Feed Lectin Blocking Foods
Certain foods can help block lectins. And lots of them are good for dogs.
For dogs, its great news that foods that contain glucosamine help block lectins. Because that gives them tons of choice! Glucosamine is naturally in lots of foods with cartilage. Here are some things you may already be giving your dog.
- Pigs feet
Feed these raw or you can make them into a lovely gelatinous bone broth,
Shellfish shells are rich in glucosamine. Whenever I eat shrimp, my dogs line up at the table for the shells and tails. They can eat them raw or cooked. If you eat other shellfish with harder shells, like crab or lobster save the shells and grind them up. You can add some of the ground shells to your dogs food.
Cranberries are another wonderful lectin-blocking option. They contain D-Mannose which binds to lectins, especially from legumes. So give your dog some cranberries. Theyre full of antioxidants and can even help prevent urinary tract infections.
Okra is a vegetable thats rich in raw polysaccharide. It binds to lectins and stops them from harming your dog.
You can feed okra raw or cooked . Just dont give your dog fried okra. You might love this dish yourself, but its way too fatty for your dog. And of course its made with flour, meaning more lectins!
And, speaking of supplements there are a few that can help.
Lectins And Weight Gain
Besides diseases, foods high in lectins can trigger weight gain. Again, it is wheat and wheat germ agglutinin that causes additional pounds on your scale.
For this reason, wheat has helped humanity to hibernate successfully over and over again. Due to WGA, whole grain bread is extraordinary fattening.
Because unlike gluten, WGA is a lectin primarily contained in the bran. For this reason, white bread contains gluten, but no wheat germ agglutinin.
Accordingly, it is the supposedly healthy wholemeal bread that is among the foods highest in lectins.
Since WGA can bind to insulin and leptin receptors, it promotes weight gain. Therefore, it promotes the effectiveness of the storage hormone insulin and helps store body fat more efficiently .
On the one hand, WGA increases insulin resistance, leading to even more weight gain .
On the other hand, insulin resistance is a condition that sooner or later leads to type 2 diabetes and other modern diseases.
As if this vicious circle of weight gain was not enough, some physicians suggest that WGA also prevents glucose from entering the muscles.
As a result, the body stores glucose as body fat instead of burning it in the muscles. On top of that, wheat germ agglutinin is also a significant cause of inflammation in the body.
Lectins May Permeate The Gut Barrier
When you consume lectins, they can damage the intestinal wall. While a healthy gut can repair itself from small amounts of damage, consuming high quantities of lectins could eventually lead to a leaky gut for some people. A leaky gut has weakened tight junctions that allow toxins, food molecules, pathogens and lectins to pass through. Over time, a leaky gut can lead to chronic inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohns disease, autoimmunity, neurological disorders, and allergies.
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Eating Raw Legumes Can Be Harmful Because Of The High Lectin Content
One specific claim against lectins is eating raw or undercooked legumes can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bloating 1. There is some research to support that eating raw legumes isnt the best option.
So, its best to avoid eating raw legumes because of the high lectin content.
However, in properly cooked legumes, the lectins are destroyed 2. This is the main reason why claiming legumes are bad due to lectins is not a strong argument. The lectins are destroyed by proper cooking .
If cooking legumes at home, its best to soak them overnight then drain away this water and rinse the legumes before cooking. Cook at a high heat until the legumes are soft throughout.
Peanuts and green peas are legumes that are ok to eat raw if you like and dont have a medically necessary reason to avoid this.
What Is Leaky Gut
Some of you might be asking, What is leaky gut? Another great question!
Leaky gut is when the intestinal lining of your stomach actually gets holes in it and bacteria or even waste leaks out into the rest of your body causing inflammation in the gut and throughout the body and cause the symptoms mentioned above.
Science continues to find new ways that the gut can influence everything from heart health to keeping our brains young,
There is much we know about leaky gut in terms of how it affects peoples health, but there is still so much that is unknown.
Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
How do these holes appear? There are a couple of ways this happens but the main reason is diet. Foods like tomatoes, peanuts, potatoes, wheat, fruits, raw beans, and legumes. These foods contain lectins
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Are Lectins Bad For You Pros & Cons Of Lectin Foods
Although lectins are found packed into many highly nutritious foods, theyve come under fire lately as a hidden source of health issues and inflammation, placing them among the list of antinutrients in foods. In fact, some nutrition experts claim that these seemingly harmless proteins could have some seriously detrimental effects, throwing your immune system out of whack and upping your risk of chronic disease.
On the other hand, some argue that the benefits of lectin-rich foods outweigh the potential adverse health effects, noting that simple steps can be taken to minimize lectin content in the foods you eat every day.
So what foods contain lectins? Are lectins bad for you, or is it all just hype? Lets dig in and find out.
