One of my favorite things to do is talk to people about food. You can learn so much about someone by finding out what they love to cook, eat, and serve.
Of course, it’s one thing to try and help people find healthier ways to eat the foods they love. But, when I come across people who are trying to eat vegetarian or vegan, I often learn even more about them. Usually, they’ve spent a good deal of time thinking about their diet—whether the choice stemmed from health or environmental reasons, or both.
Sometimes, folks make assumptions about how a lectin-free diet isn’t for them because they’re trying to practice a meatless lifestyle. But, I’m practically a vegetarian myself. That’s why every one of my recipes has a vegetarian or vegan option.
So, today I want to talk to you about how to get loads of protein without having to rely on lectin-filled grains or even soy.
Watch the video here:
Or keep reading below:
And all you have to do is fill up on these…
5 Vegetarian Superfoods
- Avocado – This superfood is pretty much one of the only fruits you can have daily. That’s right … you can eat avocado every day. Not only is this delicious fruit one of the healthiest fats you can put in your body, but it’s full of soluble fiber. And did I mention it’s a protein powerhouse?
Here’s another fun fact:
Did you know that avocado packs almost as much protein as the incredible, edible egg? In fact, studies show adding just one avocado a day to your diet can result in some healthy weight loss.1
2. Leafy greens – My faves are spinach, kale, and collard greens. They’re earthy and flavorful, with tons of protein. Bitter, leafy greens are the best. Not only are these veggies nutrient-dense, they’re also full of vital antioxidants, like flavonoids and carotenoids, which are crucial for fighting dangerous free radical damage.2
And, they’re loaded with fiber to make you feel full — fast. Furthermore, they help promote healthy metabolism, and they contain thylakoids – little sac-like membranes in the leaves which help suppress hunger.3
3. Mushrooms – The bottom line … mushrooms are really tasty, and they’re pretty high in protein for a veggie. Not only that, but mushrooms are heavy in fructooligosaccharides.4 (Say what? I know, it’s a mouthful. So, let’s just call them “FOS”). FOS are emerging prebiotics. Basically, they’re indigestible sugars that can help make your “good” gut bugs really happy.
4. Nuts – Now, when it comes to nuts, you’ve got to be a little careful. Most people don’t know this, but some “nuts” are actually seeds. For instance, cashews are seeds – and full of lectins. Some “nuts” — like the peanut — are also legumes, and they’re lectin bombs.
But real nuts – like walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and macadamias – can be wonderful for your health. In fact, nuts are even included in the American Heart Association dietary metrics for heart health.5 So, make a handful of the right nuts a part of your daily routine.
5. Beans – Now, it may surprise you that I’m including beans. But there’s a secret about this amazing source of protein… Though beans do contain lectins, if you pressure cook them, you can actually kill almost all of the lectins inside them. Now, I wouldn’t recommend eating them every day, but when pressure-cooked, they’re a good occasional source of protein. And, just in case you’re wondering if cooking beans in crock pot or over the stove will do the same thing, here’s the science behind why pressure cooking kills lectins.
Turns out, there are lots of vegetarian and vegan options to enjoy, even if you’re trying to limit your lectin intake. And just because you see animal sources of protein in some lectin-free recipes, it doesn’t mean you’re out of the game. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, give these five vegetarian superfoods a go and see how satiated they leave you …
And how good they make you feel.
Looking out for you,
Steven Gundry, MD