How do lectins and phytates affect Celiac Disease?

What are lectins?

Lectins are found in both animal and plant sources. Lectins are a protein. They can cause similar symptoms to gluten intolerance.

Eating large amounts of certain types of lectins can damage the gut wall. This causes irritation that can result in symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. It can also prevent the gut from absorbing nutrients properly.

The highest concentrations of lectins are found in legumes, grains, and nightshade vegetables.

Soaking them overnight and cooking them thoroughly helps remove the lectin content so that you are better able to digest them. Sprouting and fermenting also reduce the lectin content.

They’re also important sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and so including them in your diet in small amounts is beneficial.


What are phytates?

Phytates are also found in plant foods. Research shows that Phytic acid can prevent the absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium and may promote mineral deficiencies if eaten with every meal.

Phytic acid is found in plant seeds, nuts, legumes, and grains.

Soaking, sprouting and fermenting can reduce the phytic acid by up to 80%.

Phytic acid is beneficial and serves as an antioxidant.

However, those at risk of an iron or zinc deficiency should diversify their diets and not include high phytate foods in all meals.

Lectins and phytates are natural proteins and beneficial to health.

However, when you have intestinal permeability due to Celiac disease, these things can affect you to a greater degree.

Studies show that they can increase inflammation when the gut is compromised.

Eating them in small amounts and following methods like sprouting, fermenting, cooking for long and soaking will help.

Why do lectins and phytates affect those with celiac disease?

Celiac disease damages the lining of the gut which causes intestinal permeability. When this happens, your body struggles to absorb nutrients correctly or release enough digestive enzymes to break down different proteins in food. This can impact how your body processes food.


Disclaimer: this is an educational post and not meant to treat, cure or diagnose anything. Nor is it for or against any type of food or diet. Knowing why we react to certain food is part of educating ourselves on how our body functions and why as someone with Celiac disease, you could potentially be reacting to certain things.

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