This Ingredient Is Harming Your Gut According to a Heart Surgeon

a tomato salad
Foodie Crush

It's easy to assume that healthy foods promise nothing but healthful benefits to your body. But as cardiologist 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 and bloating 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 to 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 attach to your body's cells, leading to a communication block between important cells—as a culprit in exacerbating inflammation and 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 being more or less healthy: tomatoes, eggplants (nightshade vegetables are full of lectins), cashews, beans, and whole-grain bread. If indigestion and inflammation are problems, reducing your intake of the above could help sort out your stomach.

Shop these kitchen essentials to kickstart your healthy eating plan. 

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