Early on in my quest for healing I conducted an elimination diet. I had eliminated gluten, dairy, beans, nuts, eggs and sugar.
This alone made me go from having to lie down after most meals, feeling incredible pain and lethargy to feeling almost normal! I even dropped some unwanted pounds and had more energy.
Later I made a few more adjustments to my diet and ended up in something more like a Paleo diet. I followed this diet for years afraid to add back any foods I completely dropped because I didn’t want the pain.
That said, a Paleo diet can be a bit costly and I felt like my meals became a bit animal protein heavy. After my Swiss Mountain Clinic Liver Detox experience I really wanted to add more plant based meals back into my diet.
Two of the foods I missed were legumes and lentils.
Legumes and lentils have significant dietary value including fiber, protein, iron, folate, magnesium and potassium which make for an important addition to vegetarian diets.
That said, Legumes and Lentils also contain anti-nutrients that can inhibit nutrient absorption and create inflammation.
Phytic Acid is an antioxidant found in all plant seeds including legumes and lentils. It’s often referred to as an anti-nutrient as it impedes the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium from the meal it’s a part of.
Lectin, which is a type of protein, is in all plants but more highly concentrated in grains and legumes. Lectins can contribute to leaky gut and inflammation. Dr. Steven Gundry’s book, The Plant Paradox, does a great job of describing this reaction as well. He has a family friendly cookbook that I’ve been experimenting with.
Lectins and Phytic Acid in legumes and lentils, however, can be broken down by proper preparation. Legumes and lentils should always be soaked overnight before hand and the water should be changed a couple times before using them. Anti-nutrients can also be reduced through sprouting, fermentation and pressure cooking.
I used to love lentil soup as it’s so easy to make and it uses inexpensive ingredients. My first try was making lentil soup in my InstaPot using the pressure cooker setting. I very cautiously ate about a cup of the soup and then waited for inevitable pain and suffering but it never came.
Looking for an easy recipe? Try this Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup recipe by Pass the Plants. For the sake of lowering the carbs, you might leave out the potatoes in this recipe.
I’m excited to test out more recipes using my pressure cooker and to expand my diet to include more variety.
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