Speaker 1: 00:00 Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast, the weekly podcast where Dr. G. gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.
Dr. Gundry: 00:13 Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Today we’ve got a special guest back by popular demand, me, because, as you’ve probably guessed, I get a lot of questions, and one of the most frequent questions I get, even two years after the Plant Paradox has been published, how did I first come up with my lectin theory. Well, it’s not a theory, and I didn’t come up with it. Believe it or not, lectins have been known about since the 1800s. In fact, if you’ve ever been told your blood type, you were told your blood type by using lectins to figure out what your blood type is.
It turns out that in those days, they found that these plant compounds, which are sticky proteins, had individual red blood cells that they would stick to depending upon the sugar molecule that was on the outside of the red blood cell. When they stuck to a particular red blood cell, they would then make other red blood cells stick to that red blood cell, and they’d all clump. It’s call agglutination.
If you had type O blood, you put in a lectin that liked to bond to type O blood, and all the red blood cells would clump. You’d shake it around in a test tube, and there you go, you’re type O. If you put in a lectin that liked to bond to the sugar molecule on a type A, you would only, if you were type A, would you clump. That’s how lectins have been known about for so long.
I think that’s actually a really important point for those of you who are doubters about lectins. Lectins make things clump together, and they make red blood cells clump together. In fact, you’ve heard me describe in published results that the lectins, particularly in kidney beans, are so mischievous in making red blood cells clump, that there are human experiences of eating healthy bean days in Boston where large numbers of children and teachers wound up in the emergency room sick with bloody diarrhea because the beans that they were eating were undercooked, and the lectins had not been destroyed.
Also, those of you who know the white powder ricin, which was made famous originally in the Japanese subway bombing of years ago, ricin is the lectin of the castor bean. Only a few molecules of ricin will actually cause your entire bloodstream to clot, agglutinate.
This is not a theory that lectins are mischievous, this is actually proven, and it’s used in espionage to this day. Every time you get your blood type, you can thank lectins for telling you your blood type.
Now, I’m not the first person to find that lectins were really bad for you. In fact, it’s been known about for a very long time. Throughout all my books, I try to give you the most up to date research on the effect of lectins, as well as show you some of the older research that first identified lectins as a problem. We really only have to go back, oh, 20 years or so to the famous, or infamous, blood type diet by Dr. Peter D’Adamo.
Now, Dr. D’Adamo, actually, his blood type diet was a lectin avoidance diet. He decided, and I think there’s good reasons why he did that, rather than tell you to avoid lectins, which, I tell you to do, certain ones, but to base your avoidance on your blood type. He, I personally feel, probably indiscriminately said, “You owe people out there,” and I’m a type O, we’re hunter-gatherers, and so, you really ought to be eating meat. You A type people out there weren’t hunter-gathers, and you probably ought to be eating more vegetables, and so on down the line.
Now, the reason that book became so popular is, number one, it was a lectin avoidance diet, but, number two, about 60% of people are type O. Most people could eat animal protein and meats on that diet, and removing lectins actually worked very well. It was kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, and it sold like wildfire.
Now, his critics, and Dr. D’Adamo is not an MD, his critics said this is pseudoscience, there is absolutely no basis on what he’s saying. But I’ve read every one of his books, and the science that he uses is actually very true. For instance, we know that the sugar molecule on type A blood cells also lines the wall of your gut if you’re a type A. We know that the sugar molecule in Os line your gut if you’re a type O, and so on, and so forth. Interestingly enough, type A individuals actually have increased risk of viral and bacterial infections compared to type Os, and there is some interesting evidence, it’s because you type As have a different sugar molecule on the lining of your nose, your gut, your swallowing tube, your esophagus, and that’s why you’re more susceptible because viruses are more apt to buy into that sugar molecule. Rather than pseudoscience, there’s actually really good science behind lectins.
Now, how did I get interested in them? Well, number one, I began seeing a lot of patients with autoimmune disease, following the publication of my first book, now 12 years ago, Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution. In that book, I wrote about a few patients with fibromyalgia, for instance, or an autoimmune disease that got a whole lot better by following my program. My program, for the most part, was eliminating a lot of lectin containing foods.
