Lectins and the Leaky Gut
There are some foods which in their natural raw state are actually toxic for the human body. These toxins are called lectins. Lectins have been linked to many ailments such as inflammation, celiac disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis among many others.
Lectins have also been linked to something called leaky gut syndrome, there are several symptoms of leaky gut syndrome including chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating, nutritional deficiencies, headaches, brain fog, memory loss and many more such as abdominal discomfort or pain, heart burn, gluten and food intolerance, and muscle cramps.
When your diet is high in processed foods, as well as being low in fibre and nutrients and have high levels of additives, these are also contributors to the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
Those that adhere to the paleo diet also avoid vegetables of the nightshade family. These vegetables include tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and paprika, and also Paleo followers avoid legumes, peanuts and soy. The reason is, that these vegetables contain alkaloids, meaning that they have a natural pesticide. They also contain a toxic compound called saponin. All contribute to leaky gut. It is thought that these are foods to avoid if you have problems with inflammation.
For those that are on the strict paleo diet, all of this has significant meaning. Those that are on the strict version of the diet do not eat dairy, the reason of which, is to avoid antibiotic/resistant bacteria as they are thought to cause food born illnesses. Those that are on the strict paleo diet also avoid wine, alcohol, and coffee.
It is actually recommended that if you are on the paleo diet, 85% of the foods you eat should be strict to the paleo, while 15% of your diet can include items such as cheese, tomatoes, coffee, dairy, and wild rice.
If you are into alternative medicine then you have probably heard of the leaky gut syndrome, but the truth is, it is a controversial discussion topic. It seems that the barriers of the gut are permeable and as such may “leak” into other areas of the body causing inflammation and perhaps a wide range of illnesses not otherwise explained.
Whether you believe in the leaky gut syndrome or you don’t believe in the leaky gut syndrome, it is suggested that if you suffer from any of these symptoms to take a good look at your diet.
Eating healthy is suggested as being the best antidote. I for one am not a follower of the paleo. I like my nightshade vegetables, my coffee and my alcohol. I am not actually sure if the leaky gut syndrome is really something or not, but it is good to think about the fact that there might be foods that lower your guts barriers, and may cause you discomfort, pain and otherwise unexplainable illness. I think that it is important at any rate to pay attention to what you are eating and how you are feeling, because there is a link.
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