The Plant Paradox is an interesting health book written by Dr. Steven Gundry, who is a cardiologist and surgeon that has shifted his focus to dietary ways of healing. As the saying goes, let food be thy medicine. And Gundry has been working with clients to optimize their health by comparing their blood markers against foods and supplements they eat. Gundy’s approach falls under the camp of functional medicine which is a whole body approach to healing, letting the body do what is supposed to do if we remove toxins and provide good nutrition, exercise and so on.
The paradox that Gundry describes is that the foods that we have been told for years that are healthy are actually poisonous. In particular, he says that the reason we have become so sick as a society is largely due to a type of protein called lectin, of which there are a number of varieties. Gluten is the big one – it’s in wheat and other grains. Lectins are what plants protect themselves with from insects – they are essentially a poison in large enough dosages. Cooking and pressure cooking can destroy lectins in watery type vegetables, but not much with seeds and grains. Much research is yet to be done and I have not found a great resource on lectin levels versus food item. Gundry’s book does provide much help on what to avoid and what to eat.
The book is a good read and it is controversial, but if you have an autoimmune disease such as celiac, thyroid, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and so on, then this book is a must read. Gundry explains that lectins can break through the cell wall of the gut and your body then sees foreign invaders that need to be attacked. Your immune system engages and because lectins are sticky and look like other human proteins, the body attacks itself. So removing lectins reduces the immune response. There is a lot to it and I’m not the one to explain it, but I did want to at least wet your whistle in case you are struggling with your weight or health.