You may have heard of lectins before, but what are they exactly?
Because of their protective mechanisms, some people are putting lectins to blame for certain health issues such as digestive distress, fatigue, or inflammation, but we can’t put the blame entirely on lectins alone.
Before we dive into the impact lectins can have on our health, know that not all lectins are bad or cause adverse reactions for people.
In fact, some lectins can actually be beneficial for our health (3).
When individuals have problems with lectins, it could be for various reasons. One being their resistance to digestion.
Some people may feel gastro-intestinal distress, such as bloating, after consumption of foods containing lectins.
This could be due to lectins being resistant to digestive enzymes.
In addition, due to their binding abilities, lectins can interfere with the absorption of key nutrients such as calcium and iron, and also cause damage to the gut lining. This may lead to nutrient deficiencies or other health complications later on (4).
Lectins may be harmful if consumed in large amounts due to their negative impact they can have on the gut microbiome.
Although they are widespread, roughly 30% of the foods we contain have significant amounts of lectins, therefore making it fairly simple to avoid foods that contain the highest amounts of lectins if you need to (7,8).
If you’re experiencing health problems such as digestive issues, brain fog, fatigue, or inflammation, it may be helpful to avoid lectins or implement ways to reduce exposure.
If you aren’t, you may still be able to consume lectins sporadically and not have any issues.
Although lectins are found in a variety of foods, they are significantly higher in the following foods:
If you’re concerned about lectin exposure or experiencing health complications, try removing or reducing exposure of these foods to see if that helps.
Lectins are found in a variety of foods and are highest in about 30% of the foods we eat including wheat, soybeans, nightshades, and legumes.
Not all lectins are bad for our health, and not everyone has a negative reaction after consuming them.
If you do feel you have health complications that could be tied to lectins, try removing or reducing exposure, and see if symptoms improve.
Comments will be approved before showing up.