So – What about Inflammation
Inflammation is a hot health topic but I often wonder if folks understand what that means to them personally. Really important for those with diabetes, heart and various autoimmune diseases. These are people with extreme inflammation. From a dietary perspective, grain and legumes (beans) are particular contributors. Here is why.
The goal of a plant is to reproduce. To accomplish that they have built in protection systems to make sure that can happen. Reproduction doesn’t work so well if the plant’s seed gets eaten by animals, bugs or people. These protection systems vary.
For example nuts are protected by hard shells. So they don’t get eaten or chewed on so often. Note that most people think peanuts are “nuts.” But they aren’t. Peanuts are legumes (beans).
Grains and legumes have no protective shell. So instead they have built in anti nutrients like lectins (gluten is one such lectin) that are meant to make them hard if not impossible for the consumer to digest. Nothing like indigestion to create inflammation.
Digestive issues are usually hard to tolerate and create some nasty symptoms. Clues, if you will. Nature’s theory is that animals and bugs will get the message and leave them alone. That tends to work for wild animals and bugs.
Of course no protection system is perfect. Human animals seem to be more willing to tolerate the sickness because we can get pills to allay the symptoms. At least that works for a while. Persistent symptoms (inflammation) can become autoimmune disease.
All this is exactly why people treating autoimmune diseases with diet (which they all should be doing) are invariably required to give up AT LEAST grains and legumes. Most of the diabetics I know of (and there are many) also have some form of autoimmune disease and all have already established chronic inflammation.
Of course grain and legumes also have very high carbs and have direct blood sugar implications for diabetics and pre-diabetics. Diabetics tend to think only about their blood sugar and are usually willing to take medication. Folks with heart or autoimmune diseases lean heavily on medication for symptom relief. Nobody thinks much about how food is contributing to the chronic inflammation they have.
It may be time to consider whether grains and legumes are contributing your poor health. See what Dr Amy Myers, autoimmune expert, has to say.
Pat Smith is the author of “It’s All about the Food,” a book that guides nutritious food choices as the way to avoid illness and maintain a healthy weight. Proceeds from her book benefit the Montgomery County Food Pantry. She is a resident of Montgomery County, AR, president of Ouachita Village, Inc. board of directors (Montgomery County Food Pantry), and member of the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors.