pretty simple: you eat food, it gets broken down, nutrients are absorbed, and
the rest is eliminated. If only it were that simple. Besides the enzymes,
juices, and hormones, all of the organs involved in this synchronized
orchestration of events, there are the foods themselves. Our modern world
provides us with thousands of food choices. Some foods better than others. Some
provide energy, nutrition, and the ability to regenerate our cells, others:
bloating, gas, acid reflux, heartburn, or fatigue. Without even deciding which
foods are 'bad' and which ones are 'good', ask yourself this question: Could
certain foods be responsible for other ramifications, actual physical
conditions and disease?
Taking a closer look at digestion, specifically what happens in the small
intestine, is a major decision factor in what you choose to eat.
You Have a Leak Sir
Continual bombardment of foods that irritate the small intestine creates a
situation of Intestinal Permeability otherwise known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. Of
course each person tolerates food differently, but there are certain
scientifically-proven offenders eaten by the majority of the population leading
to the most popular conditions our society faces. Gas, IBS, and heartburn are
really shots-over-the-bow warning signs that something just isn’t right.
The average person consumes 20% of their daily calories from wheat
products, additionally sprinkled and supplemented with sugars, legumes, and dairy.
The daily punishment inflicted by these foods to the digestive system is
reflected toward the entire body and directly associated with conditions like a
bloated gut, gas, IBS, acid reflux, arthritis, asthma, acne, osteoporosis, high
cholesterol, and to more serious conditions such as Hernias, Colitis, Celiac,
Crohn's, Alzheimer’s, Lupus, Diabetes, Pancreatitis, and Thyroiditis.
These conditions are no joke, yet many people ignore the small symptoms they
experience seeing bread, beans, milk, and soda as harmless until it has
progressed so far that serious medications and surgeries are required.
Antinutrients Damage the Small Intestine
Although Antinutrients serve a purpose in nature to protect a plant's seeds,
it's reproductive material, from predators like birds and insects, they are not
meant to enter the human body. Good for the plant...bad for the eater. The
damage they inflict is real and the initial cause of many of the conditions and
diseases we now face.
As the word implies,
Antinutrients are the opposite of pro or positive nutrients. Lectins, Phytates,
Protease Inhibitors, and Saponins, are examples of Antinutrients that have the
ability to disrupt the natural process of human digestion by creating damage to
the delicate lining of the small intestine. Some of this damage is actual
perforation of the lining itself, which allows partially digested foods,
bacteria, and other unwanted material to pass through the intestinal barrier
and enter into circulation. Thus the name ‘Leaky Gut.’ Once inside, these
unwanted guests are treated as foreign invaders and greeted by the immune
system which mounts an attack. This interaction creates a situation of Systemic
Inflammation and the beginning of a host of autoimmune diseases.
Wheat is the prime offender for a few reasons:
It's Lectin, WGA, (wheat germ agglutinin), is a potent aggravator of the gut, a
common allergen due to its gluten content, the most often consumed food, and
the most studied. Wheat, as you probably already know, contains Gluten. Its protein, called Gliadin, activates the release of a gut protein called Zonulin which regulates intestinal permeability. The interaction of the two disassemble junctions in the intestinal barrier allowing the contents to gain entry to the bloodstream. The immune system is then activated triggering an inflammatory process leading to gluten sensitive conditions such as Celiac, Thyroid, Arthritis, and Asthma. Seems simple enough, right? Eliminate wheat-eliminate the problems. Makes you wonder why this isn't your doctor's first course of action? ....rather than medication.
Rye and barley also contain gluten, but receive less attention
because they are consumed less than wheat. Corn and rice too contain
antinutrients, yet aren't less problematic. Beans (read about 'em here), are
just as notorious and come with a different set of problems.
"Wheat contains a protein call Gliadin that interacts with gut receptors to set off a cascade of hormonal events, which ultimately allows the intestinal contents -food and bacteria- to interact with the immune system." -Cordain
Prime Offenders of Gut Disturbance
- Cereal grains such as wheat, rye, oats, and barley
- Legumes such as beans, soybeans, peanuts
- Nightshade vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplants
- Chili peppers
- Dairy, esp milk
- Pseudo grains such as quinoa, aramanth, buckwheat, chia seeds
These foods all contain one, some, or all the Antinutrients such as Lectins,
Phytates, Saponins, Isoflavones, Tannins, Protease Inhibitors, and raffinose
"In addition to potatoes, tomatoes represent another nightshade food that increases intestinal permeability. The primary saponin in tomatoes that causes a leaky gut is called tomatine." "Tomatine is more effective than potato glycoalkaloids in disrupting the intestinal membrane and promoting a leaky gut." -Cordain
"A Leaky Gut or
increased Intestinal Permeability plays a vital initial step in
initiating some, if not all, autoimmune diseases." -L.Cordain