Lectins

Lectins are substances that bind sugars and carbohydrates together found in regularly consumed foods. There are two subclasses of lectins: Prolamins (like gluten) and agglutinins.  Lectins are the toxic part of plants natural defense system against pests, fungal infections, and predators. Nowadays, genetically modified grains i.e. corn contain higher levels of lectins to deter predators from destroying the crop.

Problems:

  • Stay relatively stable at high temperatures and low pH thus cannot be broken down into individual amino acids via cooking or stomach acid.
  • They are difficult for humans to digest because of the lack of enzymes that break them down
  • They are known destroy the intestinal barrier by kill the cells that line our intestines, or directly cause spaces to open up between our gut cells opening up the barrier lining and activating the immune system.

Found in:

  • Grains
  • Barley, corn, fonio, job’s tears, kamut, millet, oat, rice, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, triticale, wheat, wild rive
  • Pseudo Grains
  • Amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, chia
  • Night shade vegetables
  • Ashwagandha, bell pepper, bush tomato, cape gooseberry, coconut, eggplant, garden huckleberry, goji berry, wolfberry, hot peppers, kutjera, naranjillas, paprika, pepinos, pimentos, potatoes, tamarillos, tomatillos, tomatoes
  • Nuts
  • Almonds, macadamia, peanuts, brazil nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachio
  • Beans and legumes
  • Alfalfa, Carob, Chickpea, Clover, Common bean, Fava Bean, Field Pea, Garden pea, lentil, lima bean, lupin, mesquite, mung bean, peanut, pigeon pea, rooibos, runner bean, soybean

Sources: Why Isn’t My Brain Working? Dr. Datis Kharrazian https://www.thepaleomom.com/worse-than-gluten-the-agglutinin-class-of-lectins/?cn-reloaded=1

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