Putting it all together

Nutrition that heals. Part 3

What Works

Low Lectin Diet

According to Dr. S. Gundry, “The Plant Paradox”

Abbreviated version for your convenience (Dr. A. Ingendaay)
the book is excellent in explaining exactly how we can best work with Mother Nature to optimize our nutrition.

It also delineates several stages of this diet. (See next blog post)

6 weeks of adhering to these recommendations should make a significant shift for the better and give you more resilience in consuming other types of food.

“Lectin, oh, lectin why are you my bane?

You taste so good and yet you cause me pain.”


Vegetables: a wide variety, check out the “no list” which includes mostly vegetables that have a lot of seeds, such as zucchini and all the night shades

Fruit: Must check out list and be conservative, no fruit juice

All meat and fish that has been properly raised without corn and grains. Pasture fed, organic

The eggs of these animals.

Dairy: mostly NOT bovine, except, cream cheese and heavy cream, see below

Nuts and seeds: see list below

Grains: only Millet is allowed. A variety of unusual sorts of flour is allowed, no grain flour

Legumes/Beans : NO

No sugar, stevia as sweetener

Oils: best to cook with Avocado or coconut oil, for salads, olive oil, flax seed and macadamia nut oil are particularly good

Even SIMPLER: begin with the following and refine as you go along:

Beware of certain vegetables: all those that have a lot of SEEDS, as well as the night shades.

Be sparing of fruit . No fruit juice, no sugar, may sweeten with Stevia, high percentage chocolate is ok

Beware of grains and legumes of all kinds. Millet is ok.

No bread, pasta, rice etc…No beans of any kind

No potatoes or corn

Avoid cow dairy except for heavy cream and cream cheese

Avoid certain nuts and many types of seeds

Oils: best to cook with Avocado or coconut oil, for salads, olive oil, flax seed and macadamia nut oil are particularly good


all cruciferous: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts

Leafy greens: bok choy, collard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, endives, mustard greens etc…

Cabbages of all kinds

Arugula, kohl rabi, radicchios

Sauerkraut, kim chee…

Celery, onions, leeks, chives, scallions

Carrots and beets only RAW or FERMENTED/PICKLED

Radishes, asparagus, fennel


Cilantro, garlic, parsley, basil, mint

Seaweed and sea vegetables

Sweet potatoes and yams, rutabaga, parsnips,


Dairy products: real Parmesan, Buffalo butter/mozzarella, Ghee, Goat cheese/milk/yogurt

Cheese: French, Italian or Swiss.

Whey protein powder

Heavy cream and sour cream (organic!)

Oils: best to cook with Avocado or coconut oil, for salads, olive oil, flaxseed and macadamia nut oil are particularly good

Nuts: macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, chestnuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts

Coconut and its milk, not its water

Seeds: Flaxseeds, sesame, hemp seeds, psyllium

Olives: YES, all

Vinegar: YES, all

Herbs: YES, all

Wine: red, 6 oz/day

Spirits: all, 1 oz/d

Fish: any wild caught, 4 oz/d.

Fruits: limit all but avocado, (yes, considered a fruit)

All the berries, cherries, crispy pears, pomegranates, kiwis, apples, citrus, nectarine, peaches, plums, apricots, figs and dates

all cruciferous: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts

Leafy greens: bok choy, collard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, endives, mustard greens etc…

Cabbages of all kinds

Arugula, kohl rabi, radicchios

Sauerkraut, kim chee…

Celery, onions, leeks, chives, scallions

Carrots and beets only RAW or FERMENTED/PICKLED

Radishes, asparagus, fennel


Cilantro, galic, parsley, basil, mint

Seaweed and sea vegetables

Sweet potatoes and yams, rutabaga, parsnips,


Pastured poultry (not “free range”), chicken, turkey duck..including their eggs

Grass fed! Beef, vension, wild game, lamb

Sweeteners: Stevia

Chocolate: 72% or higher

Flours: Coconut, almond, hazelnut, sesame, chestnut, sweet potato, arrowroot, sorghum


All refined starchy foods,

Flour made from grains ( wheat, rye, buckwheat)

Oats, Quinoa, kasha, spelt, corn, wheatgrass and barley grass

Rice (if you must, better have white rice)



Vegetables: peas, all beans including sprouts, all lentils, legumes, chickpeas, soy including tofu,

cucumbers, zucchini,


squashes of any kind, melons of any kind,

all nightshades including eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers


Nuts and seeds: Pumpkin, sunflower, chia, peanuts, cashews

Oils: soy, corn, grape seed, peanut, safflower, sunflower, vegetable, canola


by Angela Ingendaay, M.D.






