Everyone is always talking about gluten, wheat etc, but we may want to take a closer look at lectins. Lectins are a type of protein found in all forms of life, including the food you eat.
They are sometimes referred to as anti-nutrients since they can reduce the body's ability to absorb nutrients. Lectins are thought to have evolved as a natural defence in plants, essentially as a toxin that deters animals from eating the plants.
Lectins are found in many different plant and animal based foods, yet only about 30% of the foods you eat contain significant amounts. Humans are unable to digest lectins, so they travel through your gut unchanged.
In small amounts, they may provide several health benefits. However, larger amounts can reduce your body's ability to absorb nutrients. Lecithin is in almost everything especially things that children eat.
However, large amounts can damage the gut wall. This causes irritation that can result in symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. It can also prevent the gut from absorbing nutrients properly.
The highest concentrations of lectins are found in healthy foods like legumes, grains and nightshade vegetables. Luckily, there are several ways to reduce the lectin content of these healthy foods to make them safe to eat.
Research shows that by cooking, sprouting or fermenting foods that are high in lectins, you can easily reduce their lectin content to negligible amounts.
Very “healthy” foods hiding lectins:
Red kidney beans