Legumes and Paleo diet

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Legumes in Paleo diet do not play any role

The most common legumes which are currently present are beans, lentils, soybeans and peanuts. There are certain types of legumes which are highly toxic in nature when they are in their uncooked form. They are so highly dangerous, according to a research they can kill mice in just two weeks when they are carefully administered in their raw form and added to just 1% of their diet. Now it is considered that these dangerous toxins are removed when the legumes are cooked but that is not true because not all of them do. There was a time when there was a restriction in the import of red beans in South Africa. They were also legally prohibited for the human consumption because of their potential toxicity nature.

Legumes are categorized as tossocologicamente, which puts them in the same category as the cereals. They are from the family of grains and are often consumed by the herbivores. To protect themselves from the mammals including humans, they have developed such toxins. The two major toxins of legumes are considered to be lectins and alpha – amylase inhibitors, which are also found in cereals in large quantity.

The two effects of toxicity due to legumes are;

  • Legumes have drastic effects on the contraction of the organs and it also retards the growth. The mice who were administered the legumes during a study were actually given lectin alpha – amylase legumes. They severely suffered from the indigestion problems and the growth in them was retarded. If you feed the mice with the soybeans then it causes an alteration of the organs. It was reported that the pancreas in the mice who were given lectin alpha – amylase legumes was very heavy in weight as compared to the mice who were fed with the soy, resulting their pancreas lighter. There was a study where humans volunteered and they were provided with the bean lectin phytohemagglutinin. As a result, there was a contraction in the cistefellea, with two – third of the natural size.
  • The other effects of legumes include indigestion, bloating, diarrhea, and leaky gut which in medical terms known as increased intestinal permeability. The effect of the beans on the permeable intestines of the mice was so immense, that it allowed the bacteria and harmful toxins to enter in their body. The lectin phytohemagglutinin beans have a negative effect in the stomach blocking the production of the acid, which leads to the prevention of proper digestion mainly of proteins.

However, the very typical effects of the toxicity of legumes on the human body include bloating and reflux if they are cooked properly. If they are not well cooked or consumed undercooked then the results and the reactions of them could be more severe.

The Anti- Nutrient Vegetables

This is the list of all the anti – nutrients which are found in beans, legumes and soy. They all contain

  • Phytates
  • Lectins
  • Saponins
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Polyphenols (tannins and isoflavones)
  • Oligosaccharides of raffinose
  • Flavonoids glycosides
  • Cyanogenic glycosides


Phytates inhibit from the absorption of zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium which are present in cereals and legumes. The cause of these phytates are nutritional deficiencies. When the vegetables are cooked well, they still do not have any effect on the phytates. The effects of phytates however are reduced by fermentation and sprouting.


It is considered that all the anti – nutrients beans are the main cause which contribute to some of the effects of food poisoning. However the experiments on the animals has suggested that there is a special lectin present in the legumes called fitoemoagglutanina in all varieties of Phaseolus Vulgaris, which is the main cause of poisoning. The studies on the human tissues has indicated that all types of lectins including fitoemoagglutanina can cause increased intestinal permeability, which is the base step towards immune disease. A conciliation of intestinal integrity which is produced by these very lectins can be the cause of low level inflammation that can further lead to the atherosclerosis and also cancer. Phaseolus Vulgaris species which include lectins, soy and peanuts are also thought to be the major cause of increased intestinal permeability.


Like the damage of lectins, if the ingestion of saponins is higher, then the damage of it is greater. It has very dangerous effects where the major threat of saponins is to increase intestinal permeability. The increase allows the gut bacteria and the toxins to interact with the immune system which is due to cancer and the heart disease. The other major problem of saponins is that if you cook the vegetables for up to 2 hours, you cannot guarantee the removal of saponins and they will still be present from 85% up to 100%.

Protease Inhibitors

When a normal human consumes any type of proteins, the enzymes present in the intestine break down the proteins into amino acids. These particular enzymes are called protease and they should operate in a normal manner for the appropriate absorption of proteins. All types of Legumes contain a common anti – nutrient named as protease inhibitors, whose purpose is to prevent the enzymes present in the intestine from breaking down the proteins. This could be the main reason why the quantity of proteins in legumes are very less as compared to the proteins available in the meat products. During the experiments on animals, it was observed that the Protease Inhibitors ingestion dejected the growth in them and also caused an enlargement of the pancreas.

