Best Diet To Increase Energy And Limit Antinutrients

Protecting our immune system is still the ultimate goal as mentioned in my previous blog post. Let’s continue going through other antinutrients to help achieve immunity and identify the best diet to increase energy.


Lectins are found in all plants and can react negatively with the human microbiome especially when it comes to seeds, legumes, and grains. Similar to our other antinutrients, reactive lectins can also disrupt the absorption of nutrients and wreak havoc on your microbiome.

Before we move on, let’s pause for a second and ponder the common pattern created by antinutrients and what this means for your daily diet.

With the exception of our first two power drains (tannins and oxalates), the last three all come in the form of seeds, grains and legumes.

The overwhelming data that seeds, grains and legumes can wreck your gut by creating inflammation at this point is simply indisputable. And to demonstrate the power draining effects let me share one of many personal experiences with one of my favorite food combinations.  

Peanut Butter And Chocolate

There really aren’t a whole lot of things on this planet that satisfy the pallet so immensely than combining rich chocolate with creamy peanut butter. Sadly, every single time I eat peanut butter, within about 12-24 hours my knuckles in my hands start to swell up and I feel like an arthritic 90 year old man.

While I’ve intuitively known peanuts to be a problem for years, my wishful thinking recently guided me to experiment with peanut butter in the hopes that somehow, after not eating peanut butter for several years, my body would now tolerate it.

After indulging in roughly two tablespoons of organic high-grade peanut butter, sure enough, within 24-48 hours I could barely close my fists from the intense inflammation. But after a week of not eating peanut butter, the inflammation in my hands completely went away.   

Since I had eaten the same thing every day for the last two months I had indisputable evidence that peanut butter was indeed the trigger.

If this is at all disheartening, have heart peanut lovers, because I’m going to turn you on to another nut that tastes just like it – minus the problematic lectins.

Keep in mind, for some people, not only will peanuts create autoimmune disorders but other nuts can have the same effect. We’ll talk more about those later on.  

And while you may not be as sensitive to foods as I am and you may not shrivel up with arthritis from peanuts there is a good chance your power is being drained from reactive lectins on a daily basis whether you’re aware of it or not.

So right now I’d like to ask you to again put aside your inner critic and consider how the not so obvious may be sucking away years of your life and more importantly, how you could potentially progress by leaps and bounds by simply taking a few key power drains out of your diet. 

But first, just what are these strange plant substances called lectins?

What Are Lectins?

Lectins are also antinutrients, which are a type of toxic protein substance found in all plants. Similar to our other antinutrients, lectins are built in defenses to deter animals (including humans) from eating plants so they can perpetuate their species.   

While some lectins are dangerous, some are perfectly suitable if not beneficial for the human microbiome. For example, some lectins can act as antioxidants, which protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. They can also slow down digestion and the absorption of carbohydrates, which may prevent sharp rises in blood sugar and high insulin levels. 

In contrast, studies suggest that roughly 30% of the harmful lectins in the modern diet can reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and eating large amounts of them can damage your gut wall. This causes irritation that can result in symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting and can also prevent your gut from absorbing nutrients properly.

This, of course, is highly significant since your gut wall contains 70% of your immune power and once this is compromised all hell breaks loose.  

For example, imagine that your ideal gut looks like a tropical rainforest, with lots of species working in harmony to support and protect a lush and balanced ecosystem.   

Similarly, your gut is supported and protected by trillions of microorganisms (also called microbiota or microbes) of thousands of different species. These not only include bacteria but fungi, parasites, and viruses. Yes, that’s right, viruses!

In a healthy person, these “bugs” coexist peacefully, with the largest numbers found in the small and large intestines as well as throughout your entire body. 

 Unfortunately, once you introduce certain reactive lectins they breach your gut wall and start to burn down your forest.

Quite ironically, if you’ve heard of the “Carnivore Diet” or the “Paleo” diet where people have been able to cure themselves of autoimmune disorders like arthritis, or leaky gut syndrome there’s a good chance that most of the benefits of these diets are coming from the fact that they’ve eliminated forest-burning lectins like grains and beans.  

Adding fuel to the forest fire are all those toxins in your food we talked about earlier, which makes you acidic and create the perfect environment for power draining invaders to take residence in your gut. Oh yeah, and did I mention that they also eat your food and take a crap that your body has to somehow clean up and process?

But that’s not it. You must also consider all the antibiotics you’ve taken over the last 10-15 years which have carpet bombed your forest indiscriminately, killing off both good and bad bacteria, as well as the NSAID’S (Ibuprofen, Advil, Naproxen, etc.), which have been scientifically proven to blow holes in the lining of your gut wall.

Now considering all the warfare and forest fires already happening in your microbiome, can you imagine what happens by adding harmful lectins on top of all that? It’s no wonder the antacid industry is selling so much product. As best selling author Dr. Steven Gundry says:  

“In the gut, lectins flip a switch that creates a space between intestinal cells, allowing bacteria and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) to cross the gut wall,” he explains. Once these things breach the gut wall, they can enter the bloodstream and potentially trigger bad reactions throughout the body.”

