Lectins are proteins that have the ability to bind to specific carbohydrates and glycoproteins in our bodies, sometimes at our expense. Plants can utilize lectins to defend themselves against pests (including us!) potentially causing the following ailments upon consumption: inflammation, increased blood viscosity, and intestinal damage.
You may be more susceptible to 'bad' lectins if you have inflammatory or autoimmune conditions, including but not limited to: thyroid dysfunction, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and if you're overweight. Every plant contains varying levels of lectins, and only some contain those that are potentially poor for your health.
The following foods contain higher amounts of 'bad' lectin:
> Beans and other legumes (e.g. soy)
> some Nightshade Plants (e.g. tomatoes, peppers,
When it comes to legumes, black beans, soybeans, lima beans, kidney beans and lentils contain the highest amounts lectins. If you know you are sensitive to these foods and you cannot avoid eating them, make sure you cook them fully on HIGH or pressure cook them to remove as much of the lectins as possible. Sprouting or fermenting are also great practices for reducing the lectin content in foods.
Depending on your genetics and health conditions, your sensitivity to 'bad' lectin may vary, meaning everyone's optimal diet may vary. Since we are all about healing from the inside out and tailoring your diet to your needs, consult with your health concierge about any issues you may be having with foods containing high amounts of lectins.