Monday, July 1, 2019

Lectin-Free Diet

To Reduce Inflammation, Try This!

Lectins are microscopic proteins that plants evolved to defend themselves from predators, including insects and animals (that includes humans!). They are essentially indigestible and have the unique ability to increase the permeability of your intestines which eventually can cause a leaky gut or more intense situations.

That means that lectins and other small particles of food can pass through the wall of your gut, and will be treated as foreign invaders by your immune system. This causes an inflammatory response, which can set the stage for a host of diseases, as well as weight gain. 

Dr. Steven Gundry popularized the lectin-free diet. He is a former heart surgeon who switched his focus to food and supplement-based medicine. Dr. Gundry describes lectins as the main danger found in the American diet. In response, he has written a book that provides information on how to avoid lectins, alternative food choices, and recipes, The Plant Paradox

According to the book when lectins are harmful, leaking through the gut and causing inflammation, the auto- immune diseases that can be created are celiac disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and depression.
Following a lectin-free diet could be a way to lower inflammation in the body. The best way to know if avoiding lectins would make a difference in your health is to get muscle tested to see how your body responds to lectins.  

According to Dr. Gundry, people should limit the following foods when trying to avoid lectins:
    •    legumes, such as beans, peas, soy, lentils, and peanuts
    •    squash
    •    nightshade vegetables, such as eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes
    •    fruit, although in-season fruit is allowed in moderation
    •    all grains
    •    corn
    •    meat from corn-fed animals
    •    A1 milk

Soaking beans overnight in water and some baking soda, then draining them and thoroughly boiling or pressure cooking them, can eradicate nearly all lectins. In fact, pressure cooking vegetables and legumes is also an excellent way to decrease lectin content in those plant foods.  But, using a pressure cooker doesn’t get rid of all lectins – it won’t even touch the lectins in wheat, oats, rye, barley, or spelt.
Likewise, sprouting grains, seeds, and beans releases enzymes that reduce lectins, and the process of fermentation can cut the lectins in dairy and vegetables.
Peel and Deseed your fruits and veggies – If you’re going to use lectin-rich plant foods, make sure to peel and deseed them. Often, the most harmful part of a plant is it’s lectin-filled hull, peel, or rind. To reiterate, the peels and the seeds are often where lectins are hiding, so you can significantly cut down on your intake by eliminating that part of the plant.
Finally, if in fact you must eat grains, opt for white over brown. So, instead of brown rice, eat white rice. Instead of whole wheat bread, find a healthier version of white bread.
Turns out, though many believe brown rice is healthier than it’s white counterpart, those who eat rice as their staple grain have always stripped the hull off of brown rice before they eat it. That’s because the hull contains all the dangerous lectins.

A lectin-free diet is not easy to follow but the science is there to back up why lectins would cause inflammation in the body and lead to certain diseases.  If you think it may help you and you can’t get muscle tested then try not eating lectins for 2 weeks and then add them back in and if you notice a difference then maybe avoiding lectins is the best thing you can do for your body. 

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