What Are Lectins and Where Can You Find Them

Lectins are natural, carbohydrate-biding proteins found in most plants, but they don’t really have any nutritional value when consumed in foods. Lectins work from inside the plant form as a natural insecticide to repel and destroy insects.

Basically, lectins are considered the plants self defense mechanism.

When you consider 30 percent of our foods contain lectin, you will understand why so many nutrition experts are interested in their effect on our digestive systems.

Nutritionists are now studying whether the process of digesting some lectins toxic to the digestive system and for certain people suffering from certain illnesses.

What becomes of those peanuts and potatoes once they hit out bellies?

The thinking behind the nutritional science of digesting lectins is if they’re a natural insecticide, what are they doing for human consumption? Even after the plant is long gone and has produced its fruit, do we still need to be worried?

The answer is, yes!

Let’s look at some foods containing high amounts of lectins:

  • Beans

  • Peanuts

  • Lentils

  • Tomatoes

  • Potatoes

  • Eggplant

  • Fruits

  • Wheat and other grains

  • avocados

Do any of these make your daily diet?

Foods containing wheat and other grains, beans, legumes, peanuts and nightshade varieties like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes are being studied as the most problematic of the lectin foods.  These types also contain glyca-binding protein that bind carbs to your body.

Therefore, you can look for higher sugars which can make your pancreas work overtime and increase your chance for Diabetes and other organ related illnesses.

Benefits of a Lectin Free Diet:

If you’re struggling with autoimmune disease you will find a lectin-free diet beneficial for reduced inflammation and better ease of digestion.

For anyone suffering from food allergies, you may find a lectin free diet essential for better and more consistent daily digestion.  Lectins are not digestible—they bind to the cell membranes lining the digestive tract.

Are you prone to experiencing peptic ulcers? Or have other issues with your digestive track? If this is you, be sure to avoid lectins! Remember, they are not digestible, and they bind to cell membranes lining the digestive tract.

Making a Conscious Decision to Try a Lectin-Free Lifestyle

If we’re going to consider benefits, some foods containing lectins have clear benefits, so you shouldn’t avoid all because you could be depraving your body of a nutrient you need.

For example, an avocado.  The agglutinin found in an avocado is devoid of specificity for carbs. It interacts with proteins and poly-amino acids instead.

For optimal health, you should choose wisely and know exactly what you’re putting into your body.

So, what can you eat?

If you’re going to try a lectin-free or no-lectin diet, try these foods in moderation, which all contain low lectin levels:

  • Animal protein

  • Broccoli

  • Sweet potato

  • Carrots

  • Squash

  • Pumpkin

  • Avocado

  • Onion

  • Mushrooms

  • Asparagus

  • Fruit

  • Blueberries

  • Strawberries

  • Cherries

  • Lemons

  • Oranges

  • Apples

Do you have questions, or would you like to speak to someone about your dietary needs? Take the online survey so we can assess your nutrition or contact us through email.  Life Wellness Forever will design a wellness plan for your needs. We look forward to meeting you!