LECTINS = ANTI-NUTRIENTS
What are they?
Lectins are found in basically in all plant and animal products. In plants, they are a defense mechanism against pests, a real “natural” pesticide, that are hard to breakdown. Lectins are carb or sugar-binding proteins that are very sticky and can attach to the cell lining of your gut, inhibiting the villi (nutrient absorbing finger-like dendrites) of the small intestine.
What does this mean?
It can cause inflammation of your gut, reduce the absorption of other nutrients, including minerals and protein, alter your gut flora and leptin resistance (more about this later) —> which can lead to bacterial overgrowth, leaky gut and hormone imbalance.
Where are they found?
Foods with the highest lectin activity include: grains (especially wheat), legumes (especially soy), nuts, dairy, and nightshade plants (e.g. eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc.). Add to this list the oils and other derivative products from these food sources. And GMO food, since lectins are often spliced into modified varieties in order to enhance “natural” pest and fungal resistance.
What can I do?
Avoid wheat and soy
The lectins in some grains and beans are in the seed coat, and as it germinates, the coat is metabolized – eliminating lectins. So the best way to avoid over-consuming lectins is to soak beans and legumes overnight, and change the water often. Drain and rinse again before cooking. Adding sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) to the soaking water may help neutralize the lectins further.
Heat will help destroy most lectins, so don’t exclusively eat raw foods that contain lectins. Cooking/Steaming can increase the bioavailability of nutrients in food too!
Avoid GMO – eat organic
Take a good probiotic.
Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
Kale is a Nutritional Powerhouse
One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 885 mcg of vitamin A (exceeds recommended dietary allowance for women and almost completely meets it for men), 134% of vitamin C, 10,652 mcg of beta-carotene (a phytonutrient necessary for vitamin A production) and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. Vitamin A and beta-carotene promote healthy eyesight, tissue growth, and skin and hair repair. It also helps protect against infection from pathogenic organisms. Kale is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.
The vitamin C found in kale facilitates tissue repair, boosts the immune system, and provides antioxidant protection against pathogens and toxins. Except, well, one vitamin C capsule will kick your kale’s ass. So add some ascorbic acid (vitamin C) powder to your smoothie too.
Kale is incredibly rich in vitamin K. Studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition say that vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer.5 Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.
The Darker Side of Kale
Kale might be a powerhouse of nutrients but is also contains oxalates, naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the absorption of calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Oxalic acid forms in kale to protect kale from predation by animals, insects, and fungi. Oxalic acid is also a mycotoxin – a toxin produced by the fungus aspergillus and the common yeast candida. Candida is the cause of most yeast infections and some gut problems.1
Oxalic acid crystals can form anywhere in your body when oxalic acid binds to calcium to form crystals, causing muscle pain. It’s very similar to the way uric acid crystals form in joints in cases of gout. Oxalic acid also causes most kidney stones when it binds to calcium in the kidney. Low-grade fungal infections happen quite often in relatively healthy people, and they increase your oxalic acid burden.2
Unfortunately oxalates are not just in kale. Other high sources of oxalate are, from highest to lowest, – buckwheat, black pepper, parsley, poppy seed, rhubarb, amaranth, spinach, chard, beets, chocolate, most nuts, most berries, and beans.
In short, oxalic acid is something you should minimize no matter where it comes from.
Symptoms of oxalate poisoning are muscle weakness, burning in the mouth, eyes, ears, nose, and throat, and in the gastrointestinal system, it causes abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.2 Oxalate poisoning does not sound pretty, but you’re unlikely to get acute oxalate poisoning, unless your chronic (daily) consumption of oxalates is so high that your body fails to clear it.
Raw Kale Can Disrupt Thyroid Function
Kale and other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. can block production of thyroid hormones. Basically, goitrogens inhibit uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland, which slows the production of thyroid hormones.4
Disrupting thyroid hormones is not good. Thyroid hormones such as T3 and T4 play an incredibly important roll in regulating your metabolism. If thyroid production slows down, your metabolism slows down, and your fat burning ability slows way down.