Polyphenols (tannins and isoflavones)

The antioxidants which protect the plants from insects, sun and other different types of organisms are known as Polyphenols. The nature of phytates are almost similar as compared to the tannins and have negative impacts in digestion by reducing the protein digestibility. They also impede the smooth inclusion of different minerals including iron. However, it increases the intestinal permeability by damaging the intestine. Whereas, Isoflavones plays the role like female hormones. There are some concentrated isoflavones which are present in soy can cause goiter, which is a very large thyroid gland that appears when the level of iodine is low in the human body. These isoflavones are called phytoestrogens.

There was a study commenced by Dr. Ishizuki, where his subjects were of average 61 years of age. They were carefully administered 30 grams of soy every day for 3 months. The results were rather disturbing and there were symptoms of malaise, lethargy, hypothyroidism and constipation, and 50% of all the subjects developed goiter. There was a survey done by Dr. Gustavo Roman in 2007, where it was indicated that the soy isoflavones has the potential ability to impair the normal iodine metabolism and thyroid function and could also help in the development of autism.

Oligosaccharides of raffinose

There are complex sugars present in almost all the vegetables and legumes, which are available today for our consumption and they are highly responsible for the formation of gas in the intestines. The enzymes called Mancandoci which are present in the intestine, help in the breaking down of these complex sugars into simple sugars. These Oligosaccharides are then metabolized and transformed by the gut bacteria into various different gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen. The symptoms can be different in different people depending upon the bacterial flora. Legumes belong to the family of foods which have a high level of FODMAP. They have certain type of carbohydrate which causes the digestive problems in some people particularly vulnerable.

Flavonoids glycosides

Fava beans can have a fatal effect in people who have a genetic defect known as G6PD. There is a simple blood test in order to verify if someone is suffering from this deficiency. If these beans are consumed by the individuals who are genetically vulnerable, then it can cause haemolytic anaemia. There have been many experiments on the fava beans and it is unclear until this point as how they can cause Favism in an individual. However, the real culprits which are present in the vegetables and legumes could possibly be anti – nutrients.

Cyanogenic Glycosides

When the cyanogenic glycosides are consumed and digested, they are then transformed into a very deadly prussic acid in the gut. However, if you cook the legumes properly, then the majority of this dangerous compound will be destroyed, but cooking the legumes doesn’t end the problem. When cooking the legumes, a very large quantity of hydrogen cyanide is transformed into thiocyanate, which join forces with the soy isoflavones to become anti-nutrients. These anti-nutrients can later on be the reason in formation of goiter because it weakens the metabolism of iodine.


The damage from the consumption of legumes can be reduced to some extent with some precautions but it cannot be eliminated completely. Precautions like sprouting, fermentation and baking the legumes for a longer time, in regards to the soy and peanuts consumption. However, we have established the fact that the legumes have a very low quantity of nutritional and bio-availability as compared to food products like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and poultry. In one line, it can be concluded that “no matter how you look at things, legumes were never and not part of the Paleo diet.”

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Celiac Disease And Paleo Diet

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Latest studies have elucidated a strong association between Celiac disease and Paleo Diet plan resulting in a paradigm shift. Paleo diet is attributed as being one of the most health-friendly and disease-suppressive diets of all times. It is characterized of including a gluten-free food approach which is beneficial for all individuals generally and specifically important to individuals who exhibit allergy or sensitivity to gluten such as the patients of Celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastric indigestion so on and so forth. ‘Gluten’ happens to be a protein compound found in foods that are processed from grains like wheat, barley, rye etc. Increasing number of people have been reported to show signs of hyper-sensitivity disorder of the immune system which basically implies ‘gluten-intolerance’ for a layman e.g. the statistics reveal that 1 in 105 people of U.S and 1 in 133 people in Canada are inflicted with celiac disease.

What has celiac disease to do with Paleo diet plan?

