Foods High In Lectins: Discover The Best Fundamentals Here!

Foods high in lectins: Vegetables are dangerous and make us sick, claims US doctor Steven Gundry in his book “The plant paradox.” How healthy food makes us sick. Lectins – the hidden danger in food.”

Steven Gundry believes that the plant’s active ingredient, lectin, clogs the gut and disrupts our immune system. That is why he recommends a diet of lectins.

Now lets us take a more in-depth look at the lectins.

See Also: Zucchini Health Benefits

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Lectin-Free Diet For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Whether lectins are harmful to us or not differs widely as to scientific opinions. If you already experience irritable bowel syndrome, your digestive system is susceptible to a whole range of disruptive factors, and these may include lectins. It’s worth taking a more intimate look at lectins, even if an utterly lectin-free diet is challenging to implement.

See Also: Oat Milk Benefits And Side Effects

Lectin-free diet for irritable bowel syndrome
Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

What Are Lectins?

Lectins are proteins in plants and protect them from herbivores by causing poisoning after consumption. Therefore, animals ignore plants containing lectins and can grow unchecked.

Some lectins attach themselves to the inner walls of the intestine and loosen the otherwise tight connections between the cells of the intestinal mucosa, which can cause the protective barrier of the intestine to become perforated, resulting in a leaky gut.

It means that the body cannot absorb the required nutrients properly, and the nutrients required are not available. The permeable protective barrier allows the lectins to spread throughout the body. 

According to some scientists and doctors, such as heart surgeon Steven R. Gundry, lectins can trigger autoimmune diseases. There is no proof of this.

However, lectins can cause digestive problems similar to gluten intolerance in people with sensitive bowels.

In nutritional science, lectins have long been known and well researched. Every person has individual metabolism, and one ingredient is never responsible for intestinal problems or other diseases.

It always works together with others and differently in a different intestinal environment. Everyone has to find this out for themselves.

Lectin-rich foods such as legumes are valuable antioxidants and suppliers of fibers and protein. Those who do not want to do without these foods completely can render the lectins harmless by cooking or fermenting them.   

See Also: Which Foods Are Suitable For The Stomach And Easy To Digest?

Lectins In Food

  • Cereals: Wheat contains a high proportion of lectins. Unfortunately, this also applies to several gluten-free alternatives such as corn, millet, rice, and potatoes, except sweet potatoes.
  • The occurrence is exceptionally high in nightshade plants. These include potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and aubergines.
  • Various spices, such as chili or pepper powder, are also affected. 
  • Eggs and milk
  • Legumes such as soy, peanuts, beans, lentils, and peas.
  • Crustaceans and seafood

See Also: Foods High In Fiber

Foods High In Lectins

Foods high in lectins - List of 14 lectin-rich foods
Foods high in lectins – List of 14 lectin-rich foods. / Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Get here below the foods high in lectins:

List of 14 lectin-rich foods

  1. Legumes like lentils, peas, beans, especially soya and kidney beans
  2. Cereals like wheat, corn, and rice
  3. Zucchini
  4. Oatmeal 
  5. Pumpkin
  6. Cashews
  7. Quinoa
  8. Goji berries
  9. Peanuts
  10. Meat from animals fed with maize
  11. Pepper
  12. Casein A1 milk
  13. Nightshade plants like tomatoes, potatoes, and aubergines
  14. Soy and soy products that have not been fermented

See Also: Chickpeas Benefits And Side Effects

Foods Free Of Or Low In Lectin

List of nutrition for a lectin-free diet

  • Olives and olive oil
  • Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts
  • Vegetables cooked in a pressure cooker
  • Eggs from free-range hens
  • Leaf green, celery, kale, and spinach
  • Dark berries
  • Garlic and onions
  • Fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut and kimchi
  • Root vegetables cooked, for example, sweet potatoes and parsnips
  • Fish and seafood
  • The meat of grazing animals

See Also: Salmon Oil Benefits And Side Effects

Foods free of or low in lectin
Image by photoAC from Pixabay

It’s Crucial To Find Out Which Lectins You Can Tolerate

A diet low in lectins is beneficial to health. Especially at the beginning, it is difficult to remember how many lectins are in which foods.

Typical physical reactions in case of lectin intolerance are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Burping
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling of fullness

Persistent discomfort can also be a sign of lectin intolerance. Lectins are more effective when the intestine is already affected, as in irritable bowel syndrome patients.

However, some people generally tolerate lectins better or worse than others, regardless of the condition of their bowels.

It is often enough to minimize the intake of lectins. If that is not enough, you can always go one step further and avoid all foods rich in lectins.

If your symptoms improve, as a result, you can introduce individual foods or carefully try out whether you can tolerate them.