Not only do goitrogens disrupt the thyroid, they may also increase your risk for thyroid cancer. Studies show that high consumption of raw cruciferous vegetables paired with iron deficiencies may contribute to higher incidences of thyroid cancer,4 even while the sulforaphane compounds in them fight other cancer types.
Goitrogens are no joke. Reducing the amount of uncooked cruciferous vegetables (i.e. kale) you eat will reduce the amount of goitrogens you let in your body. But there is a safe way to get the good stuff from kale.
Because kale contains an abundance of health and performance optimizing vitamins, you should view it as a super food – BUT only if you take action against its built-in problems.
Eat Kale with Fat for Optimal Absorption of Vitamins
Many vitamins and micronutrients are fat-soluble, meaning they are not well absorbed without the presence of adequate fat. One study showed that people who consume salads with fat-free salad dressing absorbed far less of the helpful phytonutrients and vitamins from spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots than those who consumed their salads with salad dressing containing fat.5
Another study of over 1.700 Swedish men showed that consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, but only when combined with full-fat consumption like full fat butter.6 Recommendations from this study include adding 1-2 tablespoons of butter to all freshly cooked vegetables.
People always tell their kids to eat their vegetables but few parents realize that children also need to consume an adequate amount of fats with vegetables to fully support proper physical and mental development. Without adequate fat in the diet, children are literally starved of the nutrients necessary for development.
Steam Your Kale to Reduce Oxalates and Goitrogens
In 2007, a study found that a half-cup of steamed kale is medium oxalate, while a half-cup of steamed and drained kale is low oxalate.1 With all the potential damage high oxalates in the body can cause – steam and drain your kale!
Lightly steaming kale and other cruciferous vegetables for up to 30 minutes (far less helps) also significantly reduces the amount of goitrogens and nitriles.6 Reducing goitrogens in your kale reduces the likelihood of disruption to your thyroid and risk of thyroid cancer.
Lightly cooking vegetables also helps break down the cellular structures to increase the digestibility and nutrient absorption of nutrients in the vegetables. Nutrient absorption is also important in terms of the amount of energy your body is actually getting from the food you eat. Studies also show that women who predominantly eat raw food have lower energy intake and higher rates menstrual irregularities than those eating predominantly cooked food.8
After going over all the abundance of vitamins kale has to offer, it is definitely smart to better your chances of absorbing them all by simply steaming your kale.
Don’t Eat Curly Kale or Battered Kale
Dinosaur kale is much lower oxalate than curly kale.1 So eat that variety in your morning kale dose. Battered kale is not a new recipe…it’s what happens to kale that is roughly treated in the field. Kale that is stressed by the environment – insect predation, fungal infestation, or draught and heat problems – will create more toxins, including oxalic acid. So pick the prettiest dinosaur kale you can find.
Take Calcium with Kale
Because oxalic acid binds vital minerals in the gut, long-term consumption of foods high in oxalic acid can lead to nutrient deficiencies. When calcium supplements are taken with foods high in oxalic acid, the oxalic acid actually precipitates in the gut and drastically reduces the levels of oxalate absorbed by the body. Some cases show as much as a 97% decrease in oxalate levels.2
Additionally, a 1997 study showed that “mineral water (French mineral water containing calcium [202 ppm] and magnesium [36 ppm]) containing calcium and magnesium deserves to be considered as a possible therapeutic or prophylactic agent in calcium oxalate kidney stone disease.” Each of 80 subjects provided 24-hour urine collection samples daily for the study, and drank mineral water for 3 days, then tap water for 3 days. The water with minerals improved nine risk factors for kidney stones.
The best way to calcium load is not to take pills or drink water, but to toss your calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide supplements in the blender with your kale. Let the harmful oxalic acid precipitate out in the blender, so your body can filter it out
when you drink it. If you allow free oxalic acid into your body without minerals at the exact same time, it will absorb into your body, then, depending on your genetics, infections, history, and your oxalate load, it can form crystals in your muscle tissue, kidneys, or vagina.
