A couple weeks ago, I introduced you to Dr. Steven Gundry, a world renowned heart surgeon, and the patient who turned his world upside down. When he met the patient, he was ready to tell him that he agreed with the other surgeons, and that the desired heart surgery was just too dangerous based on his weight and health issues. But the patient had taken his own health into his hands several months prior, changed his diet, added supplements, and completely re-wrote his own story. Did you miss it? Here you go!
Dr. Gundry realized that the dietary changes his patient made looked a lot like a paper he himself had written in med school. After adopting it himself, (for some reason he hadn’t taken his own advice prior) his health was greatly improved, and now thousands of his patient’s health. Besides adding supplements, he has taken out lectins.
Lectins are the protein molecules found in the skin and seeds of plants. It protects the plant from predators. An animal eats it, doesn’t feel so well, and knows to stay away. Humans eat it, don’t feel so good, take a pill, and go on eating it. Gluten is a perfect example of a lectin. This makes sense then as to one more reason why gluten affects so many people in a negative way.
What else are lectins found in? Legumes, (Beans, Peanuts, Cashews) Grains, Soy, and vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant…also known as nightshades.
I’ve had the pleasure of taking many cooking classes, and whenever they have been based on classic cooking techniques, tomatoes were first plunged into boiling water for 30 seconds, had their skins slipped off, and have been given a good squeeze to get the seeds out. Now I see how that makes the tomato more digestible, and allows better absorption of nutrients. Considering lectins, which are found in the bran and hull of grains, white rice is actually considered better for you than brown…especially if it is cooked in a pressure cooker. How is that for going completely against what we’ve been told for so many years?
There are many diets out there that are based on taking out lectins, but if you don’t want to cut out major food categories right now, skinning and seeding your nightshades vegetables, using a pressure cooker, and sprouting your beans and grains can help with better digestion and improved nutrient absorption. Want to take it a step further? Try a nightshade free diet for a few weeks and see how you feel. Try a Paleo diet, and test the same thing. You will start to see trends as to what your particular body can and cannot handle.