Often times people who train with me, really want to change their lifestyle, so they ask me for an advice about their nutrition. When I tell them which foods they should include on a daily basis, and which ones they should avoid, most of them are always astonished, when they understand that grains and legumes are not recommended!
Shock and terror! You’ve been listening how grains are the staple of a healthy, balanced diet and now somebody is telling you that grains are not healthy! You are trying to find the logic behind it, but it really seems confusing!
That is why, in addition to my previous posts about grains(“Grains: Why Are They Slowly Killing You” read HERE and “4 Myths about Grains or Why Eating Grains Isn’t Good for Your Health”, read HERE), today and tomorrow I will dedicate two posts to explaining you in details what and why it happens when you eat grains and legumes and how instead of being good for you, they actually can harm your health!
Today I will pay more attention to explaining you what happens in the gut, when you eat and when what happens is in the norms, and when it is not!
Behind the way I eat, stands one basic “rule”- avoid foods, which could damage the gut lining. What am I talking about? Actually the gut is something like a long, wrinkled tube. There, the food you ate is supposed to be digested with the help of enzymes and the so called “good bacteria”. This leads to the further breakdown of proteins, fats and carbs into their simpler forms- as follows- amino acids, monosaccharide and fatty acids. The parts of food which are not digested are being excreted.
What divides the inner side of the tube, with the outer side of the tube is a layer of cells, called enterocytes. They have to main “tasks”- to transport the digested nutrients from the inner side of the gut, to the outer side, as well as keep everything else, that is not digested inside the gut!
On the outside of the tube, you will find immune cells, which are supposed to defend our body from pathogens, which could have accidently found their way through the enterocytes, and a net of blood and lymphatic vessels, which main job is to transport the digested nutrients, to the tissue in the body, which would need them. So that means that blood vessels, transport amino acids and monosaccharide, and lymphatic vessels transport fatty acidc.
I didn’t lose you, did I? I don’t know about you, but I love reading and learning about the way our body functions! I find it pretty interesting, and I hope you think the same way too! After a short lyric deviation, let’s keep on going…
You understood how things are supposed to happen when it comes to the digestion and transportation of nutrients! Now it is time to understand what is NOT supposed to happen! After you understand this, you will realize how and why grains, damage your gut and your health!
Have you hear about the so called “leaky gut syndrome”? It occurs when the enterocytes are damaged or when the proteins which form the bond between these cells, and actually keep them together, are damaged. When this happens, the bond between the enterocytes is being broken. This makes small holes in the layer. Through these holes, what is inside the gut could leak on the outside. What leaks out are different pathogens! ( not completely digested proteins; waste products, bacteria and etc.)
Do you remember the immune cells, I mentioned above? The once which defend your body from pathogens… well here is when they come into the game! The cells, identify the pathogens as intruders, which leads to a reaction from the body! Here I will skip on telling you the details about what, how and under what conditions will be the different reaction of the body!
I will just summarize that these pathogens, cause inflammation, which stimulates the release of chemicals, which signal the white blood cells ( the “policemen” and the guardians of your body) to attack! This leads to the formation of antibodies, which are supposed to neutralize the pathogens. Here is the problem. Sometimes, the antibodies target the intruders, but other times, they attack normal for your body proteins! Thus, it turns out that your body is self- attacking, thinking its own cells for foreign bodies.
And even without telling you, you can realize that when your body is trying to self-destroy, this would not lead to anything good! That’s when a lot of different diseases can occur, but the cause is always the same- the leaky gut syndrome!
At first sight this might sound like an infectious disease, but in reality you, with your actions, could contribute for the healing of your gut, or contrary to that, contributing for the leaky gut! How? You will learn tomorrow!
P.S. If you liked this post, please take a minute and share it with your friends! I’d greatly appreciate it!