Could grains be messing with your gut?
Grains have been linked to…
Grains consumption has been linked to allergies, food sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, colon cancer, pancreatic disorders, mineral deficiencies, celiac disease, epilepsy, cerebellar ataxia, dementia, degenerative diseases of the brain and central nervous system and more.
Grains contain ‘anti-nutrients’
Grains like wheat, rice, corn, oats, rye etc have become a staple of the modern diet, however, when they are stripped of their nutrients and not prepared properly, this can trigger an inflammatory response in your body. Even non-gluten grains contain ‘anti-nutrients’ such as phytic acid which, when eaten, bind to essential minerals and proteins such as zinc and calcium, preventing absorption. This is also the case for nuts and legumes.
Grains contain lectins which damage the gut
Grains also contain lectins which can damage the lining of your gut and prevent good digestion. When the gut is out of whack – everything is out of whack!
Prepare your grains properly
Preparing your foods correctly can help to reduce and sometimes eliminate these anti-nutrients. You can soak your nuts overnight and then dehydrate them to get them crunchy again to ‘activate’ or ‘sprout’ them. You can also soak legumes and non-gluten grains like quinoa and buckwheat and overnight to ‘sprout’ them. Legumes are particularly rich in starch and contain numerous anti-nutrients that can cause mineral deficiencies and other problems so it’s important that you take the time to prepare them properly for gut health. They also contain protein protease inhibitors which can damage one’s ability to properly digest and use dietary protein and also potentially damage the pancreas over time.
Grains + Legumes affect your thyroid
Grains and legumes also contain giotrogens or thyroid-inhibiting substances as well as foreign proteins like gluten and gliadin and are an extremely common source of allergies and sensitivities and can lead to both physical and mental disorders – remember that EVERYTHING starts in the gut.
Plants protect themselves – and this can affect humans gut linings
Seeds of plants (grains) are designed to hang onto their stored proteins, fats and minerals over long periods of time, and as a result, the plant protects them in a shell that our digestive enzymes can’t loosen. Soaking the seeds activates the plants own digestive enzymes to soften the seed and free up bound nutrients and even create new ones!
Grains contain pesticides and GMOs
Another reason that I avoid grains 90% of the time (except for the times when you’re eating out and can’t avoid them), is that they are covered in pesticides and GMOs. Wheat flour is often contaminated with mould toxins and allergen proteins (insect parts and rat faeces). Even when flours are organically grown, farmers treat the crops like construction material, changing the shape of the grain into puffed rice, swashing it onto corn flakes etc.
Generally, people eat more grains and less of the more nutritious food groups
Something to consider is that as we eat more grains, we tend to slowly eliminate other nutritional meats, vegetables and fats because the grains will fill us up. These grains add up and convert directly into simple sugars in the blood stream, which, over time can lead to insulin resistance.
NOW!!! I’m not saying you have to give up on them completely….I mean if I could eat one thing (but I’m allergic) … It would have to be a warm baguette with butter.
Sourdough that is properly made goes through the fermentation process so it is much easier for our body to digest. You can also now buy sprouted bread from many health food stores and activated nuts and seeds. Otherwise, just reduce your grain intake and see how you feel! Also check out my RECIPES which are all grain free (AND DELICIOUS)
You’ll learn tonnes more about grains and other food groups in my 8-week program coming out October 3rd 2017 so be sure to sign up to receive all the details (and a bonus!) FIRST!
Cordain L. Feb 23, 2002. “Millet: A gluten free grain you should avoid”, A Paleo Diet
Shanaham, Catherine. (2008). Deep Nutrition. Flatiron Books. NY
Oats, Carla (2016). The Beauty Chef. The Beauty Chef. Sydney.
Gedgaudas, Nora T. (2009), Primal Body, Primal mind; beyond the Paleo diet for total health and a longer life. Healing Arts Press. United States
Pitchford, Paul (2002). Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. 3rd ed. North Atlantic Books. CA