Now, I was doing it actually for a different reason at that point, I had started to ask people to eat certain foods and take away certain foods, and do blood tests on them every three months. Very rapidly, I found in my clinic that when I asked people to take away certain healthy foods, like grains, for instance, or beans, for instance, that I could see their inflammation markers go down. It was actually quite dramatic. Not only could I see that, but these people would come back and say, “Wow, my hands don’t hurt anymore. My knees don’t creak.” We’d see that their blood pressure plummeted, we’d see that their diabetes was either getting better or going away completely, and we’d see people reverse heart disease.
I compiled a list with the original book, which is rather a humorous story that I’ve told before, and Random House bought my book. They had done all the South Beach Diet books and all the Dr. Atkins books. They liked my book because one of the reasons that Dr. Atkins eventually became a fat man was that he had morphed from being a high fat doctor to being a high protein doctor.
But when they looked at my original list, my original list looked remarkably like the yes foods and no foods from the Plant Paradox and the Longevity Paradox. But my editor said, “Well, this is great, we’re going to do this for phase one of the diet, but in phase two of the diet, you’re going to reintroduce healthy foods like whole grains and beans.” I go, “Wait a minute. No, my research on my patients says that this is really a dumb idea. Besides, don’t you realize that in the phase one of the South Beach Diet and the Atkins Diet, you’re taking away all these healthy things, all these carbohydrates, and in phase two of their diets, you reintroduce these ‘healthy carbohydrates’, and people start gaining weight.” Then, what do you do in those books? You go back to phase one where you take away all those healthy things. I said, “Don’t you see? That’s the mistake they made.”
They said, “Well, we don’t care if that’s a mistake, you’re doing a health book, you’re doing a diet book, and everybody knows that whole grains and beans are good for you and they’re going in the book.” We actually had some fairly vigorous arguments about this, but they were correct, they had bought my book. To this day, those changes are in that book. My critics say, “Well, he used to be a fan of beans and whole grains, there’s soy milk in his first book.” Yes, there was.
But it’s called diet evolution for a reason. My thoughts have evolved, certainly over the 20 years that I’ve been doing this, based on research that wasn’t available in the past. For instance, if you’ve seen my interview with Dr. David Perlmutter on this YouTube channel and on this podcast, he came out with the fifth year anniversary of Grain Brain with 40% new information that he didn’t have five years ago when that book was written, including the knowledge of the human microbiome. When that book was originally written, we had not sequenced the human microbiome. If you’ve listened to that podcast, Dr. Perlmutter and I say, it’s interesting, he says, “40% of my book is new in the last five years because I learned new things.” My thinking has evolved with every patient I see based on new research that either I’ve done or that somebody else has done that’s changed my thoughts. Yet, out there, particularly some of my most vehement critics have not changed their diet recommendation in 40 years despite 40 years of research that’s accumulated, including information about the microbiome that was not known.
Whenever you hear these criticisms, remember that, number one, those critics have actually never treated an actual human being. We call it the practice of medicine for a very good reason, we practice. Quite frankly, practice makes perfect. I hope in five years that I am not saying the exact same thing I’m doing today because I’ll have five more years of experience with patients. Those of you who know me know that I’m one of the few physicians who write in the nutrition space that actually sees patients. I see patients on Saturdays and Sundays, I even saw them over the holiday weekend, a full clinic on Saturday and two-thirds of a clinic on Sunday, on holidays. That’s because, as I talk about in every one of my books, I learn from every one of my patients, and almost everything I’ve learned is because patients ask me a question or because they volunteered to let me look at a bunch of blood every three months and ask them to add foods, take away foods, add a supplement, take away a supplement. There’s very few people in the nutritional space who can make that claim.
And publish. I publish huge numbers of papers in my career. But when I started this, and started writing books, I realized that if I could write a book that could reach millions of people and affect their lives, it would be much smarter for me than to write a paper that would be read by maybe 500, 1,000 doctors. So, my effort is put into writing books that can help a huge number of people. One of the reasons I stopped doing heart surgery, I could operate on 10,000 people, which I’ve done, but teaching people to avoid operation, teaching millions of people, eclipses that. That’s why I do that.