It only works if your symptoms are significantly reduced; otherwise, you will not notice any change. And it helps immensely to keep a record of your meals, including snacks.

Otherwise, it is difficult to track what you have eaten just 24 hours later. A nutrition diary will help you with this.

See Also: Which Foods Are Good For Diarrhea?

Render Lectins Harmless

If you don’t want to do without foods containing lectins, there are two relatively simple ways to make the lectins held almost safe or to neutralize them: 

Boil foods containing lectins for at least 15 minutes, significantly reducing or even eliminating the number of lectins. It is also why we do not eat beans and potatoes raw because they contain a lot of lectins. 

Or you can ferment food by adding lactic acid. Apart from the low lectin content, fermented foods are suitable for your intestinal flora.

See Also: What Is Kombucha Mushroom?

Render lectins harmless
Foods high in lectins – Render lectins harmless. / Image by Uwe Conrad from Pixabay

Tips To Reduce Lectins In Food

About 30% of fresh food contains lectins. A lectin-free diet is difficult, but with the following tips, you can reduce lectins:

  • Prepare lectin-rich food in a pressure cooker.
  • Peel and seed fruit and vegetables.
  • Bread made from sourdough has fewer lectins than others.
  • Ferment vegetables.
  • Put beans in water for at least 12 hours before cooking.
  • Let seeds, beans, and grains germinate.
  • Soak them and replace the water with fresh water again and again.

See Also: Foods For Stress Reduction And To Increase Energy

FAQ Lectins

Which foods are high in lectins?

These foods are rich in lectins: Sugar, bread, soy, vegetable oils, potatoes, potato products, cereals, rice, pumpkin, pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, and legumes.

Which foods do not contain lectins?

If you want to reduce your lectin intake, it is best to use salad, sweet potatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, horseradish, mushrooms, avocado, celery, and asparagus.

Where are lectins found?

Lectins are getting found wherever gluten is also noticed in all cereal products, including corn. Still, most of them are discovered firstly in legumes and secondly in nightshade plants and vegetables, in lentils, beans, soya, potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers, peppers, and lentils.

Does cooking destroy lectins?

Dried legumes should be getting soaked in water before further processing; this way, the lectins are dissolved. The lectins are then getting destroyed by the cooking of the legumes. Sprouts should also be getting heated before consumption to eliminate the toxic proteins.

How dangerous are lectins?

Even consuming a small number of raw beans can cause blood to clump together due to the glue reaction. However, since most lectins are very sensitive to heat, they change their structure when cooked and become harmless.

What do lectins do?

Lectins are complex proteins or glycoproteins that bind to specific carbohydrate structures and can bind specifically to cells or cell membranes and trigger biochemical reactions.

Do lupins have lectins?

Lupins contain lectins, like all legumes. These are protein compounds that make the red blood cells clump together.

Does spelt have lectin?

Spelt contains fewer inhibitors of our digestive enzymes and less aggressive lectins. Unlike wheat, spelt gluten is very fragile and is better getting deactivated by baking and cooking. Spelt starch differs in structure from wheat starch.

Do peanuts have lectins?

Peanuts are not nuts but legumes and they are related to peas, beans, and lentils and contain exceptionally high levels of lectins and phytic acid and are therefore poisonous in the raw state.

Does rice have lectin?

Rice does not contain gluten but other lectins, which can affect the absorption of nutrients by the intestinal walls. However, these lectins are also only present in the bran and are also sensitive to heat.

Do almonds have lectins?

So we eat the kernel and not the seed. With almonds, lectins are mainly getting found in the brown shell. Therefore peel almonds!

Does buckwheat have lectins?

Sprouted buckwheat has a higher content of vital substances such as iron, magnesium, and zinc, and its proteins can be getting digested more easily. Apart from the fact that buckwheat is gluten-free, it also contains no lectins.


Every person has individual metabolism. One single ingredient is never responsible for intestinal problems or other diseases.

It always works together with others and differently in a different intestinal environment. Everyone has to find this out for themselves.

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  • The Plant Paradox Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes to Help You Lose Weight, Heal Your Gut, and Live Lectin-Free – See On Amazon
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  • Lectin-Free Cookbook for Beginners: 100 Hand-Picked Lectin-Free Recipes to Heal Your Body, Stay Strong and Live Fully – See On Amazon
  • GoBiotix Lectin Defense | Block Interfering Dietary Lectins and Ease Gas | Aids in Intestinal Health with Immune Support | Digestive Enzyme Supplement for Women & Men | Non-GMO Gluten-Free | 60 Caps – See On Amazon

Last Updated on 15/04/2022 by Buzz This Viral