A Heart Surgeon Says This "Healthy" Ingredient Is Harming Your Gut

Dacy Knight

It's easy to assume that healthy foods promise nothing but healthful benefits to your body. But as cardiologist, heart surgeon, and autoimmune disease expert Steven Gundry points out, this isn't always the case. Sometimes it's the nutrient-packed items that are causing the most digestive trouble. Gundry, who explores this in his new book The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers of "Healthy" Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain, recently explained in Mindbodygreen how one plant protein in particular could cause problems in the gut and derail healthy eating habits.

Gundry identifies lectin—a protein that causes carbs to clump together and even attach to your body's cells, leading to a communication block between important cells—as a culprit in exacerbating inflammation and even diarrhea or vomiting. He lists how lectin, in conjunction with other disruptors, has the potential to contribute to aching joints, depression, brain fog, and weight gain.

So where exactly are lectins hiding out? In foods we consider to be more or less healthy, not harmful: tomatoes, eggplants (nightshade vegetables are full of lectins), cashews, beans, and whole grain breads. If indigestion and inflammation are problems, reducing your intake of the above could help sort out your stomach. If you're looking for to overhaul your diet, cutting these lectin-carrying items from your eating plan could prove to be a good start.

Learn more about what Gundry has to say on gut health (and what you should and should not be eating).

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