But those abstracts are peer reviewed by professional organizations. For instance, I’m giving a paper next month at the American Heart Association Vascular Biology Meeting that, I can’t tell you all the results, suggests that lectins attaching to the wall of our blood vessels are a major cause of an autoimmune attack on our blood vessels, causing atherosclerosis, causing cholesterol deposits. I will present that paper, and doctors will have the right to criticize and question my paper.
Just because it’s an abstract, doesn’t mean that a bunch of doctors didn’t review that paper and didn’t listen to that paper and then critique it. Just because I’m not going to write something for a journal anymore and instead write a book doesn’t make it any less scientifically valid.
Okay, so, let’s take a quick break.
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Now, through the years, I’ve found many individuals, many of them women, that I call my canaries in a coal mine. These are individuals who even the slightest little exposure to seemingly unimportant lectin containing foods were the cause of their migraines, their irritable bowel syndrome, their fibromyalgia, their autoimmune disease, the cause of having their tonsils removed, the cause of having their gallbladder have stones in them, that these people kept showing up. When we took these foods away from people, they got dramatically better. In fact, if you saw my podcast with a husband and wife team who have a YouTube channel about lectins and the Plant Paradox, and Dave was suffering from a severe Crohn’s disease, so bad that he had actually had operations for it and was hospitalized multiple times, was on immunosuppressant drugs, which were making him sick, and Jan had such severe rheumatoid arthritis, even in her late thirties and early forties, with young kids, that she was basically bedridden, and an incredibly miserable life.
Dave was given the Plant Paradox by a friend. Dave came home and said, “I know Crohn’s isn’t cause by diet, I’ve been told that by my doctor, and I know rheumatoid arthritis isn’t caused by diet, but, honey, we’ve got nothing to lose here.” It was so exciting, particularly to hear from his wife, that within four days of taking lectins out of her diet, following the Plant Paradox, that her hands stopped hurting, her hips stopped hurting, she got out of bed. His Crohn’s is now gone, he does not have Crohn’s. It’s so exciting to hear that they went to Disneyland. This was a bedridden woman and a man who was so afraid to be not far from a hospital because of the severe abdominal pain or diarrhea with blood in it he was going to experience. They’ve completely changed their lives just by getting a few silly plant compounds out of their diet. Wow, how empowering is that? And, wow, this can happen for you. I never met them. All they did was read the book and follow what I asked them to do.
Okay, these people, when I did blood tests on them, we could measure their sensitivity to lectins, I published a paper about that in the circulation, the American Heart Association Journal, that we could predict who was going to react to lectins and who wasn’t. There are some people who clearly, lectins are not that big a deal. If you’re one of them, good for you.
But one of the guys who really turned me around on the power of lectins and how we react to them was a guy who I talk about, Tony, in the Plant Paradox. Tony is a friend of mine, he still is, he came to me early when I actually wrote Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution. He was one of the original adapters of that book. Tony had vitiligo, the loss of pigmentation that Michael Jackson had. He had it on his hands, he had some on his face. Tony, great looking guy. He came after he started on the Plant Paradox, he came up to my office, he said, “Hey, you’ve got to look at this.” I knew him before. He says, “My vitiligo’s gone. All the pigment’s back in.” He says, “What do you think’s going on?”
I’m going, “Wow, I know this is an anti-inflammatory diet, but, boy, that’s a real stretch.” Then, I go back to medical school and I go, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. Melanocytes are what make pigment.” To get really nerdy here, a melanocyte is a nerve cell that, in the embryo, migrates basically from your spinal cord and brain out to the skin. It’s a nerve cell. Lectins were originally devised by plants to paralyze insects, which makes great sense. If you have somebody who was eating you and eating you makes them paralyzed, that’s a really good defense system.
