The internet is ripe with foods we should or shouldn’t eat such as fat, sugar and salt. However there are properties in food that has not received as much attention. These are dietary lectins.
What are lectins? Lectins are proteins found in some foods that can have harmful effects on our body. They cannot be digested and end up in our bloodstream resulting in symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. These are the signs of food poisoning.
There are ways to protect ourselves. It starts with understanding which foods contain the most lectins and avoiding those. As an example, lectins can be found in seeds, nuts, oils, meat but mostly in legumes. Next we look at how we can reduce the amount of active lectins in the foods we do eat.
There are 3 ways to achieve this:
• Cooking and soaking
Cooking and soaking:
Dry heat does not reduce the lectins in food. The food needs to be either steamed or boiled.
Sprouting does reduce lectins in food but it depends on the length of time. The longer you sprout, the more lectins are deactivated.
What happens during fermenting is that the beneficial bacteria break down the lectin into harmless compounds.
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