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by Ellen Landauer

Lectins - Stealth Toxins

Lectins are yet another chemical warfare agent present in ALL plant foods.

Grains and beans contain the very highest amounts, but many other plant-based foods contain harmful levels also.


PHOTO ABOVE: Beautiful to look at but full of lectins when eaten!

Low lectin diet is no solution - plant foods recommended  contain high amounts of oxalic acid and other damaging compounds.

The purpose of lectins is to give animals (including us) enough irritation, gas, bloating and other gut symptoms to keep them from eating seeds, leaves and other parts of plants. Plants want to live, too!

The most famous of this class of plant poisons is of course, gluten in wheat. Similar grains ALSO are loaded with gluten: spelt, barley, rye, oats, emmer (an old variety of wheat mistakenly recommended as a wheat substitute) and triticale (wheat-rye hybrid). These 'wheat substitutes' are not any better than wheat.

Dr. Paul Mason and others maintain that gluten can damage the cells in your gut lining VERY FAST - in 15 minutes!

Phytohaemagglutinin is a different lectin found in beans. It causes blood clots - clumping of red blood cells. It can also cause abdominal cramps, upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The classic bloating and gas symptoms from eating beans are caused by phytohaemagglutinin.

The numbers of people whose health has been seriously compromised by lectins is legion. Gluten and other lectins harm EVERYONE! It's just that the symptoms are commonly not attributed to the culprit!

Even if you seem fine eating lots of bread, grains, beans and pasta, the damage lectins do STILL is bringing your functioning to a lower level than it would be without them. The serious cravings people have for these 'foods' are a classic sign of allergy/addiction. Perhaps you have brain fog, IBS, joint pain or yeast infection - or inflammation in any part of your body. Perhaps you are feeling older than you would like. Plant food toxins are a HUGE largely ignored factor in aging and disease.

Issues caused by lectins can be sub-clinical; in many people, the health consequences are not obvious.

In most cases, resulting illness occurs over time and is not attributed them. This actually is true of ANY of the defense chemicals innate in plant foods.

Lectins Toxicity Symptoms List


Autoimmune disease

Chronic inflammation ANYWHERE in the body (this includes joint deterioration, irritable bowel syndrome, brain and mood disorders like anxiety and depression, arterial plaque, skin issues, etc.

Migraine headaches

Intestinal bloating and gas

Lectins Stealth Invasion

The insidious way lectins gain entry to your whole body is called 'molecular mimicry.' They configure themselves to be so close in molecular structure to various organs and tissues in your body that they trick your defense system into allowing them entry.

Lectins are foreign plant proteins that embed themselves into any organ or tissue of the body. They attach to receptors on cells of any healthy body tissue. In its effort to get rid of lectins the body starts to attack its own vital organs to try and destroy the invading compounds. We then end up with all manner of chronic conditions that destroy our health.

Plants must be the original inventors of 'stealth' warfare tactics! Years ago, I never would have considered that so many foods I ate were like a Trojan horse!

Lectins can even make their way up the vagus nerve right into your brain, directly from the stomach - causing brain inflammation that destroys neurons, cognitive functions and emotional well-being!

You may know by now by reading some of my other articles on plant toxins in our grains, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables that plants do NOT want us to eat them! They are NOT our 'friends.' What mad scientist could think up a better warfare strategy than causing our bodies to attack itself by merging those toxins with our own tissues?

Issues With 'Lectin Free Diet'

Carnivore Diet pasture-raised steak - no lectins here!

PHOTO ABOVE: No harmful lectins in pasture raised steak!

Since all plant foods contain lectin, I take issue with those who say you can eat a lectin-free diet by avoiding certain plant foods or by special preparation methods.

Lectins are NOT broken down by acids or heat. Soaking and long cooking in water are suggested measures which may reduce them - but DO NOT eliminate them. Poison at a low dose is still poison. If we eat lots of foods specially treated to 'reduce' toxins (not very effectively) we are actually still consuming a LOT of toxic compounds!