I’m going, “Huh, lectins are mimicking nerve cells, and your immune system is attacking nerve cells as if they were lectins.” This was first described not by me, but by the famous paleo doctor Lauren Cordain from Colorado State who actually wrote the original Paleo Diet. Dr. Cordain said that lectins mimic other proteins in our body, other cells in our body, to get our immune system to have friendly fire, attack normal cells by mistake. It’s called molecular mimicry, he coined the phrase. I said, “Son of a gun, I’ve been taking lectins away from Tony, and he’s no longer attacking his nerve cells, just like Dr. Cordain’s theory predicted.”
Then I lost track of Tony. I actually saw him at a meeting a few years, right before the Plant Paradox came out, and his vitiligo was back. I said, “Well, what’s the deal? How’d that happen?” He says, “Eh, I’m cheating. It’s pretty hard to do what you want me to do. And, yeah, it’s okay.” I said, “Well, wait a minute. You’re a smart guy, let’s run the experiment again.” I said, “Here’s the list,” it was called the matrix back then for my longtime listeners, “Take this and let’s see. See you in a couple months. Come up to my office.” Sure enough, he came back and the vitiligo was gone. I went, “Holy cow, that actually proves that, in fact, for him, lectins were the cause of his problem.”
Then, actually, kind of right after Tony, Jackie, from Oregon, came down, she’s a nurse. Jackie had massive migraine headaches. She’d tried everything. Now, Jackie was a home gardener, and Jackie loved to can a tomato and zucchini relish that she dearly loved. She was telling me about all this, and I said, “Oh, wow, this looks like the problem,” because zucchini and tomatoes have lots of lectins in them. I said, “I want you to get rid of all the lectins in your life, but don’t come near that relish. Watch what happens.”
She called me a few weeks later and said, “Migraines are gone. That was it. Migraines are gone.” The next time I saw her, about a year later, she said, “Things are great, no migraine medications, no migraines, but I miss my relish. I really, really like my relish, and my garden is just finishing up. I’ve got all the zucchini and tomatoes. Please, what are we going to do?”
I said, “Okay, this is great. Let’s have an experiment. I want you to can your zucchini and tomato relish the usual way, but I also want you to can some in a pressure cooker. Let’s see what happens.” Sure enough, her regular stuff, when she ate the relish, she called me and said, “Oh my gosh, migraine. That caused my migraine.” I said, “Okay, just calm down. Let’s give it a few days, and then I want you to try the pressure cooked stuff.” Sure enough, no migraine when she pressure cooked her zucchini and tomatoes, just like we would predict.
Jackie, through the years, has become one of my best canaries. Jackie eventually had grandchildren, and she wanted to give them steel-cut oats, and she wanted to try Cream of Wheat. She decided to use a pressure cooker, and she pressured cooked her oats for like a half an hour, and then 45 minutes, and finally an hour. Every time she ate it, she would get a migraine. She said, “Oh my gosh, I can’t eat oats.” I said, “Oh, yeah, that’s interesting.” I said, “I tell you what, do it with Cream of Wheat.”
She did the same thing with Cream of Wheat, and even after an hour of doing this, it wouldn’t work. I said, “That’s interesting. I don’t get it.” I went down a rabbit hole, and I found this obscure paper, I don’t even know if I have it anymore, that says you cannot destroy the gluten lectin with high heat and high pressure, pressure cooking, it will not break. That’s why you see on my list, do not pressure cook wheat, rye, barley, and oats, it will not work. That’s actually all thanks to Jackie making me say, “Why doesn’t that work?” Sure enough, somebody had figured that out.
Now, subsequently, I published papers in abstract form in circulation of 102 patients with autoimmune disease, including moi, me personally, I have had a marker for antinuclear antibody, which some people associate with lupus or other autoimmune diseases. After I had that discovered, I believed it because my father’s side of the family has massive psoriasis, and I wasn’t surprised. I was perfect on my diet for two months and it went away, it became negative. We published the results of 102 people who followed my program for six months. At the end of six months, 95 out of those 102 were negative for their autoimmune marker or markers off of immunosuppressants. The other 6% were actually on less immunosuppressants. Interestingly enough, in that published data, seven people, once they were in remission, went away from the diet, and all of them, subsequently, became positive for their autoimmune marker, and all seven of them became negative again when we re-instituted the diet.