Nutrition that heals: Avoid the lectins

Nutrition that heals. Part 2

What are lectins and why should I avoid them?

Lectins are a type of protein that can bind to cell membranes. Lectins offer a way for molecules to stick together without getting the immune system involved, which can influence cell-cell interaction.

Lectins are abundant in raw legumes and grains, and most commonly found in the part of the seed that becomes the leaves when the plant sprouts, aka the cotyledon, but also on the seed coat. They’re also found in dairy products and certain vegetables. While lectin content in food is fairly constant, the genetic altering of plants has created some fluctuations.

Lectins in plants are a defense against microorganisms, pests, and insects. They may also have evolved as a way for seeds to remain intact as they passed through animals’ digestive systems, for later dispersal. Lectins are resistant to human digestion and they enter the blood unchanged.

Why are lectins so important?

Lectins are thought to play a role in immune function, cell growth, cell death, and body fat regulation.

Immune response and toxicity

Because we don’t digest lectins, we often produce antibodies to them. Almost everyone has antibodies to some dietary lectins in their body. This means our responses vary. Certain foods can even become intolerable to someone after an immune system change or the gut is injured from another source. The presence of particular lectins can stimulate an immune system response.

Lectins and the intestinal wall

Lectins can damage the intestinal lining, (…) and the gut can become “leaky,” allowing various molecules (including stuff we don’t want) to pass back and forth amid the gut wall. We may also not absorb other important things, such as vitamins and minerals, properly.

Lectins and immune response

When lectins affect the gut wall, it may also cause a broader immune system response as the body’s defenses move in to attack the invaders.

Symptoms can include skin rashes, joint pain, and general inflammation. Other chronic disorders may be correlated with leaky gut — for example, researchers have even noted that children with autism have very high rates of leaky gut and similar inflammatory GI tract diseases.

Lectins and grains

Unrefined grains are more nutritious than refined versions because they contain more nutrients. However, they also provide more lectins (and other anti-nutrients).

Grain, cereal, dairy, and legume (especially peanut and soybean) lectins are most commonly associated with reports of digestive complaints. Legumes and seafood are the most abundant sources of lectins in most diets.

How can we reduce or neutralize lectins?


Sprouting seeds, grains or beans decreases the lectin content.

Generally, the longer the duration of sprouting, the more lectins are deactivated. In some cases the lectin activity is enhanced by sprouting (like alfalfa sprouts). The lectins in some grains and beans are in the seed coat. As it germinates, the coat is metabolized – eliminating lectins.

Soaking and cooking

If you must have grains and legumes, soak beans and legumes overnight, and change the water often. Drain and rinse again before cooking. Adding sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) to the soaking water may help neutralize the lectins further.


Fermentation allows beneficial bacteria to digest and convert many of the harmful substances.

This might be why the healthiest populations stick with fermented soy products like tofu, miso, tempeh, tamari and natto. Even some vegetables, such as cabbage, may have fewer antinutrients when fermented. Cultures with a history of grain eating traditionally have used some form of fermentation to treat grains. If you’ve had sourdough bread or beer, you’ve had fermented grains.

Not all lectins are completely destroyed by these methods, and some particularly stubborn lectins in beans remain no matter how lengthy the treatment. Thus, these techniques don’t totally reduce the negative effects for everyone.

Extra credit

Certain seaweeds and mucilaginous vegetables have the ability to bind lectins in a way that makes them unavailable to the cells of the gut.

The “Blood Type Diet” is based on how our blood cells react with lectins in foods.

Some experts hypothesize that it’s no coincidence the top 8 allergens also contain some of the highest amounts of lectins (including: dairy, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish).


by Angela Ingendaay, M.D.




The awesome polyphenols

Nutrition that heals. Part 1

If you truly want to nourish your body deeply while avoiding what may well disrupt your digestion and cause you to have a greater influx of toxins, you would maximize “polyphenols” and minimize “lectins” in your diet. At least this is as per the extensive research Dr Gundry, cardiovascular surgeon has come up with over the last few years.

You may ask: What are polyphenols and what are lectins, and why bother to know?