So-called lectin-free foods have lower amounts, but still DO contain lectins. Foods suggested on a 'lectin free' diet include spinach, beets, kale, chocolate, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, cassava and others - ALL of which are VERY high in oxalic acid.

Oxalic acid is a very deadly plant toxin. It forms micro and nano-crystals sharp as razors that cut and embed themselves into body tissues - causing pain, inflammation, tissue destruction and many serious illnesses - from arthritis, neuropathy and atherosclerosis to cataracts, brain dysfunction and more. 'Lectin free diet' is like the proverbial jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

Eating 'lectin free' plant foods is no solution - because there are none - and the lower lectin plant foods have high amounts of other harmful defense chemicals.

The foods that are the most lectin free are pasture-raised animal sourced foods. Any lectins they may contain are in a neutralized state. Cows in particular have the ability to neutralize plant toxins - more so than other livestock, so pasture-raised dairy and meats are ideal.

Note that most commercial livestock is fed corn and soy - which are high lectin-containing foods. Animals raised commercially build up lectins from what they are fed. While not ideal, meats and dairy from cows is safer than that from other livestock due to cows' ability to neutralize lectins and other plant toxins.

If eating poultry or pork, you want to make sure these animals were not fed any corn, soy or garbage. Chickens and turkeys can thrive on bugs, worms, (clean) meat scraps and love to eat all kinds of greens - so pasture-raised chickens that forage are healthiest.

How Lectins Damage Our Bodies

There are many kinds of lectins in a wide variety of plant foods (listed below). Essentially, they are highly inflammatory proteins which destroy the integrity of the gut lining, causing spaces to form between the endothelial cells lining our intestines. This is called leaky gut - all manner of toxins, including lectins, get direct access to your bloodstream. From there, they invade and raise havoc in any part of your body. For example, causing inflammation in blood vessels - leading to cardiovascular breakdown.

The ubiquitous use of lectin-rich grain-derived flavorings, texturizers and other food fillers and additives of similar origin makes consumption of processed foods hazardous to health.

List of Foods High in Lectins:

NOTE: There are other toxic plant proteins that may incite similar symptoms as lectins - because they are VERY close to lectins molecularly. Chocolate, sesame and coffee are examples of such commonly consumed 'foods' which contain such toxins.

Wheat (including spelt, triticale and emmer)






Legumes (all beans plus peanuts and cashews)


Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, chia, hemp)

Squashes (ALL, including cucumbers, pumpkins and zucchini)

ALL nightshades (white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant)

Goji berries

Lectins in Processed Foods

If you still eat any processed foods (hope you don't), many if not MOST contain lectins. Examples are canned soups, cheese spreads and many commercial cheeses, maynnaise, sauces, commercial dairy, boullion soup cubes, cold cuts meats, commercial gravies, etc. This is because wheat-derived products are liberally added - as thickeners, flavoring agents, etc.

If you INSIST on eating packaged foods; read labels. If you see any of the following, put it back on the shelf.



Modified food starch

Natural flavors

Natural colors

Pregelatinized starch

Smoke flavors

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Hydrolyzed plant protein


Artificial flavors or colors

Vegetable protein

Vegetable gum

Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate

Thickening agents

Caramel color or flavoring

Corn oil

Avoiding Lectins

The ideal way to avoid lectins is to move toward our true ancestral diet - animal-sourced foods. If you are not so inclined, do seek to avoid the foods containing the most lectins. You may be surprised at the benefits!

Metabolic Support for Detoxifying Lectins and Other Toxins

Ellen Landauer is an expert with over 40 years in-depth study and experience of the safe and effective use of nutritional supplements, botanical extracts and detoxification methods.

She is Certified as an Advanced Practitioner of Structural Integration body therapy developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf - also known as Rolfing. This hands-on therapy is the deepest, most comprehensive body alignment therapy. 

Ellen Landauer is also a  PUBLISHED AUTHOR!

To learn more about Ellen Landauer, see her detailed bio HERE


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