Now, just last fall, I decided it had been a couple years, I’m going to retest my theory, I’m going to reintroduce over a weekend, aggressively, lectins. I ate bread, I ate pasta, I came back, I drew my blood, and lo and behold, I’m positive again for antinuclear antibody. I go, “Well, that’s pretty cool. I’m going to be perfect for just one week. All I’m going to do, one week, let’s see what happens.” One week later, same lab, same blood drawer, one of my blood drawers, negative for antinuclear antibody.
What’s going on here? Number one, okay, so, I’m a canary. Number two, I am very sensitive to these things, as anyone with autoimmune disease is. I can guarantee you, if you have autoimmune disease, you can’t cheat, sorry about that. But number two, the reason things have changed so much, the reason most of the commercials you see on TV every night for an immunosuppressant for an autoimmune disease like Crohn’s, like rheumatoid arthritis, like psoriasis, you choose the disease, these were very infrequent diseases 50 years ago. Yes, they existed, but they were so infrequent that the tests we used to look for them back in the good old days were called funny tests because they were so funny we rarely got them because we rarely saw these things. Now, most of the commercials you see at night are for these diseases. As I tell all of my patients, these are immunosuppressants, these are transplant drugs that I use when I do a heart transplant. I tell my patients, “Look, you don’t have a heart transplant, you don’t have a kidney transplant, you don’t have a liver transplant, there is absolutely no reason for you to be on a transplant medication to treat your autoimmune disease. You have to treat it by removing certain foods, and those foods contain lectins.”
Now, why are we more sensitive? Because, quite honestly, as I talk about in the Seven Deadly Disruptors, our entire defense system against lectins has been decimated by the fact that we take antibiotics that kill off our gut microbiome, we feed antibiotics to our cows, our pigs, we used to our chickens, and we eat those antibiotics when we eat factory raised meats. We kill off our bacteria by Roundup, and Roundup is in everything. It’s in all of our conventional crops now, it’s in our canola oil, it’s in our oats, it’s in our wheat, it’s in our soybeans, it’s everywhere, it’s in California wines. Roundup kills our microbiome, it was patented by Monsanto as an antibiotic, and it in and of itself causes leaking gut. We can go on and on and on, but quite frankly, we’re now without a defense system against lectins. Lectins are the plant defense system against being eaten, and we have a major defense system against lectins hurting us. Our mucus membranes are lectin absorbers, our gut microbiome eats lectins. We have traditional food preparation techniques that have really helped to reduce lectins.
In the old days, we fermented almost everything because, quite frankly, there was no food storage system. That’s how we actually detoxified lectins. In the good old days, we soaked beans in water and changed that water every four to six hours for at least 24 hours, and then we cooked them for a long time. That absolutely helps reduce lectins, and it’s amazing talking to people from India or Brazil or Peru, their mothers and grandmothers used a pressure cooker whenever they cooked lentils or pulses or other beans. They were shocked that we don’t use pressure cookers in this country.
Things have changed, and we have changed, and that’s why we’ve, quite frankly, got an epidemic with lectins getting into us. Long story short, I wish I had thought of the lectin theory, but I wasn’t around in 1880.
The question people say, “Okay, how do I know if I’m lectin sensitive?” First of all, I’ll make a blanket statement that almost everyone in America has a leaky gut. I wouldn’t believe that 15 years ago, but now, almost everyone who I see has a leaky gut. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, you have a leaky gut. If you have arthritis, you have a leaky gut. If you have irritable bowel, if you are bloated, if you are constipated or diarrhea, you are sensitive to lectins and have a leaky gut. If you have diabetes, prediabetes, insulin resistance, if you have a wheat belly or a beer belly, you are sensitive to lectins. If you have an autoimmune disease or think you have one, you are sensitive to lectins. Here’s the really scary thing, if you have mild cognitive impairment, if you have a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, you are almost certainly sensitive to lectins.
