The Truth about Lectins
10 min read

The Truth about Lectins

Clean Lean Protein Lifestyle Advice

Lectins are a component of food, 30% of all of our food that can be bad, and a lot of people think is terrible, but I'm going to debunk some of the myths surrounding Lectins and really give you the science. Also, we will dive into why Nuzest chooses to remove lectins from our Clean Lean Protein.

What are lectins and what do they do?

Basically all Lectins are, are a form of protein that encourages the binding of certain molecules.

Lectins cause a certain sugar molecule to bind the membrane of another cell. So since it is sugar-binding it means that Lectins attach to carbohydrates.

The purpose of a Lectin attaching to a carbohydrate is so that they can communicate with other molecules in the body better that's all they're trying to do.

So Lectins cause these cells to basically clump up, let's just simply put it like that.  Because they're clumped up, it's easier for them to communicate without the involvement of the immune system. Normally when cells communicate, there is a small involvement of the body's immune system, so Lectins are actually a positive thing.

So What Are The Negatives Of Lectins?

The negative aspects of Lectins come into the equation when we start talking about how Lectins are digested. Because Lectins are so big and because there's so many things bound together, they run through our digestive system like a raging bull, just totally destroying things.

To be more specific, inside your intestinal tract you have these things called the Villi. Villi are basically like little finger-like things that stick out of your intestinal tract, that absorb nutrients. So food comes along and it goes in between the Villi and that's how it absorbs.

But,  when you have Lectins involved, Lectins cause the molecules to bind together, so now your Villi have no longer become an absorption mechanism, they've become bowling pins and the Lectins are a bowling ball! When it comes through and it pummels them and it destroys them. When that happens you have inhibited digestion because you no longer have the Villi to absorb the nutrients.

So now, instead of having all of this surface area to absorb nutrients, you have this...

So you have just completely irradicated the chance of absorbing some really good nutrients. That's where Lectins cause a big problem and that's where they get such a bad rap.

What Are The Long Term Impacts?

Once the Villi is damaged you now have trauma. Trauma equals inflammation, inflammation equals antibodies, antibodies equal a myriad of other issues that occur within the intestinal tract.

But, it gets even worse, since you've caused damage since you've caused trauma and since you've now caused inflammation you have opened yourself up to those Lectins getting into the bloodstream through what's known as a leaky gut.

This article won’t dive into the leaky gut, but as a basic overview, it causes an opening so that things can leak through the intestinal tract and into the bloodstream that ordinarily would not.

So now these Lectins are floating around in the bloodstream. We have inflammation being triggered up everywhere.

But we also have another issue. Lectins really have affinity for insulin receptors and a nice affinity for Leptin receptors. 

What does that mean?

It means that Lectins can ultimately lead to Diabetes and Diabetes like symptoms or at least insulin resistance, but it can also lead to Leptin resistance which is what dictates whether your metabolism goes fast or slow. Leptin communicates with your brain. And I know that's confusing 'cause you have Lectin and you have Leptin so don't get too caught up on that.

Basically all it means is that if these Lectins get through your intestinal tract they can really mess some stuff up.  

Now, normally a little bit of damage to this Villi is normal right?

So if you consume food, it's going to break it down a little bit but it actually encourages them to grow back stronger but, if you have Lectins they damage them so bad they don't grow back very well. If consumed continually, the Lectins basically blunt the regrowth of the Villi.

So now you have this situation where the Villi is damaged and it can't regrow!

This can you cause permanent damage to your gut?

Not really, but you can cause long enough damage that it's going to be hard to absorb nutrients for quite some time.

But that's enough negative, scary stuff about Lectins.

Because we really have to talk the cold hard truth here!

Again, 30% of the foods that we consume have Lectins.

Lectins are there as a good mechanism for our cells to communicate.

So then why are they so bad?

Well, they're only bad if you're consuming a ton of them.

Okay, we really just need to consume them in moderation because a small amount can actually be good.

You see a small amount can activate what's known as the complementary immune system which can actually help fight pathogens.

So Lectins can work advantageously towards good health with your immune system but again just in moderation and a lot of it comes down to how you cook the foods that contain Lectins.

You're not going out and eating raw beans, are you? I sure hope not because if that's the case then we have some other things to talk about.

But the thing is that Lectins are prevalent in raw foods and if you're not cooking them all the way. So when you look at beans you simply want to be soaking them for a long time before you cook them.

Which, if you look at the package, usually it tells you to do so, to begin with.

So soak your beans, soak your grains, soak your legumes, soak your lentils, and then cook them all the way through at a moderately high temperature.

The other thing that causes excess release of Lectins is cooking them slowly.

So if you slow cook beans or you slow cook chili, you're going to have more Lectins than if you soak your beans and then cook them at high heat like you're supposed to.

It's plain and simple, you really should just follow the directions that are on the label and you're probably not going to have that much of an issue with Lectins.

But also you may not want to be copious amounts of beans, to begin with.

1 you have other things that are going on like your body lacks the enzymes to break down a lot of the proteins in beans to begin with.

But you also have a family to be concerned with and I don't think that they want you eating a lot of beans, day in and day out.

I know you're not out there eating fake fruit and fake food but you're still probably not getting your minerals.And especially not getting your minerals if you're eating a lot of foods that contain Lectins.

Disclaimer: The information provided on Nuzest is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please speak to your qualified healthcare professional in the event that something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.

Clean Lean Protein

Clean Lean Protein provides the building blocks for vitality, repair, recovery and muscle growth. Our unique formula is suitable for all diets and all ages. Mixes in smoothly in 8 delicious flavours.