Lectins & the Lessons I Learned to Eliminate this Silent Killer
Disclaimer: This blog is written from personal experience and is a reflection of the changes I have made to my lifestyle. This was not written by a professional doctor or qualified nutritionist so always seek guidance from a licensed professional before changing your lifestyle or diet.
Have you been suffering from an autoimmune disease or have chronic gut problems? Does your doctor just keep prescribing the same medication that doesn’t actually cure the core problem but instead is just a temporary bandaid for the issue – I feel you. Let me guess, you’ve probably also tried going vegan or gluten-free or tried a raw diet to possibly take the natural path to being healthy – I’ve been there. The problem keeps returning and after many trials and errors, you’ve just decided to “live with it.” Giving up on feeling normal is not an option and it's time to take back control of our body and mind.
This story begins with a lifetime of seasonal allergies and atopic dermatitis (an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself). Steroids, the obvious treatment, would work temporarily but the painful rashes persisted and not to mention how harmful using steroids for an extended amount of time is to your heart and kidneys. What’s even more disheartening is hearing from all your doctors that there is no cure for your condition and you simply have to “live with it” for the rest of your life. I’m so sick of hearing that phrase and not to mention how embarrassing and debilitating it is to be told that I will be stuck with this on my hands forever. There were times I couldn’t even touch water and was suffering from constant pain. But I was not willing to settle with the concept that there’s no cure. So I tried the natural holistic way, went vegan, tried a gluten-free and raw food diet – still nothing worked.
Progress is impossible without change and there's always time to make a difference in your life. | Photo Credit: @fabhub_design
Then in April 2021, my entire life changed in a matter of weeks. My dad sent me a link to a podcast of an interview with Dr. Gundry, a renowned heart surgeon and the author of “The Plant Paradox” (a bestseller that is a must-read). He explained something revolutionary yet so straightforward that I instantly had to try it out. Lectins (think tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers) – if you’re not familiar, it’s a toxic protein that is produced by plants as a survival tactic to not be eaten by their predators, or us. Lectins stick to carbs and are simply not digestible in our GI. In the podcast, Dr. Gundry basically explained why lectins are our nemesis and why we should eliminate them entirely from our diet. Gut health is linked to whole-body health, from your heart to brain to immune and digestive system to even preventing autoimmune diseases, so it's clearly very crucial to feed our micro biome with the right food. This made so much sense to me and from this very inspiring talk, my partner, who also suffers from an autoimmune disease, Seborrheoic dermatitis, and I decided to go on a lectin-free, keto diet. It wasn’t easy and it took a while to educate ourselves and get used to this drastic diet change, but we were more than willing to start this journey. On top of that we decided to try out a keto diet, invented in the 1920s for kids with epilepsy to improve their condition. All in all, the results were astounding!
Check out these photos of my hands (warning: the pictures contain sensitive content which some people may find disturbing), before we started the diet and 2-3 weeks after.
I’m here to share some valuable lesson from my overall experience:
- Go cold turkey and start from scratch – Vegetables are the earth’s gifts to us but it’s incredible that some vegetables might be causing you more harm than good, so get educated about what vegetables are actually healthy for you.
- If removing lectins out of your diet seems a bit overwhelming, try starting with just a regular keto diet – that’s already half of the journey and will significantly decrease the inflammatory process in the body and the brain. It’s always important to know what’s causing this type of reaction to your body and start by eliminating as much as possible. After about 3 weeks, I would start slowly adding lectins back to check if you really do need to cut them out entirely. In my case, the minute I reintroduced some lectins my atopic dermatitis flared up again – but everyone’s different.
- There is no better feeling than when you have taken back control of your body and mind. Simply I now have so much energy, my brain feels like it’s functioning at full capacity and my digestive system is finally happy. Not to mention, going lectin-free and keto can control sugar levels.
For Dr. Gundry’s Yes & No list, with the types of foods you can and can’t eat, check it out here.
It may seem scary to start a new food journey, but there's no reason you need to limit yourself or your food creations.
Left image: @reneredzepinoma | Right image: @lectinfreecreations
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