Now, I realize that’s a huge … oh, and if you have skin issues, if you have eczema, if you have hay fever, neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy where you have tingling in your fingers and toes, get lectins out of your life. There are now two papers that show that lectins climb the vagus nerve to your brain, and are responsible, partially, for causing Parkinson’s disease. Think about that, two papers that now show that lectins are the way Parkinson’s disease can occur. Watch what happens when you take these out of your diet. You’ll be really pleasantly surprised.
I touched on molecular mimicry, but let me expand on that for a second. I think it’s important to understand what molecular mimicking means. The Nobel Prize for medicine in 2012, might have been 2011, was won by some doctors who found that our immune cells are white blood cells, use a barcode scanner to determine whether a foreign protein is a protein they recognize or not, foreign or known. They’re called toll-like receptors, in the book I call them tiny, little radars because they’re abbreviated TLRs, and that literally looks … reads the barcode on a protein. It’s literally like putting your passport in the passport scanner. It says, “Oh, this guy can come into this country,” or, “Oops, he’s on the no fly list.” Your immune system literally scans the barcode of everything it sees.
Plants are so clever, and please, don’t get me started about how smart plants are, they’ve had 300 million years to work this out, plants make the protein barcode on lectins mimic, look almost identical, to other proteins in us, like our thyroid gland, like our joint lining, like the lining of our blood vessels. When our immune system, with their barcode scanners, scan lectins, they go, “Uh oh, lectins are bad. I need to go look for lectins wherever I see them,” and then they go by our skin, in the case of psoriasis, or our thyroid, and they see a protein that looks virtually identical but not quite, they go, “Eh, that looks really like a lectin protein barcode. Not quite, but I really don’t want to make a mistake, so I’m going to kill this thing, and I’ll ask questions later.” Very much like sometimes happens in friendly fire.
Think about it from a plant’s standpoint. If you can get an animal to shoot itself in the foot, that would be a great defense system. It makes so much sense. Remember, a plant that can survive or a plant’s baby that can survive, evolutionarily speaking, wins. We don’t even have to concede that a plant thought of this, it just means that if that system kept you or your baby from being eaten, that’s a great system, and that would survive.
Yesterday, I was on a podcast with an evolutionary biologist. He basically said, “This is so great to talk to somebody who actually knows that plants have the same evolutionary power that animals do, and that plants think.” Believe it or not, plants can see, it’s actually really cool, Google it. Let’s give plants their due.
All right, so, why did I write the Plant Paradox? Because even though Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution did very well, I knew that I had to correct the falsehoods in that book. The Plant Paradox, when it was bought by HarperCollins, the first thing I did is said, “You’re not going to touch anything about lectins. I’m not signing a contract unless we spell out that you’re not going to touch this.” They go, “Touch it? We love it. It’s so crazy that people need to hear this. Your research is so ironclad that how could anybody disagree with this because here’s the research?”
To this day, I thank HarperCollins for having their faith in me. As it turns out, that book became a monster bestseller, it’s been translated into 34 languages, and it’s spawned three additional New York Times bestsellers, including the Longevity Paradox, which takes this concept of leaky gut caused by lectins to showing you how you can take control of your fate and your longevity and your longterm health.
In all my books, particularly the Plant Paradox and the Plant Paradox Cookbook, there are phases that I want you to go to. In phase one, I want you to get rid of lectins, and that doesn’t last very long. In phase two, we start showing you how to detoxify lectins, tricks like peeling and deseeding a tomato or a zucchini or a pepper. In phase three, once we’ve kind of healed your gut and we give you the tricks for doing that, then we actually let you reintroduce one at a time lectin containing foods that you’re particularly interested in trying. Most of the time, you’ll find out really right away whether you’re going to be able to tolerate that food or not.
It’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, it’s actually incredibly empowering how you can get to a point where many of us can enjoy lectin containing foods as long as you know how to handle them. There’s tricks in every one of the books to get lectin containing foods in you by detoxifying the lectins, to breaking them down in a pressure book, like an Instant Pot, is just one of the best devices in the world. Want a tomato? Peel and deseed them. My mother did all my life, she was taught by her mother to do it. I was just up in Canada being interviewed by a paper, and we were talking about this. The woman talking to me said, “Well, of course, you always have to peel and deseed tomatoes. Everybody knows that because they’re toxic,” she said. I said, “Yeah.”
