Traditional cultures used preparation methods to reduce food lectins. Understanding the need for soaking, fermenting, or high-heat boiling etc., to reduce lectins in seeds having a high lectin concentration. However, modern day Western cultures generally don't make the effort to ensure that even their primary sources of food are low in lectins.
Lectins are "unshaken" by stomach acid and generally resist digestion by intestinal enzymes-
Many food lectins can be deactivated with appropriate food preparation
Soaking and boiling
The amount of most lectins in foods can be significantly reduced by PRE- SOAKING foods and then bringing them to a ROLLING BOIL in fresh water for 15 minutes. Cooking breaks down some plant starch into simpler carbohydrates; lectins attach to these carbohydrates, which essentially deactivates the lectins by "tying them up". Eating raw or undercooked kidney beans will cause severe vomiting because of their lectin toxicity.
- Slow cookers do not reach a high enough temperature to effectively deactivate lectins
- Pressure cookers do a superlative job. Especially with beans, tomoatoes, potatoes and quinoa; but will not reduce lectins in wheat, rye, barley or spelt.
Dry heat (baking or roasting) is not as effective as prolonged boiling. E.g. baked goods made with grain or bean flours contain more lectins than boiled products.
- Dry roasting deactivates about 75% of the lectins in raw peanuts.
- Toasted wheat germ still contains a significant amount of active lectins.
Sprouting is not as effective as prolonged boiling. Although some of the nitrogen-containing lectin is broken down to nourish the young seedling, some lectins remain to protect it from predators as it grows. With some seeds, such as alfalfa sprouts, sprouting actually enhances lectin content.
Fermentation / Souring
Soy. if you eat soy, choose organic, fermented soy products E.g. natto, miso, tempeh;
Sourdough bread. Traditionally made sourdough bread has low-lectin content;
Beer. Is fermented grains;
Other lectin-reducing tactics
Peel and deseed high-lectin plant foods
Remove skins and any seeds from potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, eggplants, zuccini, pumpkins, squash
Choose refined foods
• Eat white grains instead of improperly prepared whole grains. E.g. If you must eat bread, eat white refined wheat bread (sourdough is best) instead of whole wheat.
• Eat white rice instead of brown rice
Fermenting vegetables allows good bacteria to break down a significant amount of lectins. They also become good sources of probiotics
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