Nut, Seed or Legume?

What is a nut?  What is a seed?  What is a Legume and how is that word said?

Why does it matter?

Nut

A nut is a fruit with an outer coating generally containing a kernel called a seed within.

Seed

A seed is the embryo of a plant enclosed in a protective shell.

Legume pronounced “leg-yoom”

A legume is a plant or its fruit or seed in the family Fabaceae. Legumes are grown agriculturally, primarily for their grain seed called pulse, for livestock forage and silage, and as soil-enhancing green manure.  Wikipedia

Soil-enhancing green manure is what they term the benefit of a cover crop.  So, this is how it works.  A farmer wants to add nitrogen to his field and rather than spraying which is costly, in the past crop rotation was used as many plants add “green” meaning from the plan, nitrogen to the soil.  Adding a cover crop of beans or clover will add a great deal of nitrogen and nutrients to the soil as a green way of fertilizing the soil, thus the Wikipedia term “green manure”.

Interestingly, a pea is a legume as is a peanut and a cashew.  Of course, we think of both a peanut and a cashew as nuts when in fact they are legumes.

The argument that Dr. Gundry makes is that if you don’t cook legumes adequately, they will be high in lectins and some are high and often eaten raw and therefore the seeds should be removed to decrease their lectins.

Lectins are molecules of proteins found in plants that can damage the lining of your esophagus and stomach or can give you an upset stomach and change the biological composition of your gut.  Needless to say, the information that Dr. Gundry shares, I am not wholly in agreement with because it conflicts with advice of other famous doctors that are also renowned cardiologists.  But, he is a highly thought of doctor and the information that he shares is somewhat different and worth a try to see what the individual reaction or effect is as a personal and further investigation.  As I learn and share, please learn and share with me.  As I try different things and share, please comment on your experience.  Dr. Gundry calls this a low lectin diet.

 

 

Fruit or Vegetable – Why?

Have you ever considered what a fruit is vs. a vegetable and what that means for our nutritional health?  I know that I had not until I started listening to a pod cast by a doctor that has shifted my thinking.  A bit more about that later.

What is a fruit?

A fruit is a seed-bearing portion of a tree or a plant.  It develops from the flower of the tree or the plant.

What is a vegetable?

A vegetable is the other part of the plant including the leaves, the roots and the stem.

Often identified incorrectly as vegetables are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, squash, pumpkin and zucchini.

Why would this matter?

Dr. Gundry argues that fruits were eaten to fatten up before winter.  The seeds are high in lectin proteins which are not healthy to eat routinely.  If advises that if you must eat a tomato, he suggests that you remove the center seeded area and eat the exterior meat of the tomato.  He also argues that a diet high in lectin protein causes increase cholesterol, weight gain and insulin spike.  He states in one of his videos that he often recommends that his female patients removes cucumbers their diet as a strategy to reduce their cholesterol with great success.

I highly recommend that we check out his information.  I cannot attest to the diet changes personally, at this point because I have not used them myself with success and tracked the changes.  I suggest that we evaluate his information because (a) he is a highly regarded cardiologist (b) the personal doctor of several famous people whom have the means to choose anyone (c) over his career, he has changed his recommendation as he has found information causing his to refine his practices.

You have to respect a professional in any field who is a continuous learner at the top of his field and who will change his direction because he thinks it is the right thing to do.  My intention it to move toward his recommended low lectin diet, evaluate the changes and blog about it to share with you my practical reality so that you too can benefit if you so choose.

Just like all things All Good Veg at allgoodveg.com, I will give you some simple tips after I have completed my evaluation.  Please do share if you have used the low lectin diet with a whole food plant-based, vegan, vegetarian diet.  I am interested in hearing your feedback.  Thank you in advance for sharing.

Kohlrabi

Back left in the photo is a vegetable that you may not have tried, kohlrabi.  It is certainly one of my absolute favorites.

I cut the top and the bottom off and then peal the outside skin off leaving a juicy interior that is sweet, crisp, refreshing and pleasant.

If you haven’t tried this wonderful vegetable, I recommend you buy 2 or 3 of them at the store this weekend when you shop for your produce and try it raw.  I have always eaten and served it as a cut raw vegetable rather than cooking them although I have heard that they are good cooked as well.

garlic beside ginger and pepper on brown wooden table
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com