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What the Heck are Lectins?

Cucumbers and lectins - Eat Right with Louisa -

What the Heck are Lectins?

Cucumbers and lectins - Eat Right with Louisa - www.eatrightwithlouisa.comRecently, cucumbers made the news headline when Gwyneth Paltrow’s site was ridiculed for warning against the crunchy vegetable that many people love to put in their salad or eat right off the bat. An article on Paltrow’s health website Goop claims that cucumbers could cause dementia. Are you laughing? Wait! Not so fast! There is actually science backing this up… and a couple of experts have issued statements that vindicated Paltrow and backed up the claim.

The scientific basis is in “lectins.” This is one of the main foundations of the Blood Type Diet and was discovered by Dr. Peter D’Adamo more than two decades ago. According to his observations, the interactions between lectins from the food we eat and our blood, gut as well as internal organs play a big role in disease manifestations. Dr. D’Adamo’s groundbreaking discovery is that such interactions are blood-type specific.

You can read more from about what lectins do to our bodies in this recent article responding to the ridicule launched on Paltrow’s website.

More on Lectins

Lectins are not only found in can be found in cucumbers, tomatoes and whole grains, as mentioned in the article. Actually, most foods, including grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat contain lectins. As I mentioned above, not all lectins are considered “friends” or “foes” by your body. Depending on your blood type and genetics, a particular lectin may cause a certain reaction once entered into your blood stream.

In the case of the now-infamous cucumber, its lectins are harmful to Type Os but are, in fact, beneficial to Type AB.

So what do “enemy lectins” do in your body? They may clump or bind to your blood cells, eventually destroying them. Alternately, when they enter the digestive tract, they can cause inflammation of the mucus linings and mimic many of the symptoms of food allergies.

Even tiny amounts of a lectin is enough to clump huge numbers of cells, so it doesn’t matter if you eat “only a small amount” of a food that your blood regards as “foe.” If you regularly eat a certain food that contains “enemy” lectins for your blood type, and if you have been eating it for a long time, you will find specific problems in your digestion, joints, immune system and/or metabolism caused by this lectin.
Agglutination of blood cells

When a certain lectin from food is regarded as “enemy” lectin (incompatible with specific blood type), red blood cells clump up in a process known as “agglutination.” If the same lectin enters the blood stream day in and day out, systemtic inflammation results, leading to chronic and various others types of diseases.

That is why it is so important to completely stay away from the foods that are considered “avoids” for your blood type, especially when you are trying to heal from certain diseases or ailments.

Following an individualized diet based on your blood type can therefore protect you from the harmful effects of dietary lectins.

The following video gives a very good explanation of what lectins are and what they do to the body. Have a look!

More articles on this subject:

Lectins and Blood Type

Digestion and the Blood Type Diet: See the section “The Blood Type Diet is Low in Harmful Lectins”

The Next Gluten

The Lectin Avoidance Diet

Do Dietary Lectins Cause Disease

If you find this article useful and you’d like more just like it, sign up for my Eat Right with Louisa Newsletter. You’ll receive a free mini-email course on How to Eat Your Way to Optimal Health. It teaches you how to choose the right food that is tailored for your unique body type–based on Dr. D’Adamo’s principle of lectins, so you will reach your health goals in the most efficient way without wasting any effort or money.

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