Welcome back! Today I want to talk with you all about a very interesting book, The Plant Paradox.
The book also has a subtitle, The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. It’s written by Dr. Steven Gundry, who is the director of the International Heart and Lung Institution in Palm Springs, California. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Restorative Medicine in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara. For many years Dr. Gundry served as a surgeon and professor/chairman of Cardiothoracic surgery at Loma Linda University. He has changed his focus from using surgery to using dietary pieces to help people with their health. By using diet, Dr. Gundry has helped tens of thousands of people with changing their diet and helping them with diseases like diabetes, leaky-gut syndrome, heart disease, auto-immune disorders, arthritis, neurodegenerative diseases, and much more.
The book is cut into three different parts. One is a dietary dilemma, the second introduces the plant paradox program, and third the meal plans and recipes. One of the keys to improving our health is reducing lectins. The key is to get our gut healthy. If our gut is healthy, we are going to be healthy. You might be wondering what lectins are, no worries, the book explains them as large proteins found in plants and that are crucial weapons in the arsenal that plants use to defend themselves in their ongoing battle with animals. Plants that have seeds and skin, these are protective barriers to protect themselves. These lectins cause toxin inflammatory reactions: If you have ever experienced brain fog or swelling in your joints, you have consumed too many lectins. Lectins are found in beans, other legumes, wheat, other grains, and certain other plants. These lectins pose to be problematic to humans. One of the challenges is that cows, chickens, and pigs are fed grains (soybeans or corn) on many farms. These lectins that they consume are then passed on to either the meat or milk of the animal. In his book, Dr. Gundry educates the reader on how to purchase meats and milk (where and what types).
The plant paradox itself is a microbiome, mitochondria centered program. It recommends a diverse array of foods and the right plants at the right time, the right way, in the right amounts. This program is not completely plant-based, meat is included in the diet. It is high in wild seafood. It includes a whole list of “do”s and “can have”s, as well as a list of “don’t”s and “can’t have”s in the back of the book. What Dr. Gundry found is that though we, as humans, are living longer, we’re not living as well. You can look at almost any statistical charts and see that we are living longer as a species, but we are having more diseases and more illnesses. One of the purposes of this book is to teach us to eat the right foods in the right ways so that we can live longer and healthier.
So what are some of the enemies to our gut? Dr. Gundry states that first is the broad-spectrum antibiotics. Now, antibiotics have saved a lot of people’s lives and have helped countless others with illnesses, but what he suggests is not to take these unless in a life-threatening situation. This is because broad-spectrum antibiotics can kill your microbes for up to two years. Also stay away from nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, (NSAIDs) like Advil and Aleve. Dr. Gundry compares these to swallowing a hand grenade in our system. They damage the mucosal barrier in the small intestine and the colon. He recommends that we switch to something like Tylenol. He says never to take stomach acid blockers for more than two weeks. In fact, there’s some research out there that shows that you might be more open to dementia by taking stomach acid blockers for an extended period of time. Next, he takes on artificial sweeteners. Dr. Gundry believes they alter the gut actually killing good bacteria and allowing the overgrowth of bad bacteria. He recommends that you use a natural sweetener like Stevia. He is also against endocrine disruptors also known as hormone disruptors. These are found in many of the plastics, scented cosmetics, preservatives, and in sunscreen. He recommends that you avoid foods with transglutaminase, he supports homebaked goods with substitute fours. He is clear that you should refrain from using cookware that contains no PTFE or PFOA. Instead, use T-Fal or Culina, and store food in glass or stainless steel containers. Don’t use baggies, or plastic wrap, and avoid deodorant that contains aluminum or parabens. Avoid GMO’s and RoundUp. RoundUp actually happens to be in a lot of our foods because we use it here in the United States. Avoid constant exposure to light. The Doctor recommends replacing the lightbulbs in your bedroom with blublocker bulbs and set your smartphones and computers to lower light modes after 7 PM.
There are foods that are loaded with lectins, like zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, goji berries, peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds. As I read those if you are thinking “No wait… Those are healthy”, they actually contain a lot of lectins. One fact that I learned from the book is that 94% of all humans are born with antibodies to lectin in peanuts. Now we have a lot of people out there who are allergic to peanuts, in fact, many places don’t allow them at all. And this is because most of us are born with these antibodies. So the rules to this plan are simple. What you stop eating is far more important and has a bigger impact on your health than what you start eating. So you, as a consumer, want to pay attention to the care and feeding of your gut. Another thing I learned from Dr. Gundry is that we should only be eating fruit that is in season. There are four fruits that we can eat anytime, which are green papaya, green mangos, green bananas, and avocados. See a common thread? The rest of the book goes into detoxing our bodies and getting our guts healthy. The book has a list of foods that are acceptable and also a “Just Say No” list. You may be surprised by the number of foods on the “No” list that are considered to be “healthy”.
The Plant Paradox is not a diet book, it’s a book about a new way to eat to get a healthier gut and to live a healthier life. For more review or helpful information, you can visit my website and follow me on social media. Don’t forget to come back next Thursday for a new blog post and be on the lookout for the next episode of The Coach Jeff Garrett Show on your favorite podcast directory. Also remember, Be Great!