Dear Yoga and Health Fans!
I wanted to take moment to share with you all a book that I just read called, "The Plant Paradox," by Dr. Steven Gundry, MD. It was such an interesting read and it made so much sense! It is a New York Times Bestseller.
I learned all about lectins in this book. Lectins are a protein and a toxin. Plants produce them in effort to survive against their predators like insects and us. These lectins are harmful enough to kill the insect eating them, and fortunately for us humans these lectins are not as fatal. Lectins are able to squeeze past the intestinal wall, which by the way is only one cell thick and if you were to spread the whole tract out would be the size of a tennis court, thus entering the body where it ignites the immune system into red alert causing inflammation. As you probably already know by now that inflammation is the cause of disease like all autoimmune disorders, cancers, diabetes, and weight gain.
Some plants have lectins and other do not. So this means that not all plants should be eaten, nor want to be eaten. Some of the plants that surprised me, these so-called ‘healthy’ plants are the culprits of disease and weight gain: tomatoes and all nightshades which consist of potatoes, eggplant, and peppers, cashews (not a nut, but a bean), beans, quinoa, all squash and cucumbers (all foods with seeds are essentially considers fruits), and grains. Corn being the biggest, most prominent lectin crazy food found in almost EVERYTHING! Most of us know that modern day corn ‘on the cobb’ is mostly GMO, but again it reminded me that it’s in everything including the ‘range free’ chicken feed your chicken ate that you are now eating.
Why are all these plants ‘bad’ for your health? Well, Dr. Gundy explains that these foods are new world plants that our systems are not yet used to processing and therefore being recognized by our immune systems as foreign and setting off the red alert.
I was equally interested to find out that gluten is a lectin, but only one of thousands of lectins that we are exposed to. As it turns out we are tolerant to gluten because it’s been around in our diets for much longer than say tomatoes so our gut bugs are already in place to destroy these gluten lectins. The real enemy in grains is wheat germ agglutinin, WGA and when you have both gluten and WGA it’s a double whammy to your gut.
I loved reading all the testimonial segments of all the folks who have benefitted from a ‘lectin’ free diet like Usher, yes the musician, and Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen. I love food and am always curious to know and understand how different food affects me. When I read books on nutrition I am reminded to ‘check-in’ to how I feel after I eat. How did the food I ate make me feel after consuming it? I wholeheartedly agree that diabetes and immune disorders are fully preventable/curable and Dr. Gundy gives plenty of scientific and peer reviewed literature to support his findings.
Try this Green Smoothie ( a recipe in “The Plant Paradox”) I’ve had my fair share of green smoothies and this one is exactly that, a SMOOTHE, is tasty and goes down the hatch with ease.
1 c. chopped romaine lettuce
½ cup baby spinach
1 mint sprig with stem
4 tbs. fresh lemon juice
3-6 drops stevia extract
¼ c. ice cubes
1 cup water (add more water if smoothie is too thick)
Put all ingredients in a blender until smooth and fluffy. Yum!
Here’s to health, more happiness on the planet, and love,