Well, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of gastro-intestinal tract related to a genetic predisposition among individuals belonging to all age groups. The onset of symptoms includes abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, anemia, fatigue, paresthesia and Vitamin deficiencies. The ailment is triggered by gluten intake in the form of grains which renders the digestive tract’s villi truncated, in turn interfering with nutrient adsorption and vital nourishment. Unfortunately, only a life-long gluten-free diet has exhibited any efficacy in treating the condition. Strictly adhering to paleo diet in this case can heal the digestive tract damage and suppress the threat of intestinal cancer, sterility or osteoporosis. Critics may challenge Paleo diet on missing out an important component of diet i.e. gluten. However, that’s not the case. A gluten-free diet doesn’t mean complete absence of it but it tentatively includes gluten up to harmless limits. A study reveals that 10mg of gluten per day is improbable to instigate any histological abnormalities of celiac disease.

In this context, Paleo Diet holds a superior value since it is reputed as the ‘cave-men diet’ of Paleolithic era i.e. inspired from the meals of our ancestors, which our genetics trace back to. Since there was no inclusion of any grain-protein in that ‘pre-agricultural era’ thus our genetics aren’t developed to eat and process ‘gluten’- the sensitivity to which is the underlying cause of Celiac Disease. In order to prevent any potential chronic damage to your gastro-intestinal tract and alleviate the pain and allergic reactions, going paleo is the right choice! A Gluten-free Paleo diet is extremely favorable, not only to assuage Celiac disease but because it offers countless other health-benefits which include relieving congestion, hypertension, over-weightiness, and heart disease risks etc. Paleo employs the use of gluten-free grains like Quinoa, Millet, Kamut etc to create scrumptious dishes that are the perfect precisely optimum diet that the patients of Celiac disease are recommended to intake.

What are the characteristics of a gluten-free Paleo diet? It encompasses a wide range of whole-foods in which gluten is absent along with amazing substitutes to all the non-beneficial foods that we have become accustomed to. Recipes and detailed information about Paleo meal plan and its diverse array of ingredients are easily obtainable in the form of Paleo book bundle. For instance, celiac disease aggravates deficiency of certain vitamins in the body which paleo diet can fulfill with its enriching levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Gluten intolerance is a disease affecting millions of people and cannot be cured with any magic pill. The only treatment measure is to seek help from a dietician or nutritionist or to switch your eating habits to Paleo. Say goodbye to intoxicating unhealthy processed food items and embrace a celiac disease-free life with Mother Nature’s bounty by going truly Paleo! It is the only diet naturally evident in fighting diseases, provision of maximum energy with nutritionally active ingredients and keeping you normal-weighted while relishing the delicious bites. On the same page, Paleo meal plan is renowned for its role in reducing triggered autoimmunity (leading to celiac disease) as well as anti-inflammatory effects (aftermath of celiac disease).

Therefore, the gluten-friendly paleo meal plan excludes food sources like barley, bulgur, graham flour, malt, rye, triticale and spelt etc which are all gluten-rich grains. In addition to this, paleo diet is attributed to have balanced nutritional availability (such as Vitamin K, D, B12, folate and Zn), hence adopting onto it during the celiac disease is essential to balance out nutritional deficiencies supplemented by paleo meals. Celiacs are required to strictly adhere to a gluten-free lifestyle and should be cautious to hidden sources of gluten. Therefore a constant dietetic counseling and knowledge of food contents is the dire need of celiac disease patients. Paleo recipe book or paleo meal plan is a perfect solution in such a case as they contain complete elaboration on every ingredient and its affectivities.

Paleo diet plan claims to have a scientifically evident anthropological and biological research that suggests that humans have not genetically evolved to process grains and other agricultural foods and hence optimal fitness lies in a pre-agricultural fare. As far as the celiac disease is concerned, the Paleo theory has shown its merits. The food manufacturers are striking to enterprise gluten-free food items like bread, breakfast cereals, cookies and pasta etc owing to increasing awareness about celiac disease. To avoid gluten but at the same time eat a healthy, balanced diet is the key challenge facing celiacs. The distress of what’s allowed and what’s not is solved by Paleo eating pattern. Beans, seeds, nuts, eggs, meat, poltry, fish, dairy products and fruits or vegetables are all permitted for patients of celiac disease and by carefully chosing from the ingredients, Paleo Diet ensures that nothing is processed or mixed with gluten-containing additives or preservatives etc.

Studies have rendered Paleo meal plan also suitable for people suffering from ‘Non-celiac Gluten-Sensitivity’. What more will a patient need but to reduce dependency on medication and cure the disease by merely altering the diet? If you are a celiac then do yourself a favor by going Paleo!

For more information visit Wikipedia.

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