Lectins And Foods That Cause Leaky Gut
Lectins are found in many foods, not just grains, and consumed in smaller amounts, your body will do just fine with them. But foods that have large amounts of lectins are more problematic. Some of the lectins and foods that cause leaky gut include wheat, rice, spelt and soy.
Sprouting and fermenting grains reduces phytates and lectins, making these foods easier to digest. GMO and hybridized foods tend to be the highest in lectins since they have been modified to fight off bugs. Also, gluten-containing grains may damage your intestinal lining and potentially cause leaky gut syndrome. Once your gut is healthy, you can add back in grains that have been fermented and sprouted to eat occasionally.
Conventional cows milk is another food that can cause leaky gut. The component of dairy that will harm your gut is the protein A1 casein. Also, the pasteurization process will destroy vital enzymes, making sugars like lactose very difficult to digest. For this reason, I only recommend buying raw dairy from A2 cows, goats, sheep or buffalo.
Sugar is another substance that will wreak havoc on your digestive system. Sugar will feed the growth of yeast, candida and bad bacteria, which will further damage your gut. Bad bacteria actually creates toxins called exotoxins that damage healthy cells and can eat a hole into your intestinal wall.
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Probiotics Break Down Lectins In The Gut
Some plant lectins are extremely beneficial for our health. They boost our immunity and offer untold metabolic benefits. Other plant lectins need to be broken down in the gut, and as they are, they are neutralized.
In a 2017 study from Argentinas National University of Tucumán, researchers tested WGA lectin consumption in poultry together with probiotic testing. The research found that certain strains of probiotics successfully break down WGA within the gut. The researchers utilized poultry being fed with a mono-diet .
The researchers tested 14 intestinal probiotics against the lectin. They found that 9 of the Lactobacillus strains and one Enterococcus strain played a role in the breakdown of this lectin.
Furthermore, they found that cultured probiotics significantly broke down the lectin when they were exposed to the probiotics prior to contact with the intestinal cells.
This, precisely, is what occurs in a healthy gut.
As expected, the study found that some strains were more effective than others. Species such as L. salivarius and L. reuteri were most effective and more efficient at protecting the intestinal walls from exposure to undigested WGA lectins.
Debunking The Myth Of Leaky Gut Syndrome
A proposed gastrointestinal disorder dubbed leaky gut syndrome is currently the topic of numerous debates throughout the medical and natural health communities. Some alternative medicine practitioners claim that leaky gut syndrome is a prevalent problem responsible for ill health in many people. However, most physicians maintain that there is not enough research to prove that it is a legitimate issue. In this article, we will answer some questions you may have about leaky gut syndrome and reveal some of the dangers of diagnosing and treating a condition for which there is no medical evidence.
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Foods High In Lectins
Lectins are found in many legumes, including Escumite beans, dark red kidney beans and french beans .
Legumes are otherwise rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as in fiber, and for that reason are a great addition to your food. However, their high lectin content might make them problematic in the long run.
Make sure you cook beans well before eating, as the cooking process destroys lectins.
2. Certain nuts
Nuts such as almonds, cashew nuts, and peanuts have high levels of lectins. They are also a great source of biotin, vitamin B1 , and vitamin E. While cooking will destroy the lectins in beans, this is not the case for lectins from nuts.
It might still be good to eat nuts in smaller quantities, or replace them with other foods.
How Can You Tell If Youre Lectin Intolerant
Again, there are many people out there who dont seem to display any negative effects when theyre exposed to even large amounts of lectins. And thats great theyre lucky. But its important for everyone to know whether or not they have a low tolerance for lectins.
Symptoms of lectin sensitivity can range from fairly mild to levels of high intensity. Even if you have some tolerance, you might think theres nothing to be done about mild discomforts. Its not true. With a bit of information and a few simple changes in your diet, you could really improve your comfort levels and uncover a hidden, youthful energy you never thought youd be able to experience again.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether or not youre lectin sensitive is with a simple blood test. Because symptoms of lectin sensitivities are the result of chemical reactions within the immune system that trigger immune responses, your body will produce antibodies its primary immune defense as a reaction to lectins, and youll have your answer right away.
Another way to decipher whether or not youre lectin-sensitive and frankly, this is the more popular route is to simply observe your symptoms after you eat foods like kidney beans, tomatoes, or wheat germ.
Am I experiencing gas, bloating or diarrhea? Do I feel nauseous? Am I often fatigued? Do I seem to have allergic reactions? Do I experience a consistent response after I eat ? Do I feel pain in my joints?
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The Bottom Line On The Plant Paradox
The Plant Paradox is a book written by Dr. Steven R. Gundry, a once-prestigious heart surgeon turned diet quack.
The central premise of the book is small proteins called lectins, which are found in many fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, and most farm-raised meat, eggs, and dairy, are bad for you. Very bad for you.
