Health Articles

All about Grains…Good or Bad?

Inflammation is the root cause of all disease; many medical studies are affirming this. If we could overcome inflammation, we would have no disease.

Understanding LECTINS

A lectin is a Hemagglutinin, a protein or glycoprotein, usually derived from a plant origin, which has the ability to bind to carbohydrate molecules. These lectins bind to sugar molecules in cell walls or membranes causing biochemical changes in the cells. A lectin is a key that fits a specific type of carbohydrate lock. If a lectin with the right key comes in contact with one of these “locks” on the gut wall or artery or gland, it “opens the lock” which disrupts the membrane and damages the cell and may initiate a cascade of immune and autoimmune reactions which can lead to cell death.

  • High levels of lectins are found in
    Grains, especially wheat and wheat germ but also qumoa, rice, buckwheat, oats, rye, barley, millet and corn.
  • Legumes (all dried beans), soy and peanuts, also in soy and peanut oil
  • Dairy, because dairy herds are frequently fed supplemental grains. Lectins will find their way into breast milk as well.
  • Nightshades (potatoes, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes).

Other foods may contain lectins as well but are not considered as high.

Lectins can damage the microvilli in the intestinal tract and decrease the ability of the small intestine to absorb food. Lectins are hard proteins and they do not break down easily. They are resistant to stomach acid and digestive enzymes. Lectins can cause changes in the gut lining and have been related to Colitis, Crohn’s disease, Celiac, Sprue and IBS.

Lectins can cause allergic reactions in the gut and cause degenerative diseases such as: Arthritis, Allergy, all forms of IBS, Crohn’s, Colitis, Celiac; Asthma, Atherosclerosis, Congestive heart failure, autoimmune diseases, Lupus, MS, Hashimoto’s, Parkinson’s; chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s; autism, ADD/ADHD, osteoporosis, hormonal imbalances, adrenal insufficiency; cancer, many types including breast cancer.

GM (genetically modified foods) are even more dangerous; GM foods are modified by splicing lectins from one plant to another; many times one food can contain lectins from several other plant families. If you have a reaction, you do not know anymore what “toxic lectin” you are reacting to.

  • How does a Lectin sensitivity develop?
    Grains and legumes were not consumed in ancient (Paleolithic times). They were introduced thousands of years later when people became homesteaders. Our bodies have not adjusted to the consumption of a constant flood of lectins in our diet.
  • The use of medications, such anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and many others can increase the permeability of the gut and allow more lectins to enter general circulation. Use of these drugs even for just short periods of time can do that.
  • Infections in the gut such as parasites, bacteria, viruses can damage the intestinal lining and making them susceptible to lectin reactions.

There is also the link of environmental chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, refined and artificial sugars or excess of sugar consumption disrupting the bacterial flora of our intestines and damaging the intestinal barrier, thus allowing the lectins, gluten and gliadin (all from grains) to enter the bloodstream.

Also, do not think because you do not have any noticeable reactions that your organs were not compromised by this chain of events. Most of the conditions associated with sub-clinical lectin intolerance are degenerative, such as arthritis or autoimmune diseases and can result in a cancer. I personally believe that cancer, if unresponsive to conventional treatments, is a degenerative condition that will continue to progress if these underlying health compromising inflammatory reactions are not addressed.

What have we learned from this so far?

A person might be lectin intolerant but not show antibody reactions if an allergy test is done. A person that is lectin intolerant can have an allergic reaction to a food. Lectin intolerance means that the person is unable to deactivate the toxic lectin. This does not just occur in the gut but in an organ, an artery, a gland and in the brain as well.

From all the research that has been done and from all the patients who learned to avoid certain foods that cause them great distress, pain and sickness, we have leamed that all of us need to steer away more and more from grain consumption. With the latest research (urine tests) now showing that 90% of the population is reacting to gluten and 80% to dairy products, it is advisable, if you want to prevent disease, that we make sure we incorporate more vegetables, fresh fruits (in moderation) and quality proteins.

IF you have any health concerns and are suspicious that you might have a lectin reaction, try to eliminate one lectin group at a time and see how you feel. If you find the offending group, stay away from it for a few months, then try to reintroduce it gradually. Bloating, gas, joint pain, mental fog, weight gain are typical symptoms of a gut allergen or lectin reaction.

  • These are the major lectin groups:
  • Gluten found in wheat, rye, barley, malt and oats.
  • Legumes, all beans including soy and peanuts (and their oils)
  • Nightshades including tomato, potato and eggplant.
  • All milk products, cheese, kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese
  • Eggs

Mojka Renaud L.N., A.P.

