First, I recommend everyone that has put effort in one way or the other to bring up this lectin issue to limelight. I strongly believe that everything was geared towards reminding us the need for us to be monitoring the amount of food lectins in our diet.
To that effect I tried everything possible to make sure that I put this piece together for a better understanding of this recent lectin issue. This piece is solely written to guide us on how to go about these food lectins to prevent them from having adverse effects on our health. So there are simple rules mapped out for every one of us to follow in order to safely manage foods with lectins in them. Though it is important to promote lectin free diet but at the same time we don’t run away from food lectins because we need some of them too.
But before we jump into these rules, it is expedient for us to understand these lectins very well so we don’t get misled. To know more about lectins in foods, read Lectins in Foods (Food Lectins and How to Avoid Them)
Research has shown that there is no cause for alarm if we can do these simple things on daily basis.
- Limit your intake of legumes, especially beans.
- Limit your intake of grains and grain-associated products.
- Limit your intake of night shades like tomatoes and pepper.
- Limit your intake of squash.
- Deseed your fruits before eating.
- Peel all nightshades before use.
- Presure-cook your nightshades, legumes and grains.
- Soak your grains and legumes multiple times, preferably overnight before use.
- And ferment your grains and fermentable foods before use.
- Eat more bitter greens and heathy oils like olive oil.
These ten simple steps will definitely help you wade off all lectin related health issues.
To that effect, we came up with simple guide, which some may call rules to help everybody who values healthy living and still want to eat with freedom to follow. With this simple rules there will be no more question like “what is left for us to eat?”
Of course, you can eat virtually everything and still stay healthy. After all, man has lived with lectins for centuries and nothing remarkable happened. So why should we starve ourselves in this generation.
THE BASIC RULES TO AVOID LECTINS IN YOUR FOODS
CUT YOUR INTAKE OF REFINED STARCHY FOODS
Almost all refined starchy foods like rice and pasta contain significant amount of lectin. Hence do all you can to reduce your intake of it. If you can totally keep off from them… BETTER!
REDUCE YOUR INTAKE OF BEANS, PEAS AND LEGUMES
This may be difficult but you can do it if you want to. When you consider your health more important than any other thing then you have no choice than to reduce them. Beans are known to contain lots of lectins. But if you are eating them, make sure you soak and pressure cook.
REDUCE YOUR INTAKE OF SQUASH AND MELONS
Record has shown that squash contain loads of lectins. Thus, to be on a safe side, try everything possible to reduce them or possibly keep off from them. I am not a fan of squash and melon anyway. But if you are, you can easily look for alternative foods.
Like we stated earlier, “all trees and herbs were made for consumption”. So if you are to eat them, then you need to prepare them very well to promote health instead of deteriorating it. Before you eat them make sure you pressure cook them to deactivate the food lectins in them.
LOWER THE AMOUNT OF NIGHTSHADES IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR
Hey friend! Don’t play with nightshades. If you mess with them, they mess with you too. Before now we have already heard a lot about them – both the GOODs and the BADs. We know they are very good for our health as they are good sources of vitamins and other important nutrients.
But there has been news making the headlines about them causing inflammations. Now, they are culprit to this food lectins issue. What do we do about this? Can you avoid them? Better!
If not, peel, de-seed and pressure cook them before eating. For those that will like to ask me about nightshades, they are the tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, peppers etc. Thank you for taking that down.
RUN AWAY FROM GRAINS AND OILS MADE FROM GRAINS.
Do you get that? Don’t reduce their intake but run. They foods in this category are bad. They don’t know what heat means, and as a result they are resistant to heat. You understand what it means. Even when pressure cooked, their lectins will be there gauping at you like a Father Christmas.
But if you think you are strong enough, I have I tip for you. If you want to destroy the lectins like a warlord, you will first soak the grains. Then ferment and pressure cook. If you are not strong enough to adhere to these, then don’t stop running.
SOAK YOUR FOOD
As we have been hammering since, don’t forget to soak your beans and grains before cooking. Soak for several hours while changing the water with intervals. It is recommended to soak overnight before cooking. Soaking with water helps to loosen the macromolecules and provide a better medium for heat transfer. Thus, water molecules in the soaked beans helps heat to reach the food lectins faster.
FERMENT YOUR GRAINS
Ferment? Yes ferment. It is important for your health. Like we stated earlier, most grains are resistant to heat. How do you break these heat resistant sugars? Convert them to acetic acid/alcohol. Fermenting helps to break down the heat resistant sugars and expose those guts assassins (food lectins). Now that you have fermented you can then go ahead and cook them to promote healthy living.
