For a majority of my life, I ate grain-based foods at almost every meal. Breakfast usually included toast, cereal, pastries or a burrito. Then, lunch came around and I’d have whatever food the school cafeteria was serving; a sandwich, burger, pizza or pasta dish. At home for dinner, my mom would make very traditional Mexican meals; which almost always included tortillas or bread. Let’s not take into account the snacks I’d eat; any Little Debbie™ product I could get my hands on. This was normal to me; as it still is now for many American adults and children. What isn’t normal, however, is obesity, autoimmune diseases, skin problems, joint and muscle aches, digestive problems and several other diseases triggered as a result of the anti-nutrients delivered from grain-based products.
An anti-nutrient is a substance, present in grains and legumes, that compromise one’s health. While a nutrient, on the other hand, is a substance that nourishes growth and the maintenance of life. There are four major anti-nutrients found in grains: Lectins, Gluten, Phytates and Saponins. Although Lectins, Phytates and Saponins provide some nutritional benefits when present in moderation, excessive amounts of these in the blood stream are damaging. Certain forms of Lectin suppress immune function, interfere with normal protective gut barriers and promote systematic inflammation. When Phytates are consumed in excess, they bind to essential minerals in the digestive tract, making them difficult to absorb; leading to nutrient deficiencies and other health problems. Saponins, found in legumes, while deemed less harmful, are still capable of infiltrating cell membranes; compromising function, especially towards the immune system.
Gluten is a term we are all very familiar with. It’s the most common anti-nutrient; which is believed to affect millions around the globe. Although some individuals still do not believe they are gluten intolerant, some side effects of gluten consumption include bloating, constipation, gas, acid reflux, IBS (and other bowl problems), allergies, migraines, and skin & joint conditions. If you constantly have to consume antacids, Pepto-Bismol™ or allergy medications, there’s a pretty good chance your food choices are harming your health.
There aren’t many, if any, benefits you would gain from consuming carbohydrates in the form of grains. On the other hand, a diet high in carbohydrates (in the form of vegetables) would deliver nourishing nutrients, not anti-nutrients, to your body. It’s a fact, consuming a diet high in grains could have serious effects on one’s health; if it isn’t already. In order to give your digestive system a boost from all the grains it’s consumed over the years, try adding the Healthy Body Digestion Pak™ 2.0 to your diet. The digestive enzymes and beneficial flora found in this Pak™ will help support nutrient absorption, a healthy digestive system and optimal health.*
Remember, the food you consume is either nourishing your body or harming it. Prevention is the key!
Contributing Writer and Fitness Instructor
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.