Listening to Your Body
By Guest Author, Paisley Hansen
Lectins? How many have heard of this term, or even know what it is? Well, the question only suggests that not too many and even if you do, it’s probably looked over quite a bit.
Lectins are considered to be a type of protein deposit among many plant life which is typically consumed on a daily basis. Some are beneficial and some should never to be consumed due to the health issues they may cause. And in some cases, detrimental if ignored.
What Are Lectins?
As previously mentioned, they’re just that: protein. Plant life has its own defense system and is how they have gained immunity from various attacks in nature. One being, animals consuming the seeds of various species.
The adaptation of seeds from plants has allowed the seed to be virtually undigestible and thus, passes through the digestive system unharmed. But does that mean you should remove lectins from your favorite foods?
For some, ingesting lectins can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as flu-like symptoms including diarrhea, and nausea. Ignoring the intake of lectins over a period of time may lead to chronic intestinal tract problems which can promote more serious issues, like the inability to absorb vitamins and nutrients.
Bottom line, lectins may be a bigger health issue than we’ve given reverence to.
Lectins & Inflammation
Just the sound of inflammation doesn’t sound good, and unfortunately yes, lectins are assumed to be a cause of inflammation within the body that may lead to health conditions such as celiac disease, diabetes, and heart disease do?
For instance, many consuming wheat products experience inflammation is due to the gluten (which is also a lectin) that it contains. If you are extremely sensitive to gluten as with celiac disease, it may prohibit nerves to function properly. This leads to inflammatory reactions resulting in major discomfort to the body. For these individuals limiting or removing wheat for the diet is highly recommended.
However, it’s important to note that there are many who say lectins are no harm at all as long as lectin-carrying foods are properly cooked. For example, boiling beans for 30 minutes at 100°C/212°F can decrease lectins by 95% up to 100%. Further, many of the lectin-carrying foods are also highly nutritious.
That said, in order for you to determine if you indeed have an intolerance to lectins, it certainly may be a good idea to reduce the number of foods containing lectins you are eating and see if you feel better.
If you feel lectins may be causing your health issues, then taking the time to listen to your body may be the best approach. Take note of what you are eating daily as all grains contain lectins, including legumes, corn, tomatoes, and even dairy. These are all good examples of lectin harborers. Sounds like an impossible mission to accomplish, I know, but do not fear. There are alternatives and they’re not as bad as it may seem.
A Healthy & ‘Feel Good’ Diet
There are plenty of very good options to fill the void of lectin bearing foods primarily veggies.
We can never lose with veggies as there are plenty of options to choose from, the list seems almost endless. From broccoli to cilantro, not to mention that large dark green leafy vegetables also help to prevent inflammation.
However, you may have to start with a detox since you’ve been abusing and ignoring your body for some time. Luckily there are plenty of “Kick-Starter” programs out there, and once you’ve adapted them to your diet, you will begin to notice how much better feel!
If you enjoy eating meat, then great news – along with veggies, you can partake in proteins such as chicken and fish. And don’t forget the option of good fats and oils. Macadamia nut oil and avocado oil among others are wonderful and are lectin free.
Losing Lectins to Regain Your Health
If you experience symptoms like nausea, feeling flu-like symptoms, or chronic digestive issues then you may very well have an intolerance to lectins which are causing inflammation within your body. Choosing to start a new diet may become a life-changing endeavor.
There is nothing worse than feeling sick after every other meal, especially when your health may be simply suffering from the foods you eat. Incorporating a new diet plan, and taking the steps to change your lifestyle to regain your health just may be the best thing you ever did.
There are countless resources out there allowing you the ability to learn new cooking schemes for dinner and even breakfast, providing a better start to the day. For amazing recipes, here are a few websites to check out!
The choice is yours: continue to live with sub-health or worse, or to listen to your body and regain your health!