It’s quite surprising, really. The secret cause behind so much digestive distress isn’t necessarily the balance of bacteria in your gut, but the sticky protein molecules called lectins that are part of the natural makeup of many living things. They provide protection and bind protein in molds, bacteria, and other substances that can injure the plant.
When you eat foods that contain lectins, they aren’t broken down or neutralized by your stomach acids or digestive enzymes. Some bind our good bacteria, rendering them useless in our ultimate digestion. Others stay intact and attach to cells in our digestive system which weakens the lining of the intestines. When this happens, lectins and other foreign protein pass right on through to your bloodstream, where they’re carried throughout you body and make antibodies to our tissue.
As a result, these tiny molecular terrorists can leave a path of destruction! They have been linked to symptoms beyond digestive woes. Research shows that lectins bind to cells far and wide—including connective tissue in your joints, the cells of your organ tissues, and immune cells. For example, they cause the most common form of both an over and under active thyroid (hyper/hypothyroidism) called Hashimotos thyroiditis. It’s no wonder that once these devils have been locked out or up, people report greater joint comfort, relief from bloating, weight loss, and clearer thinking. But their main path of attack is all along your digestive tract.
The answer for some may be to eliminate these good-for-you foods from your daily menu. The top five are gluten, casein, egg white, soy, and peanuts, but can include citrus fruits, tuna, and the night shades such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and cucumbers.