Here are some explanations. In essence, polyphenols are compounds that have very high antioxidant potential and keep our bodies well-nourished and cleared of toxins, whereas lectins are proteins on the surface of many foods that are part of nature’s self-defense mechanism. They have mild toxicity in themselves and also can promote “leaky gut” a condition in which the intestines become less selective in what they absorb and thus allow more toxins into the body.

Some foods contain both and thus should be avoided. Below is a list of what to consume and what to heed.

What are polyphenols?

From “www.healthline.com”

Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. They’re packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. It’s thought that polyphenols can improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases.

You can get polyphenols by eating foods containing them. You can also take supplements, which come in powder and capsule forms.

Polyphenols may have several unwanted side effects, however. These are most common when taking polyphenol supplements instead of getting them naturally through food. The most common side effect with the strongest scientific evidence is the potential for polyphenols to interfere with or limit iron absorption.

Factors that influence activity of polyphenols in the body include metabolism, intestinal absorption, and the bioavailability of the polyphenol. Although some foods may have higher polyphenol levels than others, this does not necessarily mean that they are absorbed and used at higher rates.

Read on to learn the polyphenol content of many foods. Unless otherwise stated, all numbers are given in milligrams (mg) per 100 grams (g) of food.

BENEFICIAL/no lectin involved

  1. Vegetables

There are many vegetables that contain polyphenols, though they usually have less than fruit. Vegetables with high numbers of polyphenols include:

  • artichokes, with 260 mg polyphenols
  • chicory, with 166–235 mg polyphenols
  • red onions, with 168 mg polyphenols, leeks…
  • spinach, with 119 mg polyphenols, also all other leafy greans and cruciferous begetables, such as brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli

definitely recommended!

  1. Nuts

Nuts can be high in caloric value, but they pack a powerful nutritional punch. Not only are they full of protein; some nuts also have high polyphenol content.

One 2012 study found significant levels of polyphenols in a number of both raw and roasted nuts. Nuts high in polyphenols include:

  • hazelnuts, with 495 mg polyphenols – good
  • walnuts, with 28 mg polyphenols – good
  • almonds, with 187 mg polyphenols – not recommended
  • pecans, with 493 mg polyphenols
  1. Cloves and other seasonings

In a 2010 study that identified the 100 foods richest in polyphenols, cloves came out on top. Cloves had a total of 15,188 mg polyphenols per 100 g of cloves. There were a number of other seasonings with high rankings, too. These included dried peppermint, which ranked second with 11,960 mg polyphenols, and star anise, which came in third with 5,460 mg.

  1. Cocoa powder and dark chocolate

Cocoa powder was the fourth richest polyphenol food identified, with 3,448 mg polyphenols per 100 g of the powder. It’s not a surprise that dark chocolate fell close behind on the list and was ranked eighth with 1,664 mg.

  1. Black and green tea

Want to shake it up? In addition to high-fiber fruits, nuts, and vegetables, black and green teas both contain ample amounts of polyphenols. Black tea clocks in with 102 mg polyphenols per 100 milliliters (mL), and green tea has 89 mg.


  1. Red wine

Many people drink a glass of red wine every night for the antioxidants. The high number of polyphenolsin red wine contributes to that antioxidant count. Red wine has a total of 101 mg polyphenols per 100 mL. Rosé and white wine, while not as beneficial, still have a decent chunk of polyphenols, with 100 mL of each having

  1. Berries

A number of different types of berries are rich in polyphenols. These include popular and easily accessible berries like:

  • highbush blueberries, with 560 mg polyphenols
  • blackberries, with 260 mg polyphenols
  • strawberries, with 235 mg polyphenols
  • red raspberries, with 215 mg polyphenols

The berry with the most polyphenols? Black chokeberry, which has more than 1,700 mg polyphenols per 100 g.

Because they are fruit, there is some issue with lectins, so consume in moderation.

  1. Non-berry fruits

Berries aren’t the only fruits with plenty of polyphenols. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a large number of fruits contain high numbers of polyphenols. These include:

  • black currants, with 758 mg polyphenols
  • plums, with 377 mg polyphenols
  • sweet cherries, with 274 mg polyphenols
  • apples, with 136 mg polyphenols

Because they are fruit, there is some issue with lectins, so consume in moderation

Fruit juices = not recommended by Dr Gundry


  1. Beans – not recommended by Dr Gundry

10. Soy – definitely NOT recommended except in fermented form: miso and tempeh

Soy, in all its various forms and stages, contains large numbers of this valuable micronutrient. These forms include

Learn more about LECTINS


by Angela Ingendaay, M.D.