Last, I’ll leave you with this, no American ate a tomato until the mid-1850s when a colonel decided to say he was going to commit suicide on the Salem County Courthouse steps outside Philadelphia by eating a bushel of tomatoes. He got a big audience, obviously, and he proceeded to eat a bunch of tomatoes and he didn’t die. Now, one of my critics uses that example to prove that tomatoes won’t kill you. My critic needs to come in and talk to the number of patients in my office who got rid of their tomatoes or pressure cook their tomatoes, and their arthritis went away, their migraines went away. They reintroduced tomatoes, their migraines came back, their arthritis came back. They pressure cooked their tomatoes, their arthritis went away and their migraines went away. My critics, treat patients, practice medicine, publish your results, please. Then we can have a conversation.
One audience question we get all the time, does commercial canning of tomatoes remove the lectins? Here’s the deal, in Italy, they have to peel and deseed tomatoes before they can make sauces and pastes. Please, look for an Italian brand of sauce or canned tomatoes or … not canned tomatoes, because they may have seeds in them, or paste. We are now seeing American brands using peeled and deseeded tomatoes, and it will say so right on the front. Those will be perfectly safe. But remember, if you have diabetes or prediabetes, please remember that tomatoes are a fruit and they have a very high sugar content. That’s why I like to use a like Italian tomato paste where you’ll get really concentrated flavor of the tomato without all the sugar content.
Now, the second question that comes up, you astute readers have noticed that in the Longevity Paradox, I become quite a fan of lentils. Now, I allow lentils in phase three of the Plant Paradox and beans in phase three of the Plant Paradox, always have, as long as you pressure cook them or buy Eden brand beans, which are pressure cooked and they have BPA-free cans. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been against beans and lentils as long as you destroy the lectins.
But lentils are particularly interesting because they contain this compound called polyamines. Polyamines have been shown, particularly in animal studies, to promote longevity. When I visited the Italian village Acciaroli, south of Naples, last year, I was amazed that, number one, even though they’re Italians, they don’t eat bread, they don’t eat pasta, they don’t eat grains, and they actually don’t eat tomatoes, but they eat lentils. When I read the research on lentils containing polyamines, I said, “Aha, those clever Acciarolians, they’re eating a life promoting substance in lentils.”
The other thing I like about pressure cooked lentils is that lentils are mostly protein and very little sugar content as opposed to many other beans have a much higher sugar content. Last but not least, lentils, because their surface area is so small, soaking actually, if that’s what you’re going to do, soak your lentils for 24 hours, change the water every four to six hours, and you’ll do a pretty good job of getting the lectins out of lentils.
That’s it for the Dr. Gundry Podcast, and I did this, and I’m doing it today because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.
Let’s get to this week’s review of the week. Mickey writes, “Enjoy your podcast, Dr. Gundry. I finished the Longevity Paradox last week and it was fantastic. I enjoyed how it built off the information in the Plant Paradox. You’ve had some great guests like Sean Stevenson and Daniel Amen, but I would love to hear more from you directly. You have so much important information on your own that we want to hear. Aha, I have a parent that was diagnosed with an atypical Parkinson’s six years ago. Is it too late to make an impact by having her follow the Plant Paradox? Is it ever too late to focus on gut health? Thank you, another Midwesterner in Southern California.”
Well, first of all, it is absolutely, positively never too late. If you’ve looked at some of my stories in the Longevity Paradox, you know that it is never too late. I’ve been just delighted, often shocked with the turn around that can occur. A lot of you who have the Plant Paradox, make sure you read the afterword, it’s kind of in a funny spot, but it’s about a 102 year old woman who turned her life around. It is never too late.
If you’d like me to read your review, make sure to subscribe, rate, and review my podcast on iTunes. If you’re listening on your mobile device, take a screenshot, share your favorite takeaway, and add a tag me in your Instastories. I’ll make sure to re-share them in mine.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Dr. Gundry podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind you that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you want to watch each episode of the Dr. Gundry podcast, you could always find me on YouTube at YouTube.com/drgundry because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.