Sadly, this breach kills off most of your good bacteria and leaves your forest unprotected, at which point more invaders and gang members like pathogens, viruses, fungi and parasites take over and pillage your forest of its power. 

Perhaps most surprisingly, the highest concentrations of antinutrients are found in supposedly healthy foods like legumes, grains, and nightshade vegetables. 

 Although there are ways to reduce harmful lectin content by cooking, sprouting, or fermenting, some foods like wheat should be avoided altogether. And while this may be upsetting for many, the research and evidence clearly indicate that some of the most troublesome lectins like wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) interferes with gene expression, increases inflammation and disrupts your endocrine function.

According to Dr. Amy Myers, lectins are also problematic in GMO foods since these foods are engineered with more insecticides to deter insects from eating them. And while this strategy may yield more crops, essentially, by eating GMO foods you’re most likely getting more antinutrients and with it more inflammation and the diseases that are triggered. 

And perhaps the final blow to eating wheat is the fact that when you eat it you’re ingesting reactive lectin proteins called amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs), which can trigger inflammation related to chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.  

As you can see, antinutrients like lectins found in seeds, grains and legumes can drain your power and it’s very difficult to remove all lectins no matter how many ways you prepare them. This is critical so I’m going to say something you definitely need to pay attention to:

Most Antinutrients Are Found In Seeds, Grains And Legumes – Either Limit or Eliminate Them

Again, if this worries you, take a deep breath and relax; there are plenty of great options we’ll be revealing shortly that taste even better than wheat and you can use a combination of soaking, sprouting, fermenting and pressure-cooking to remove many antinutrients in seeds and legumes.   

We’ll talk about those foods shortly, for now, if you have any doubts about the realities of antinutrients I highly recommend you take a deeper dive into the subject as there is plenty of science out there. If you do, you will find thousands upon thousands of case studies from people who have cured ailments including obesity, leaky gut syndrome, arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, heart disease and many others by removing harmful antinutrients from their diet.  

At this point, you’re probably wondering just what are the foods with antinutrients. So let’s break it down into our three categories.

Power Drain: Any foods, which are high in antinutrients that interfere with your body’s natural function should be limited or removed completely. This may differ from person to person so make sure you take into consideration the recommended action. Below are the main power drains, take a mental note if you have a lot of these in your diet. 

  • Legumes – Red kidney beans, peas, soybean products and lentils (see exceptions below).
  • Nuts & Seeds – Pumpkin, chia seeds, sunflower, peanuts, cashews

Special Note: If you have a clearly negative response (inflammation, rashes or seizures) from other nuts and seeds like pistachios you may have extra sensitivity.  In this case, you should remove them for 30 days then retest to see if they affect you negatively again. If they do eliminate them.

  • Grains – Whole wheat, amaranth, buckwheat, barley, corn, quinoa, oats, Kamut, (see exceptions below).
  • Vegetables – Eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and cucumbers (For exceptions see additional preparation below).
  • Fruits – All high sugar fruits and fruits not in season
  • Dairy – Milk, yogurt and cheese with casein AI
    (especially those derived from grain or soy fed animals)
  • Meats, Poultry & Fish Fed Corn & Soy

Note: Similar to the GMO pig food example, when it comes to animal and fish products you must also take into consideration what that creature ate.  Whatever they ate, if you eat them, you’ll be eating the same thing.  Conventionally processed dairy, meat, poultry and fish fed with GMO corn and soy is loaded with reactive lectins that could be draining your power every day – eliminate it!

  • Oils – Soy, grapeseed, corn, peanut, cottonseed, safflower, sunflower, partially hydrogenated vegetable or canola (AKA trans fats).

Power Limit: Since many lectins and polyphenols are actually beneficial, the goal of The Power Diet is not to eliminate them but simply limit them. The following are foods that can be beneficial in limited quantities. 

  • Legumes, lentils and beans, which have been soaked, sprouted, and pressure-cooked
  • Quinoa and potatoes (new, brown, red), which have been pressure-cooked (soaking in water and sprouting prior to pressure cooking can help eliminate even more lectins).
  • Green tea or coffee with tannins should not exceed 1-2 cups per day
  • Raw beets, kale, chard, collards and spinach with high oxalate content
  • Peeled and deseeded tomatoes, cucumber, pumpkin, peppers, zucchini and squash.
  • Cooked shallots and mushrooms
  • White rice, millet, fermented sourdough, resistant starch powder.
  • Dairy – Type 2 casein dairy products do not contain reactive lectins like Type 1 casein.  Look for “Type 2” “Grass Fed” at your local grocer or choose goat or sheep dairy, which doesn’t have Type 1 or 2.
  • Meat and Poultry – Choose organic, grass fed and pasture raised.

Since eliminating certain foods with problematic antinutrients like legumes and grains from your diet can be a major shock to most, I’ll offer some workarounds for those that want to include a limited quantity of these in their diet.

While it’s virtually impossible to eliminate all harmful lectins, you can prepare or buy some of these foods fermented, sprouted, soaked and pressure-cooked. We already talked about this briefly but it’s worth taking another look to cast a little more light on some of the details.

To continue the road to immunity, check out the most comprehensive and easy to use guide: “The Power Diet” by Chad Scott.

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