Beware of Bacteria Lurking in Your Salad Greens

There are an increasing number of people that are coming down with food poisoning and this time it is not from raw meat or fish, rather from produce especially salad greens like spinach, kale and mixed greens.

The bacteria that is increasingly showing up in testing, as well as reported in food poisoning incidents are E.Coli, salmonella, various types of Clostridium bacteria (such as C.Diff) and several parasites such as Amoeba and hookworms.
The warm summer months are especially susceptible to amoebic infections, any warm waters and stagnant waters harbor amoeba. Once in the body, they can cause amoebic abscesses; if they get to the brain it can be deadly. Typical soil bacteria like Clostridium and E.Coli are common and are found just as much in organic produce as commercial produce.

Frequently a person will be led to believe that “double washed” or “triple washed produce” is safe to consume. However, research shows that it is not so. Researchers found that the “wash” that spinach gets, only reached 15% of the produce leaves that were bagged. Even after a “triple wash”, 90% of the bacteria were still there.
The produce leaves are typically also rinsed with chlorine or commercial citric acid (a GMO chemical) before bagged. I have had patients react to “organic spinach” in a bag. Now we know why!!! This does not mean you need to stop eating greens; to the contrary, they are extremely beneficial. Just make sure you double wash your produce when you bring it home.

This is what I recommend to best clean your produce:

1. Use Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide to add to your produce wash and let soak for a few minutes. Instructions are on the bottle.
2. Those who have a Kangen machine use: 2.5 PH water and immerse the produce for 2 minutes in that water. Then use: 11.5 PH water for an additional 3-5 minutes to remove pesticides even when you use organic produce, as there are many air home toxins and acid rain. Then rinse with 9.5 PH water; store produce in sealed bags in the refrigerator. This will be the cleanest and safest produce to consume.
3. You can also use a vegetable wash from the HF store; it just takes several rinses to get the soap off again.
4. If you have a Grander pen you can submerge the pen in the water while washing the produce for a few minutes. The technology is such that it will reverse the spin of the bacteria and it will not be able to survive. This is a great tool to take with you on your travels.

If you are eating in a restaurant, take along digestive enzymes and Hydrochloric acid tablets, as they will destroy most of the bacteria and parasite spores in the stomach already.

1 tsp of Bentonite Clay can be taken occasionally on an empty stomach in a glass of water; it will destroy millions of bad bacteria in the intestinal tract and absorb many toxins. Bentonite clay is an invaluable emergency remedy to take with you on your travels. You can many times avoid “traveler’s diarrhea”.

I also suggest taking a Bacteria homeopathic remedy and a homeopathic or herbal remedy for parasites on a regular basis, you will save yourself from many hours of discomfort and pain, or even a hospital visit

P.S.: All of the products mentioned above are available in the retail store of Holistic Options.

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Superfood — Raw Cacao (Cocoa) Powder

Health Benefits of Raw Cacao (Cocoa)
Powder Cacao is one of nature’s most fantastic Superfoods, one of the highest antioxidants. Cacao was considered the “food of the Gods”. Raw cacao powder has polyphenols, catechins, epicatechins, is loaded with minerals like magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper and some iron. Other nutrients are Omega 6 Fatty Acids, Tryptophan and Serotonin, the “feel good” natural ‘ chemicals. Flavonoids are known to help the body produce nitric oxide, to support heart diut. .. function and circulation. Cacao is the highest antioxidant known, higher than red wine, blueberries, acai, pomegranates and goji berries.

If cacao (cocoa or chocolate) is used properly, it can be a super-nutritious food. Antioxidants have been long known to protect against free radicals. Free radicals can cause cancer and systemic damage to the organs.

If cacao is mixed with a low glycemic sugar such as coconut, stevia, xylitol, Lo Han etc., it has a superb taste and becomes a very healthful food. It will not overstimulate your pancreas to produce insulin and thus cause a blood sugar problem. Stay away from chocolate products that contain a lot of sugar, artificial ingredients and/or artificial sweeteners. Higher quality chocolate products are available in health food stores, also some German and Swiss chocolates are of higher quality, as they come from pasture fed cows and don’t contain artificial ingredients. However, they still contain dairy, if you have a sensitivity to dairy, look for dairy free alternatives.

The best cacao desserts are the ones you make yourself, as you can select the quality ingredients along with the raw organic cacao. I have provided two “easy-to-make” recipes for you to experiment with. You may also just add a tsp. of cacao powder to your protein shake. Before a workout, it can boost performance, esp. if mixed with Maca Root and Cordyceps mushroom powder (nicknamed “The Endurance Trio”, so named after it helped some Chinese athletes win top Olympic metals).
Stop by our office and take the “raw cacao taste and smell test” vs. the conventional, alkali processed and heated variety.

YOU WON’T BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE

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