to the aging process, cancer,diabetes, cardiovascularandAlzheimer’s diseases.
- Lipofuscin- Aka the “wear and tear” pigment. It accumulates as we age, and through oxidative stress, in various parts of the body. It becomes difficult for our body to process,leading to degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Batten disease.
- Protein Carbonyls- scientists have found a relationship between high levels of protein carbonyls and Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, sepsis, chronic renal failure, and respiratory distress syndrome. Oxidative stress has been found to increase levels of this protein in the body.
- Tau protein- A commonly mutated protein, that diminishes cognitive function in the brain, leading to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinson’s.Generally, many mutations are caused by oxidative stress, which is an imbalance of pro-oxidants and antioxidants. Although the oxidative process (aka aging) is a normal part of life, there are many things we can do to help our bodies stay in balance. Since we know nutrients and antioxidants can help protect us from this process, ensuring we get plenty in our diet is the first step in the fight against chronic diseases. Dr. Howard D. Sesso, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School recommends that “You should ideally try to meet your vitamin and mineral needs through your diet rather than supplements”. So a well-rounded diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein (legumes), and healthy fats (avocados) is ideal.
- Drink lots of water: 3/4 oz. per pound of body weight.
- Drink more when you exercise.
- Remember caffeine, alcohol & sparkling water are dehydrating.
- Load up on water to combat those effects if/when you drink any of these.
- Eat lots of fruits and veggies (15-20 servings).
- Limit grass, high-quality protein, caffeine, and alcohol (best to cut them out if you’re overweight, take medications, or have any diseases).
- Opt for bright, colorful, and leafy plants (eat the rainbow).
- So with the onslaught of damage from free radicals and the oxidative process, it is important to arm ourselves with the proper tools for our body to fight in our defense. The tools lie in our diet, specifically the tiny but mighty micronutrients like dicots. While a variety of plant foods is a great start, be sure to load up extra on the dicot foods like berries, legumes, and avocados for a more nutrient dense meal. This will help you in the defense against age-related diseases and give your body some love!
Author: Trainer Carla Castro at Bare Health
- https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/micronutrients-have-major-impact-on-he alth
- https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis/symptoms- causes/syc-20354022
- https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Batten-Di sease-Fact-Sheet