Lectins are a type of protein which when mixed with sugar forms glycoproteins. They are present in plenty of legumes, some dairy products, and even grains. Lectin acts as a defense mechanism in plants, and has prevented animals from feeding on them. They create a defense mechanism used by plants against predators like insects and pests. Once the predator first tries to eat the plant, lectin causes a reaction that makes the predator consider the food unsafe.
They are known as anti-nutrients because of their strong ability to reduce the ability the body has to absorb nutrients. Being indigestible, lectin pass through the digestive system and they are not incorporated. Regrettably, their capacity to bind to the membranes of the cells of the digestive system renders them hazardous. The below symptoms are present due to heavy ingestion of lectins:
- Variations in diarrhea hormones
- Damages of the luminal membranes
- Brain fog as well as exhaustion
- Lipid metabolism, carbohydrates, andprotein disturbance
It is essential to be extra careful if you have the following conditions since ingestion of lectin can aggravate them:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
High amounts of lectins are found in common, healthy foods such as grains and legumes. It’s also found in some fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, berries, nightshade, peppers, and eggplants. Considering that most meals we consume come from plants, it is crucial to have sufficient knowledge of the foods to come up with wise choices of meals. There is another option as well, which is to look into a supplement made by Gundry MD. Lectin Shield helps the body handle the digestive issues that come from eating lectins. Dr. Gundry doesn’t eat lectins regularly, but he shows that Lectin Shield works in this YouTube video.
Although lectins are a source of adverse reactions in the bodies of animals and human beings, they have numerous health benefits. Some types of lectins assist in reducing the occurrence of certain diseases like lung and heart conditions. Also, they help in programmed death of cells, cell-to-cell linkage, as well as inflammatory modulation.
Reduction of Lectins
Unprocessed legumes, as well as grains, tend to be more nutritious as compared to processed ones. People have come up with means of accessing as many benefits as possible from the plants and at the same time decrease their adverse effects due to their massive lectin contents. A diet without a lectin is very limiting and hard to follow for a long time. It’s possible to create a diet that doesn’t cut the benefits that come with consuming some of these plants like some vegetables, beans, and grains.
Eating a meal without lectins is the most straightforward way of keeping yourself healthy. There are nutritious foods which are free of lectins:
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Eggs from chicken that are not caged
- Leafy greens
- Meats (pasture raised)
- Seafood (wild caught)
However, since it is near impossible to get rid of lectins in our meals, people have come up with various ways of decreasing the amount of them in food. The methods include:
- 1. Sproutingplants
Sprouting grains, beans, and seeds assist in reducing their lectin content. Usually, the longer the time you sprout, the more the lectins are neutralized. High concentrations of lectins are present in the seed coat. When they germinate, the skin gets absorbed removing the lectins in the process.
Most people do not know why foods like tempoyak, tofu, natto, kimchi, and miso are fermented. Fermentation not only makes foods delicious, but also improves the process of digestion. Fermentation produces way for the beneficial bacteria to remove and digest hazardous substances in our food. Fermentation also helps in reduction of anti-nutrients in the foods. Although fermentation does not eliminate the lectins, it assists in reducing their undesirable effects considerably.
Soaking grains as well as beans before cooking them decreases lectins levels considerably. Soaking the grains and legumes overnight decreases toxins, thus reducing their capability to cause harmful effects in our bodies. Rinse the grains suitably and cook them for the necessary time, right after soaking them. Cooking foods which contain high lectin levels can be made safe for eating by preparing them correctly. Lectins are reduced significantly by cooking and processing them accurately. You can look at a lectin avoidance diet, which includes Lectin Shield, on Pinterest. It is best to consume meals cooked correctly unless they are safe if consumed when raw. It is also good to avoid trends that encourage consumption of natural foods since proper cooking decreases the lectins levels in a lot of foods.
In addition to having adverse effects on our bodies, there is an indication that foods rich in lectin content are useful to our health and we cannot avoid them. It is better to consult our doctor when you see hostile effects most especially while on a fresh diet. Make sure you come up with informed decisions to boost your health by decreasing your intake of lectin.