According to Dr. Gundry, lectins attack your digestive system, causing widespread inflammation that can lead to all manner of illnesses and ailments.
Theres a lot we still dont know about lectins, but heres what we do know, based on the best available scientific evidence:
Dr. Gundry also sells a large number pseudoscientific and underdosed supplements designed to protect your body against lectins. One in particular, Lectin Shield, is supposedly so effective that if you take it every day, you dont even have to follow a lectin-free diet!
Ironically, not only is the diet recommended in The Plant Paradox absurd and overly restrictive, it can even cause long-term harm by promoting the elimination of many nutritious fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Although Dr. Gundry doesnt recommend cutting out all fruits and vegetables, if you follow his recommendations to the letter, youll almost certainly eat less by default.
At bottom, The Plant Paradox is a cleverly crafted fad diet designed to exploit Dr. Gundrys authority as a once-respected doctor as well as the widespread concern about hidden toxins and poisons lurking in our foods.
What To Feed Your Dog
So by now you may be wondering what you should feed your dog. Even some meats could have lectins!
But most meats are low in lectins. And they have plenty of taurine, as well as other nutrients that support your dogs health.
If youre already feeding a raw meat-based diet, your dogs food will be low in lectins. Remember that pasture-raised meats are best if you can get them. Animals fed a lot of grains could contain some lectins.
You can safely feed some fruits and veggies. They contain valuable nutrients that benefit your dogs health.
Avoid These Foods
- Dark leafy vegetables
Its best to try to avoid high-lectin foods in your dogs diet. If you do give your dog some grains or legumes, or you feed a grain-free kibble youll want to read how to limit the damage in the next section.
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How Many People Actually Are Lectin Sensitive
Plants really are intelligent. They defend themselves with certain chemicals, and frankly, those chemicals do affect almost everyone who eats them in some way or another. But, the degree to which you feel any physical effects really hinges on your gut flora and how it handles coming into contact with lectins, to begin with.
Food Sensitivity Or Antibodies Against Foods
With an intact gut, the immune system should not be exposed to the gut content. Therefore there shouldnt be a lot of antibodies against foods. By inference, if you have a lot of antibodies against various foods, you likely have some intestinal permeability.
While the logic here seems solid, clinical studies that would show a cause and effect relationship between leaky gut and food sensitivities are missing.
On the plus side, you will likely benefit from knowing which foods you are allergic to, if any.
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Can Agglutinins Make You Fat
According to Dr. Anne Zauderer from the Riordin Clinic, WGA is almost identical in molecular restructure to the hormone insulin. This is the hormone that gets triggered when you eat refined flour, high carbohydrate foods, fruit, and anything with sugar or sweeteners.
Zauderer claims that WGA binds to the insulin receptor sites on cells, blocking the action of your own insulin. Your pancreas will pump out more insulin and can make you insulin resistant one step closer to diabetes. More sugar will go into fat cells, instead of making energy. This can cause weight gain and make you more tired.
Grains And Legumes Strain The Digestive System
When you eat, your body produces enzymes to break down proteins into individual amino acids. However, you cant perform this essential task when your enzymes are inhibited by the chemicals within a seed. This causes a chain reaction. You produce more enzymes using your bodys nutrients while not getting any in return. Worse, an overabundance of digestive enzymes will wear down the gut lining and contribute to a leaky gut.
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Closing Thoughts On Lectins
Lectins are widely distributed in foods that are consumed daily. After decades of disinterest, biological and medical science is finally waking up to their potential for harm.
The higher the levels of GMO food in the diet, the more lectins are consumed. Without food labelling of GMOs, consumers will continue to be misled and sick.
Its time we took a closer look at the lectin levels in foods, customising an individuals diet for lectin sensitivity to better manage inflammation and autoimmune disease.
The London Clinic of Nutrition is a multi-disciplined health practice offering personalised nutritional medicine and naturopathy using the functional medicine approach.
Watch Out For These 3 Agglutinins
Peanuts: Peanut agglutinin has the capacity to cross the gut barrier and enter blood rapidly. Peanut allergies are sharply on the rise, and according to data from the allergy unit at Royal Prince Albert Hospital, the peanut is the most likely food to cause anaphylaxis and death.
And one study found that peanut agglutinin found in blood mimicked a substance that could promote metastasis of certain types of cancer cells.
Kidney Beans: Another problematic agglutinin is phytohaemagglutinin, coming from kidney beans. While consuming just a few raw kidney beans can cause food poisoning-like symptoms , even cooking kidney beans well does not get rid of all of this type of agglutinin.
Castor Beans: These beans contain a very toxic compound, called ricin. Even tiny amounts of ricin are lethal. Castor oil comes from the same beans, but once heated and processed, the ricin is deactivated.
Other agglutinin-rich foods include nettle, soybeans, and fava beans.
Now that youve met a couple of lectins , what else can we say about them?
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