Morning beautiful people! 🙂
Today I am talking about lectins & grains. Something I came across in healing diets while looking up for a a solution to help and cure my autoimmune disease. & I am sharing it cause I thought its useful and certainly will be for those who are suffering with inflammation/autoimmune disease, such as IBS, leaky gut, or any other digestive disorders.
So Why Lectins?
Because lectins trigger autoimmune reactions and inflammation in people who are sensitive or have autoimmune conditions.
Firstly I want you to know that I know this might sound extreme for most people but it might be something you have to do just for few weeks or months, its short term protocol that you might have to follow until you restore your guts health. You might feel so great you might never want to go back! The reason why I ended up looking into this is because I noticed most “healing Diets” (mentioned in an earlier post) eliminates lectins and/or grain for a period of time and people have found that it works and make a huge difference when it comes to their health especially those who suffer from autoimmune disease.
This is NOT low carbohydrate diet that I am recommending for weight loss this is a protocol some of us might want to test out (if everything else failed), for us to reduce symptoms we might be experiencing when it comes to inflammation and autoimmune disease (i.e. arthritis). Weight will decrease naturally for having to eliminate few foods in your diet and also due to reduce in inflammation.
So let’s just get into the basic, which is what I will address in this post I won’t get into much detail as there is so much more information out there and I will link few great articles at the end 🙂 …
Why should you stay away from grains?
Grains contain a large amount of gut irritating lectin, as well as many grains ALSO contain gluten and other hard to digest proteins. Once your gut is back to a 100% you can give fermented and sprouted grains a try if you really want to go back to eating grains. However I would stay away from gluten containing grains for sure! If you are not sure why gluten is bad for you, click here.
But what exactly are lectins?
A class of proteins of plant origin, that binds specifically to certain sugars and so causes agglutination of particular cell types.
When animals want to protect themselves from their predators, they run away or fight them off. However, plants on the other hand, protect themselves and their babies (seeds) and using chemicals (lectins in this case).
Cereal grains have a high content of chemicals like inflammatory lectins and phytic acid, an anti-nutrient compound that binds important minerals of everything you eat along with them.
How does consuming lectins effect our health?
Firstly, the effects are really subtle (for majority of people) and this is why most people would say they can tolerate lectins. Plus they take years to manifest as a life-threatening disease. But basically the reaction is very similar to those people who suffer with celiac disease (an extreme reaction to the same problem). Lectins attack by either damaging and killing the cells that line our intestines OR directly causing spaces to open up between our gut lining.
*** Did you know that it can take up to 6 months for our gut to fully heal after a single gluten exposure! 🙂
The lectin-free diet is a restrictive plan, which may make it difficult for some people to follow it long-term. The plan also limits or cuts out many nutritious foods, such as whole grains, beans, and certain vegetables. However it might be worth it if you currently suffer from inflammation and severe symptoms due to your autoimmune disease.
So what kind of foods contain lectins:
- legumes, such as beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts
- meat from corn-fed animals
- Nightshade vegetables, such as eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes
- fruit, although in-season fruit is allowed in moderation
- Grains (ALL grains contain lectin, whether they are gluten free or not).
Now I know most people would say this is way too restrictive and especially for vegetarians and vegans. Also most people would argue that these are the foods we have been having for 1000s of years so how come they are damaging to us now!?
Read the book “The Plant Paradox” ! 🙂
I am currently on a grain free challenge! Which I started last July 2018 & I aim to test it till end of year to restore and heal the damage I did to my gut. I did try and cut the nightshades for but i honestly found it too restrictive especially when I have IBS and I know there are some vegetables i can not tolerate (like broccoli & cauliflower). I will be honest with you and say yes, this is definitely a very restrictive protocol and if you are plant based like me, you will find it really hard. Therefore i suggest perhaps just cut the grains or other foods and see how you feel. There is a general protocol however, therefore what might trigger inflammation for someone might be completely fine for someone else.
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Hope you found this informative & useful.