These days there are so many ways in which your immune system can become compromised. The good news is, a healthy diet can go a long way towards supporting the health of your immune system.
Learn about a lectin-free diet and some great foods to eat each and every day that will also support the health of your immune system.
Why Eat Lectin-free? What Are The Benefits?
The lectins in plant foods can be a real problem for your body — and that includes your immune system. You see, when lectins enter your digestive tract they can pervade the cells that protect your intestine. That’s an issue because your gut barrier cells are supposed to keep harmful disease-causing pathogens out.
But when lectins bind to carbohydrates, they can cause problematic issues during digestion. These dangerous plant proteins can resist being processed in your gut and can even survive acidic environments like your gut.1
In their active state, lectins can potentially lead to a host of negative health effects like —
- The clumping together of red blood cells
- Upset stomach
Moreover, if your intestinal barrier gets compromised, your immune system can become vulnerable to various health issues. In fact, sometimes people endure symptoms similar to those linked to food poisoning.3
What does that mean? Well, consuming lectin-rich foods can potentially result in serious abdominal discomfort, vomiting, and sometimes even diarrhea.4 All of these are reasons to include polyphenol-rich, lectin-free foods in your diet.
Which Lectin-free Foods Support Immune Health?
So, by now you’re likely wondering which lectin-free foods out there might actually support your immune health. To learn more about the polyphenols in certain foods and how they can help you maintain your health, check out the list of Dr. Gundry-approved superfoods below:
Green Tea — Tea is a popular go-to for many people the minute they feel their immune system becoming compromised — and with good reason.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants. One of the most powerful antioxidants in green tea is called epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG). In recent studies, EGCG has been reported to support your body’s immune function.5
And though black tea also contains EGCG, when it is fermented the EGCG gets destroyed. But green tea is not fermented when it is made. Instead, it is simply steamed and the EGCG remains intact.
Broccoli — This cruciferous veggie favorite is supercharged with polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Broccoli packs a nutritional punch
and happens to be one of the healthiest veggies you can eat. Full of good-for-you nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin E, broccoli also boosts your antioxidant and fiber intake.6 Broccoli also contains iron and zinc.7
Garlic — If you’re looking for flavor, look no further than a clove of garlic. Garlic puts the zing in your dishes while supporting the health of your immune system. According to the most recent studies, garlic appears to support more than just immune function. It may also support:
- Weight management
- Heart health
- Healthy blood sugar levels already within a normal range
- Digestive health8
Spinach — Spinach is packed full of essential vitamins. But, spinach is also full of antioxidants and beta carotene. Beta carotene has been said to help to go a long way in supporting the health of your immune system.9 Spinach works its magic best when it’s cooked down as little as possible. This allows the leafy green to retain its nutrients.
Blanched Almonds — Almonds are a great source of vitamin E which is a major key to help your immune system stay strong and healthy.
For starters, vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, this means it needs fat to be present so it can be properly absorbed. Almonds are packed with vitamin E and the necessary healthy fats. Just make sure to purchase blanched almonds (or blanch them yourself) to avoid harmful lectins.10
And The Grand Finale Of Lectin-free Immune Support Superfoods: The Mushroom
Dr. Gundry has touted mushrooms for quite some time. Not only are mushrooms low in calories (a single cup of raw white mushrooms comes in at only 16 calories), but they are also relatively rich in fiber, protein, and they’re an awesome source of the following vitamins and minerals:
- B vitamins
- Selenium 11
Plus, mushrooms happen to have high ergothioneine and glutathione content — two very special antioxidants, as reported in a recent Pennsylvania State University study published in The Journal of Food Chemistry. Both ergothioneine and glutathione have gained traction for supporting heart and cognitive health issues.12
Moreover, mushrooms have a very unique property in that, unlike most other plant-based foods, mushrooms can convert UV light from the sun into valuable vitamin D, which is also beneficial for supporting the immune system. 13
One more note about the almighty mushroom: Mushrooms (which happen to be rich in carbohydrates) have the ability to act as prebiotics once they hit your gut. That means they can assist in the stimulation of your gut microbiota, feeding them so they thrive well and offer even more health benefits to you once digested.14
So, consider mushrooms at the top of your list of go-to foods when it comes to immune support.
Lectin-free Immune-supportive Foods
In addition to all the foods listed above, don’t forget to include olive oil or polyphenol-rich11 super fruits like the avocado in your diet. These foods all work together to support better health — and they happen to taste great and can be used in almost any dish.
Disclosure: The GundryMD team creates these articles as a way to provide you with the latest information on health and nutrition. Unfortunately, we cannot make specific product recommendations for our website visitors, such as “Vital Reds” or “gundry md dark spot diminisher” Please consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best products for you.