What’s So Bad About Legumes?

Soy Beans

What’s so bad about legumes? The answer to this depends on how healthy your gut is and whether you eat legumes all the time. If your gut is in good shape and you’re feel’n fine, then go ahead and enjoy legumes once in a while.

The idea that legumes are bad for us has been a point of criticism against Primal/Paleo dietary recommendations and it’s understandable why. Legumes are a staple in various cultural cuisines, it’s high in protein, starch, resistant starch, and minerals. Legumes are often a staple food in the diets of vegans and vegetarians as it serves the purpose of meeting their protein needs. This is also one of those foods that mainstream nutrition advocates promote as a replacement for meat/animal products. You can see how they might be nervous about legumes losing their reputation as a health food.

What’s interesting about this, especially following my article on lectins, is that no one can dispute that legumes have some potent self-defense mechanisms. As I mentioned in my previous article, the castor bean is a prime example but there are plenty of other examples that should give you pause.

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The Hidden Dangers of Lectins

Bean Lectin

Lectins can be found in all organisms, they are carbohydrate specific proteins that mediate cellular recognition within cells, between cells and between different organisms (1). Most cells and tissues throughout the body have these glucoreceptors, meaning lectins could potentially bind to any tissue in the body.

Researchers interchangeably use the term agglutinin for lectin because it refers to the ability of the carbohydrate-binding proteins to cause clumping of red blood cells or other cells (glues cells together) (5, 7). All cells in the body contain glycol or sugar receptors and lectins have an affinity for these receptors including glycans of glycoproteins, glycolipids, or polysaccharides. The action of the leptin on these cells depends on the type of cell and what message the receptor activates.

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Quick and Easy Dinner Basics

Quick and Easy Dinner Basics

Quick and easy dinner basics are essential to any family meal time. Dinner is usually the safest meal we eat. Although, coming home exhausted from work can make the thought of cooking a complicated dinner exhausting. At times like these, you might find yourself calling for takeout. There are easy options for dinner! Don’t feel like you need to complicate things with fancy recipes unless you have extra energy and will enjoy the process.

Below are some quick and easy dinner basics you can prepare the most common protein options. For veggie options, I recommend you check out my post on vegetables. This is my last post in my series of simple food options. I may revisit the topic but from here on out, I will be using this space to share recipes I find delicious!

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More than just Gluten: Wheat and Autoimmunity

Wheat

How has modern wheat become toxic to those suffering from autoimmune diseases? Let’s rewind a little and examine this closer. The most common argument against removing wheat is that it has been around for thousands of years and maybe longer. Some of the earliest evidence of wheat consumption goes back 25 – 30,000 years ago and we domesticated wheat around 9600 BCE (6). The other side of the argument claims that this is not enough time to evolve the mechanisms necessary for digesting wheat and grains. Both sides of the equation miss the point.

Modern wheat is not 30,000’ish years old, it was hybridized and created in 1950. Modern wheat is only 70 years old! Scientists have modified it to overproduce gluten and starch, over the production of minerals and protein. Comparing the chromosomal makeup of modern wheat to the chromosomal makeup of ancient wheat is like saying that an orange is the same as a platypus. There are good arguments to be made on both sides about whether the human body can adapt to digest food that is over 30,000 years old, but to say the body can adapt to a food that is only 70 years old is preposterous (5).

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What is Autoimmune Disease?

Intestinal Health

Usually, autoimmune disease starts with impaired gut permeability caused by various factors including over-exercise, inflammatory foods, stress, and exacerbated by alcohol. The gut accounts for 40% of our total energy expenditure. The gut lining prevents against loss of water and electrolytes and entry of antigens and microorganisms into the body. While allowing the exchange of molecules between host and environment and absorption of nutrients in the diet.

The gut functions as a complex multilayer system (1). The lining comprises an outer physical barrier and an inner functional/immunological barrier. The interaction of these 2 barriers enables permeability to be maintained. Disruption of these barriers results in severe immunodeficiency and risk of disease. Loss of intestinal barrier functions can occur abruptly in response to a major trauma such as severe burns and multi-organ failure. It can also occur gradually, leading to chronic inflammatory diseases.

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Easy and Healthy Lunch Options

Easy and Healthy Lunch Options

Easy and healthy lunch options can be dificult find. Especially if you don’t bring your own. Often convenience options included vendor machine snacks and fast food, because most people don’t have time to frequent a sit-down restaurant for lunch. There are some places where you can get a good lunch now like Chipotle, Mod Market, MAD Greens and various other new healthy prep food places.

Having a good lunch plan really boils down to proper food preparation. Check out my suggestions below.

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How to Interpret Research Findings

Research findings

Regarding significance testing, the bigger question here is what does a significant result mean? Just because there is a significant difference between two means (averages) doesn’t mean the difference has significance.

You might already be a little confused, let me clear this up. A significant change means that there is a 95% (p < .05), 99% (p < .01) or 99.9% (p < .001) chance that what the researcher manipulated altered the result above and beyond what you would expect by chance. A significant difference represents both the distance between two means and the variability of the scores within those means. Read More >>

8 Ways to Manage Inflammation

Pain and Inflammation

Today I want to discuss 8 ways to manage inflammation, especially since most chronic disease can be linked to inflammation. Often, when we find a way to improve inflammation by removing a food or contaminant that causes inflammation, the body can heal itself in unpredictable ways. It’s amazing how much improvement I see in clients who manage to remove pro-inflammatory compounds and consume truly nourishing foods that are also delicious.

Inflammation is a natural process essential to our survival. It activates our immune system and protects our body from infection at the site of injuries. The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cellular injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original insult and the inflammatory process, and start tissue repair. Although, until the inflammatory process has completed, the body cannot begin the healing process.

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How to get More Vegetables

How to get More Vegetables

How to get more vegetables into your diet is a complex topic but I will try to make it as simple as I can. Here it goes. Step 1 for eating more veggies is…. Cook them! Eating more veggies is easy, we try to make eating veggies complicated because we’ve been convinced that raw and dry is the best way to eat them.

What do you lose when cooking veggies? You lose a little vitamin C and some B vitamins, but you get vitamin C from fruit and B vitamins from meat. What you gain from cooking vegetables outweighs the loss, you deactivate bitter self-defense mechanisms that vegetables have and when you add fat, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K are readily absorbed.

Make you veggies delicious! Cook them, slather them in oil or butter and add salt. Salt is an essential nutrient and if you have removed all processed foods, you likely aren’t eating enough salt. Every nerve in your body functions through the exchange of sodium and potassium. Salt is necessary for your body to properly absorb vitamin C and it is necessary for supporting thyroid health (not just because of iodine).

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Primal Essential Movements

Primal Essential Movements

The Primal Essential Movements (PEM) are a series of exercises designed to maximize your time, generate functional fitness, optimize gene expression, balance your hormones, and sensitize your body to insulin. This sequence of exercises should be performed in 2-3 sets till you are exhausted. Do not exercise to failure, you want to stop an exercise once you begin to lose form. The goal is to get stronger, not injured. Primal essential movements are also a great way to relieve stress.

After doing a set, it is best to wait 3-4 minutes before the next set, this will maximize muscle and strength gains. You will also be fully recovered when going into your next set of exercises. I prefer to not start a second PEM set completely exhausted, wheezing, and coughing. Feel free to do the following exercises in whatever order work best for you.

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