PRESSURE-COOK YOUR FOOD
Please don’t slow cook my beans like some of my European friends do. I will not eat! It is highly recommended that you pressure-cook all beans and grains. Don’t pity all those food lectins because they will not joke with you when they enter your gut. I’m glad you already know what they can do. So try your best to always pressure-cook to make a healthy meal.
Please, if you can’t pressure-cook; the best thing to do is to avoid them. And when pressure-cooking, don’t just put it and bring it out within 5 minutes. Some people recommend 15 minutes, but I go for 30+ minutes. I don’t joke with my health, and it will be good if you do same.
AVOID SODA AND SOFT DRINKS
It is obvious that these drinks are made from the lectin culprits. Besides, most of them contain unhealthy sugars. Hence, to stay free from excess lectin in the gut, it is advisable to avoid these drinks. We know they are alluring, but do your best to say no to them.
To avoid the urge you can simply make smoothies for yourself and enjoy. But then, I know some guys may not be able to avoid them totally. If you are among the “some guys” please take them sparingly. Your health is more important than the food you eat.
GO FOR CHOCOLATES WITH 72% CACAO OR MORE
You are my friend if you are choco-friendly. I like chocolate like no other. So can we talk something about this? We all know that everything boils down to a healthy gut, right? Then, are chocolates healthy for the guts? Yes they are. But research has shown that chocolates with over 72% cacao are considered healthier than its counterparts. And what message are we trying to pass here?
The next time you pick up a chocolate pack and see anything less than 72% cacao, please drop it and move on. Yes, you can do it. Don’t thread your health for a temporal enjoyment.
SAY NO TO GRAIN-FED BEEF AND GO FOR GRASS-FED BEEF
We will continue to attack these grains until we succeed murdering them. They have done more harm than good. No wonder they are common and cheap. Higher percentage of processed food is made from grains. Nowadays, they are widely used in animal feeds. I wish these farmers know what they are really doing. Well, it for business sake. However, we can’t thread our health for business gains. So it is recommended that we go for grass-fed beef. Grain-fed beef are detrimental to health.
PEEL AND DE-SEED YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Research has shown that most of the fruits or veggies we eat contain lots of lectins. And the interesting fact is that most of these lectins reside in the seeds of these fruits. Also, a significant amount was also discovered to reside in the outer coat of the fruits or veggies. So what do you think is the best thing to do at this point?
Removing the seed and peeling off the outer coat is a good means of reducing the amount of lectins in your diet and subsequently, in your guts.
EAT HEALTHY FOODS AND OILS
I don’t think this guide will be complete without this. Don’t take too much of this and that. Will you kill yourself with starvation? Not really! Definitely, there should be alternatives to all these food, especially when you do not have enough time to prepare them. Well, I will say eat everything except the food groups we have mentioned earlier plus starchy foods and some nuts like cashew, chia, peanuts etc.
But I must recommend foods like avocado, sesame, coconut, macadamia, walnut, hemp seeds, flax, pecan, cassava and their oils. MTC oil, pasture-raised poultry meats, grass-feed meats, sea foods, green veggies and some resistant starchy foods like green plantain, green banana, celery etc. are all good for you to consume.
ALWAYS STAY HYDRATED
Don’t ask me what relates water and lectins. Whether related or not, take lots of water. Water is good for general health. It helps to keep your guts clean and healthy. If you can remember, some trapped lectins were swallowed when we discussed how your body fights against these lectins. So how do you get rid of those trapped lectins? Take water and they will find their way out.
AVOID NSAIDS AND STOMACH ACID BLOCKERS
Do we need to discuss this again? Anyways it is important that we touch it once again. Like we discussed earlier, mucus, saliva, and stomach acids are important for your health. They help to fight against pathogens and toxins invading your system. Some of my friends reading this may not understand this.
But, whichever way you understand it this is what I want you to do for your health. Do you take stomach acid blockers like Zantac, Protonix, etc? Or do you take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)? Please, if you do take any of these drugs, stop it right away.
You are doing yourself more harm than good. You don’t need to block your stomach acid or destroy your intestinal mucus. Of course you need them to survive these lectins. Only take them when your doctor highly recommends them for your health. If not, do not take them for any reason.
EAT EVERY FOOD THAT IS WELL PREPARED
Don’t starve yourself of nutritional foods because of lectins. Our body has a way of dealing with them. All you need to do is to help the body deal with them effectively by preparing these foods well before eating them. Don’t slow-cook your beans and think it’s healthy. No, it is not.
You need to presure-cook to destroy some of these food lectins. You need to soak, ferment, de-seed, peel, and sprout where necessary to reduce the amount of lectins.
Most of these foods contain good amount of important nutrients like phenol which is very vital for your health. So don’t let lectins scare you away from these important nutrients. In this page you will see some lectin-free and low-lectin recipes to help you kick start your healthy diet journey. Hope you enjoy them.
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