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Know your Food options for Inflammation prevention & Gut healing! – Freedom Age

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Dr Kalpana Gupta Sekhawat
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Dr. Steven Gundry popularised the lectin-free diet. He is a former heart surgeon who switched his focus to food and supplement-based medicine.

Dr. Gundry describes lectins as the main danger found in our modern diet. In response, he has written a book that provides information on how to avoid lectins, alternative food choices, and recipes.

When we remove the inflammatory agents such as lectins from our food, our body gets free from stressing over digesting these difficult to digest foods, this leads to reduced inflammatory response in our body!

It can impact on:

Shedding excess weight
Healing inflammatory diseases.
These are the foods that no human ate until about 10,000 years ago—and today we eat and we are ill-equipped to digest them.

What are lectins:
Lectins are a type of protein that, in humans, may help cells interact with one another.Lectins may impact health in multiple ways, ranging from digestion to chronic disease risk.

Lectin rich foods and how to reduce their Lectin content!
A lectin-free diet may be difficult for vegetarians or vegans to follow, since legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains provide plant-based protein.

Peanuts & Cashews:
Popular belief says these are nuts! but they are not , these are legumes and loaded with lectins which is highly inflammatory and can trigger Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune inflammatory disease symptoms!

Quinoa is a pseudo-grain often used as a gluten-free substitute to wheat, but it is loaded with lectins that is unfriendly to the digestive tract, immune system, or weight.

If you must have quinoa its best to first soak it and then ferment it before cooking in an effort to reduce its potential toxic effects of lactins.

Brinjal, Potatoes, Bell peppers, Goji berry and Tomatoes:
All these from family of nightshades have very high lectin content and therefore not healthy for your gut and joints.

Corn too has a very high lectin content, apart from it being genetically modified , both these make it highly inflammatory. corn is most common food additives used as corn syrup, cornstarch, cornflakes and other breakfast cereals, corn chips!

Legumes and beans
Beans, peas, soybeans, lentils, and other legumes (also known as pulses) have the highest lectin content of any food group.

that’s why they are also known for their ability to cause gas, bloating, and indigestion, however soaking them overnight and pressure cooking them well will reduce their lectin content substantially.

therefore for all vegetarians eating these must practice overnight soaking and cooking them well before consuming to avoid these ill effects.

Dairy products made from the milk and even those that are grass-fed contain the lectin-like protein casein.

Ways to decrease lectins in foods include:
Peeling and deseeding fruits and vegetables, as the skin or hull and seeds tend to contain the highest amounts.
Sprouting seeds, grains and beans will deactivate lectins.
Fermenting will also effectively reduce harmful lectins. All vegetables can be fermented, thereby boosting their health benefits.
Using a pressure cooker and boiling at high flame. Plant lectins are most effectively neutralised when cooked in a pressure cooker, so this handy kitchen gadget may be a worthwhile investment. Avoid slow cookers, as they will actually increase lectin content due to the low temperature used.
Foods to eat:

Those on lectin free diet can eat following foods:

pasture-raised meats
A2 milk
cooked sweet potatoes
leafy, green vegetables
cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts
garlic and onion
olives or extra virgin olive oil

To sum is up, lectins have the potential to increase inflammation and make your autoimmune condition worse , however complete avoidance is neither possible nor ideal ! key is to identify the worst culprits, remove them, and ensure that food prepared and cooked properly to make them safer to eat.

Dr Kalpana Shekhawat-M.D.
Functional Medicine Specialist.

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