HOW TO EAT KALE
Choose the right species (dino kale, not curly kale) – Dino kale is much lower oxalatethan curly kale.1
Add fat – Grass-fed butter is a great source of fat to optimize the absorption of vitamins in kale while also boosting cognitive function and gut health. Coconut oil is also another premium sources of fat to add to your kale because it improves the body’s absorption and use of Vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium. It also works directly in cells to give you an extra boost to maximize your performance.
Calcium load – Add about a gram of calcium carbonate and 500mg-1000mg of magnesium oxide to your blender to reduce your absorption of oxalates. Or at least swallow a capsule as you are eating it.
Kale Recipe to Supercharge Your Body and Brain
Ingredients (serves 1):
1 bunch of steamed dinosaur kale
2-4 tbsp grass-fed butter
1-2 tbsp of Upgraded™ MCT Oil or Organic Coconut Oil
1 tsp or a lot more sea salt or Himalayan salt
2 tbsp (more or less) of high quality heat stable protein
1-4 tsp Apple Cider vinegar to taste
Herbs of choice (oregano rocks!)
Steam kale with about a cup or so of water until cooked (about 5-7 minutes).
Drain water. Add more fresh hot water if you want a thinner consistency.
Blend drained kale with cal:mag, salt, herbs, vinegar, grass-fed butter and MCT or Coconut oil until super creamy.
Lastly, for added protein, add heat stable protein to the mixture and lightly blend until the protein is mixed in. Or just add pastured raw eggs!
- (NOTE: Be sure to add the protein last and only slightly blend – you don’t want to mechanically damage that expensive protein. You’ll ruin it!)
- What are Goitrogens and How Do they Affect the Thyroid?, Mary Shomon, author of Your Guide to Thyroid Disease
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20361352 – Role of dietary iodine and cruciferous vegetables in thyroid cancer: a countrywide case-control study in New Caledonia.
- (Holmberg et al. Food Choices and Coronary Heart Disease: A Population Based Cohort Study of Rural Swedish Men with 12 Years of Follow-up. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. October 2009.)
- Bearers of the Cross: Crucifers in the Context of Traditional Diets and Modern Science”
- Carmody, Rachel N.; Wrangham, Richard W., The energetic significance of cooking. Journal of Human Evolution 2009,57, 379–391
SOURCE: Bulletproof Executive
I went shopping at Whole Foods yesterday. I went to pick up a couple of things for a recipe I’m going to try and, of course, ended up finding other goodies. What I’m most excited about it the grass-fed butter I found that is produced in the USA, which means less transport time than Kerrygold butter and a fresher product. When exploring their website, I found that not only were they a grass-fed dairy, but they didn’t homogenize their products!! This is great news for you. So what does it mean to homogenize and why should you care? (This information comes from Kalona SuperNatural™)
First of all, homogenization further processes the product, pulling it further away from what came directly from the cow – and we are interested in consuming products that are processed as little as possible, and consumed in the most natural state possible. Homogenization, which is not necessary for any food safety reason, destroys the sweet, creamy taste of fresh milk and alters its molecular structure.
Perhaps the best way to explain why we do not homogenize milk is to explain what homogenization is. Homogenization is a mechanical process that transforms the two, separate components of whole fresh milk– cream and low-fat milk–into one smooth beverage. To accomplish this, fresh milk is heated and pumped through tiny nozzles at high pressure. The pressure tears the fat globules of the cream into tiny particles, which then disperse evenly throughout the low-fat milk. These tiny fat particles are extremely susceptible to rancidity, but pasteurization prevents homogenized milk from spoiling.
When homogenized milk was introduced in the early 20th century, consumers did not buy it because it was missing the chief sign of high quality milk: a thick layer of cream on top. One historian notes that it was not until after World War II, when opaque milk cartons were introduced to the market (and home delivery of glass bottles dwindled) that homogenized milk became the dominant form of milk consumed in the U.S.