Nutrition that heals-Introduction

Intro to the topic: Nutrition that heals

Nutrition that heals is one of my favorite topics. As many of us know, healthy nutrition can be a tricky thing and not all that is meant to be “good for you” pans out to be so.

In his book “The plant paradox”, Dr Gundry, cardiovascular surgeon, sheds light on how food can make us well or ill. If we understand it well, we can side step the toxins and work with Mother Nature to be deeply npurished.

A few basic principles

“Disease begins and ends in the gut.”

Not all fruits and vegetables as well as other foods are innocuous and all nourishing, they carry their own toxins to defend themselves against being consumed. These toxins can give rise to problems such as leaky gut, immune reactivity, inflammation, pain and fatigue.

From Dr Gundry’s web site, www.drgundry.com,

“The Gundry Philosophy is a radical break from the traditional dietary “wisdom” which has failed so many Americans over the past few decades.

My research offers a breakthrough for those of you who have struggled for years with low energy levels, unhealthy weight, and frequent illness. If you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked… I’d like to offer you HOPE.

My philosophy centers around the fact that the human digestive system is a very complex and very sensitive machine. It needs key energy sources that you’re not getting in your diet… and at the same time, it’s damaged by a huge number of foods that are a big part of our “Standard American Diet.”

He particularly hones into LECTINS, proteins on the surface of a variety of foods that encourage immune reactivity. Gluten is a well known example of a lectin, unfortunately the list is longer than that.

From Dr Gundry

“I already told you how my clinical study for the AMA showed that lectins were linked to blood vessel damage and even higher risk of heart disorders. But they’re responsible for a lot more…

1. Lectins cause massive digestive damage

Lectins don’t get broken down by your GI tract, so they disrupt your digestion, reduce energy absorption, weaken your immune system, and throw off your gut bacteria.

2. Lectins poke holes in your intestinal walls and leak into your bloodstream

This is known as “Leaky Gut,” and it causes massive inflammation all over your body. This can damage your internal organs, your joint tissues, and may even be the source of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes mellitus.

3. Lectins are directly linked to weight gain

Lectins stick to your insulin receptors and block the hormone which controls your appetite. And when this hormone is blocked, your brain never gets the “message” you’re full — so you just keep eating! Studies show conclusively that blocking this hormone actually causes human weight gain.

The good news is that there are nutrients that can turn this around, primarily “polyphenols”:

“Get lots of POLYPHENOLS into your body.”

~ Dr Gundry


Polyphenols are a micro nutrient found in certain plants.

  • Dark blue or purple fruits — like pomegranate, mulberries— are very dense with polyphenols.
  • Many other food sources, including: extra virgin olive oil, hazelnuts, coffee beans, ginger, red wine, dark chocolate, endive, kale, fennel seed, pine bark (extract found in Pycnogenel)

But the fact is, they’re missing in our processed “Standard American Diet.” Worse, some high-polyphenol foods — such as tomatoes — should be avoided because they also contain the lectins we discussed above…

I’m constantly raving about polyphenols because they’re incredible natural energy boosters and they provide so many other healing benefits…

1. Polyphenols improve blood vessel function

My own landmark study — presented to the American Heart Association in 2013 — proved that a diet HIGH in polyphenols and LOW in lectins can significantly improve blood vessel function and help lower the markers for cardiovascular disease.

2. Polyphenols help balance healthy cholesterol levels

Studies show that a type of polyphenol called anthocyanin can help decrease your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and help increase your HDL, or “good,” cholesterol levels.

3. Polyphenols strengthen your digestive system

Polyphenols help you digest your food better by “feeding” the microorganisms in your gut that keep you healthy. In this way, they’re essential to reducing digestive issues (like gas or bloating), boosting your immune system, and helping your body process more energy from food.

Bottom line: Your body needs polyphenols from the right sources and simply cannot function correctly without them.

Maximizing Polyphenols and minimizing Lectins seems to be the name of the game for many of us, especially those that are “lectin sensitive”.

Learn more about Lectins.

Learn more about Polyphenols.

  • We appreciate any comments about Nutrition that heals.



by Angela Ingendaay, M.D.