Foods that contain lectin are mostly common foods, like soybeans and wheat, which we eat almost every day. But there’s one thing you need to know, which is; how you cook these foods may reduce the lectins you consume.
So be mindful and watchful when cooking foods that contain lectin. A lectin is a type of protein that binds to certain carbohydrates.
However, lectin in small amounts may provide several health benefits but in larger amounts can reduce your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Healthy Foods that contain lectin
Below are foods that contain lectin that are healthy for your consumption:
The first on the list of foods that contain lectin is Peanuts which is another form of legume, and like kidney beans, they contain lectins.
Lectins in peanuts can be detected in the blood after eating peanuts in large amounts. Although no studies have been done to determine whether this has health effects, it does show that peanut lectins are absorbed by the body.
2. Raw Potatoes
Raw potatoes are part of the family of foods that contain high levels of lectins. Raw potatoes, in particular the skin, appear to contain potentially harmful lectins that may affect your health.
However, more studies need to be done to see whether these lectins are the cause of health problems after eating raw potatoes in humans.
3. Raw Kidney Beans
However, it’s critical that you boil the beans thoroughly before you eat them. Eating raw or undercooked kidney beans exposes you to an incredibly high level of phytohemagglutinin.
So, cooking beans thoroughly reduces the activity of this lectin to undetectable levels.
Do you know that Soybeans are a fantastic source of protein? Soybeans contain one of the highest quality plant-based proteins, which makes them particularly important for vegetarians.
They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, particularly molybdenum, copper, manganese, magnesium, and riboflavin.
Soybeans also contain plant compounds called isoflavones, which have been linked to cancer prevention and a decreased risk of osteoporosis.
Wheat is one of the foods that contain lectin but refined wheat products have a high glycemic index (GI), meaning they can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Also, they have been stripped of virtually all nutrients.
Whole wheat has a similar GI, but it’s higher in fiber, which can benefit your gut health but some people are intolerant to gluten, a term referring to many types of protein found in wheat.
However, if you tolerate it, whole wheat can be a good source of many vitamins and minerals, such as selenium, copper, and folate.
So, whole Grains such as raw wheat and other whole grains are high in lectins. However, it appears that the lectins are almost eliminated by cooking and processing.
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6. Egg Plant
Eggplant is another food on the list of foods that contain lectin which is a nightshade vegetable rich in lectins.
These lectins firmly stick to red blood cells (erythrocyte hemagglutination) which may show negative effects in sensitive individuals and can sometimes aggravate urticaria.
However, lectin-carrying foods like vegetables a a family of food that irritates some people who may have IBS, IBD, leaky gut, or sensitivities, whilst others will experience no reaction or sensitivity at all.
Nuts have a lot of health benefits when consumed because they are made up of so many nutrients including lectins.
But almonds nuts have the highest concentration of lectins than other nuts. In fact, almonds have higher lectin content than peanuts.
Lectin concentration in plant sources significantly decreases with cooking time. Even soaking these lectin-abundant foods like nuts and seeds in water reduces their lectin content significantly.
Tomatoes as non-starchy and contain lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) are among the foods that contain lectin Lycopene in tomatoes protects the skin from harmful sun rays.
However, some research suggests that tomatoes also contain lectins. These lectins bound to the intestinal villi (finger-like projections that help with food absorption) and were found to resist digestion.
Chickpeas are popularly known for their high protein content, but they also contain lectins in the range of 1160 to 1375 HU/g.
However, lectins degenerate red blood corpuscles by firmly sticking to them (hemagglutinating activity).
10. Cereals and Grains
Cereals are lectin-loaded foods, high in wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), a type of lectin. This particular lectin is also found in rye, barley, and rice. It is linked to certain health risks, including increased intestinal permeability.
However, moderate consumption of lectin-packed foods like cereals and grains is advised if you have nutritional deficiencies. Consult your doctor for more information.
Although some foods that contain lectin are toxic in large portions, people generally don’t eat that much.
The foods that are rich in lectin that people consume, foods like s grains and legumes, are almost always cooked in some way beforehand.
So, it is important to increase the consumption of foods high in lectins, especially if you have nutritional deficiencies. Cereals, legumes, bell peppers, and tomatoes are some of the foods high in lectins.
This leaves only a negligible amount of lectins for consumption. However, the amounts in foods are probably far too low to pose a threat to otherwise healthy individuals.