5 Benefits of a Lectin-Free Diet
While there is a constant influx of information about new diets, the lectin-free diet has been on our radar since reading the book the Plant Paradox by former heart surgeon Steven Gundry. The main premise of the diet consists of abstaining from a number of foods that contain the protein lectin. Lectins are a protein found in beans and legumes, grains, cow’s milk and eggs, and nightshade vegetables like eggplant, potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes. It is believed that lectins are an anti-nutrient as they block the absorption of other nutrients. They are also believed to cause inflammation and particularly in the gut, which can wreak havoc on your digestive health. While abstaining from lectin may be helpful to some, it is important to note that the diet cuts out a lot of healthy foods, which can also be beneficial to your health. So it comes down to speaking with a naturopath and/or your healthcare provider and finding what works for you. If you’re considering trying the lectin-free diet, here are some of the benefits.
Please remember to consult with your healthcare provider before trying a new diet.
Studies have shown that lectin may cause inflammation in the body and specifically the gut, which can result in weight gain. The Plant Paradox author explained that inflammation can lead to fat storage, especially within the abdomen. Cutting down on lectin consumption or eliminating it entirely can help to restore your gut health by resealing its walls and removes the “stimulus to store fat.”
Improved Gut Health
Consuming a diet high in lectin can potentially disrupt digestion and lead to leaky gut syndrome causing bloating and diarrhea. Not all foods with lectin are made equally and some of the ones that are worse for your gut health include wheat, spelt, soy and rice. Also, anything that is GMO has a higher lectin concentration so it is best to steer clear of those types of foods. Reducing your lectin intake will reduce inflammation in the gut and help to restore it back to normal.
Consuming high amounts of lectin can lead to brain fogginess and feelings of depression. According to one study, when rats were administered a high-lectin diet, they would sit in the corner depressed.
Doctor Steven Gundry revealed in his book that after years of research, reducing lectin in the diet led to better skin. Gundry said, “those who opt for a lectin-free lifestyle will also notice a “significant glow” and see a “youthful appearance” returning to their skin within a few weeks.”
May Reduce Peptic Ulcers
Studies conducted on rats showed that lectin intake spiked bacterial growth in their small intestine and removed the “mucous defense layer.”These two things in conjunction can increase an individuals risk of peptic ulcers.