Thus, neither consumer demand nor health concerns prompted the shift to homogenized milk. Instead, economic reasons played the key role. Prior to homogenization, the cream content in whole milk was random, and varied from 3% to 8% or more. But homogenization introduced a definition of whole milk that established the minimum cream content (which soon became the standard cream content) at 3.25%. This allowed milk processors to use the “extra” cream in other products, such as butter.
Because most of us have been raised on homogenized milk, we may not know what to expect when we buy our first bottle of non-homogenized milk. After it sits for 12-24 hours, fresh non-homogenized milk separates into a layer of light, high-fat cream (sometimes called the “cream top”) and a much larger, more dense layer of low-fat milk. Over time, the cream becomes thicker, and after a few days it may nearly solidify into a cream “plug.” This is a natural occurrence in non-homogenized milk. When you shake the bottle the plug will loosen and break up into the milk, although many folks like to spoon it out for their coffee or to eat it on their cereal as a special treat.
Non- homogenized milk also has a naturally sweeter flavor than homogenized milk because whole cream has a silky texture that is lost when the fat globules are broken apart. It also has a richer flavor, even the 2% and fat free, because our skimming process never removes 100% of the cream.
Professional and amateur chefs recommend non-homogenized dairy products as ingredients to make the best cheese, yogurt, ice cream, whipped cream, or other dairy-based foods at home or in elegant restaurants.
So now you know.
Do you love to drink your coffee in the morning? So do I. I have found a recipe to drink coffee and stimulate fat loss. Who knew this could be done?!
Use the lowest toxin, highest performance coffee there is, brew it, and then blend unsalted grass-fed butter into it. Yes, butter. All the benefits of healthy milk fat with none of the damaging denatured casein proteins found in cream. It makes for the creamiest, most satisfying cup of coffee you’ve ever had. It will keep you satisfied with level energy for 6 hours if you need it. And because you’re having it for breakfast, you’re programming your body to burn fat for energy all day long!
It will take your body a week or two to fully turn on its fat digestion systems when you switch to a high healthy fat breakfast of Bulletproof® coffee. If at first it is a little too rich, try using less butter at first and build up to the amount you like. Taking a digestive enzyme supplement (Richelle can order these for you) with your coffee will also help your body digest the butter.
Bulletproof® Coffee Recipe
- Start with 4-500 ml (2 mugs) of black coffee brewed with mold-free Upgraded Coffee beans. (Why this is important)
- Add 2 Tbs (or more, up to 80 grams, about 2/3 of a standard stick of butter) of Kerry Gold or other UNSALTED grass-fed, organic butter. (Might want to leave this out on the counter so it’s soft. Do not soften with microwave).
- Add 30 grams of Upgraded MCT oil for max energy, weight loss and brain function (this is 6 times stronger than coconut oil, your next best choice)
- Blend with a pre-heated hand blender, shake really hard in a flask, or (best) counter top blender until there is a creamy head of foam. (It doesn’t work well if you mix it with a spoon)
Kerrygold butter (found at Fresh & Easy, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Sprouts) or another grass-fed brand of butter really matters because corn or soy-fed cows don’t make butter with the same fats. Those butters don’t blend well, don’t taste good, and don’t make you feel Bulletproof. Grass-fed butter is much healthier than other butter. It doesn’t make cholesterol levels worse, it optimizes them! Starting your day with grass-fed butter will give you lots of energy and it will give your body healthy fats that it will use to make cell walls and hormones.
P.S. To understand why it is important to use low-toxin, clean beans, click here
P.P.S. To learn where you can buy locally roasted, high quality beans, click here
This article by Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a solid synopsis of the omega 3 study.
Please remember when reading research you must look at:
- How the study was organized: Randomized Controlled Trial?
- Was it double blind?
- How big was the patient base or sample size?
- How long were the subjects studied?
- Were there specific factors accounted for or unaccounted for that could change the outcome?
- Who sponsored or paid for the study?
Hopefully this gives you a little insight.