Health Harms of Lectins: Hype or Paradox?

Some test tube and animal studies suggest lectins may negatively impact health, but the foods in which they are found are consistently associated with positive health effects.

Lectins are a group of proteins that bind with carbohydrates. The lectins produced by our bodies perform a large number of functions, including roles in the immune system. Lectins are also found in many of the foods we eat. Nightshade vegetables (like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes), legumes (like beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts), and whole grains are particularly high in dietary lectins.
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