Low lectin foods are all apart of Dr. Gundry’s eating program outlined in his new book, “The Plant Paradox.” You see, based on his research with tens of thousands of patients, he’s observed how dietary lectins — a protein used by plants that makes its predators ill — are to blame for many of our health issues like autoimmune diseases, weight gain, leaky gut, allergies and more.
Dr. Gundry knows that this plant-based defense mechanism is very effective in wreaking havoc in our bodies. So, he developed The Plant Paradox 90-day diet to help his patients eliminate disease, arthritis, and excess weight loss by knowing which ‘healthy’ foods to avoid — such as nightshades, grains, soy, commercial meats, dairy, and more. You can benefit from low-lectin foods like Dr. Gundry’s basil pesto recipe.
In “The Plant Paradox” book and Dr. Gundry’s blog at gundrymd.com, there are lots of tasty recipes to help readers abide by this low-lectin diet.
Here is just one of these healthy and delicious recipes:
Dr. Gundry’s Basil Pesto Recipe
Dr. Gundry’s delicious basil pesto recipe is easy to make and it only contains superfood ingredients.
Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of the two major ingredients in the recipe, extra virgin oil and basil:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, EVOO
Used in Mediterranean kitchen for centuries, this is one of the most nutrient dense cooking oils around. With its buttery and slightly nutty flavor, it also provides a good source of antioxidants, multiple essential vitamins and minerals, and heart healthy essential fatty acids.2 One of the most notable antioxidants found in EVOO is called oleocanthal. It has been shown in clinical trials to reduce inflammation, even in those suffering with autoimmune issues.3
When it comes to a healthy heart, olive oil is also a significant source of a unique fatty acid compound known as omega-9, or oleic acid. This monounsaturated healthy fat has been shown to help regulate blood pressure.4
Basil can be found in many backyard herb gardens in any one of its 150 varieties and offers a bountiful harvest of protective compounds in addition to its impressive nutritional profile that includes vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and calcium.5
Here are a few more benefits of basil:
Anti-microbial – Microbes can come in all shapes and sizes and some of them can be downright dangerous to your health! Basil has been shown to effectively kill pathogenic species of viruses, bacteria, yeasts, and molds.6
Antioxidant – Oxidation is a process that can occur as a result of many factors including UV rays from the sun and cigarette smoke. As a result of this process, harmful molecules are created inside your body known as ROS (reactive oxygen species). Because of their imbalanced molecular structure, they roam through your body looking for the missing molecule to “steal,” from your healthy cells. This process, if left unchecked, may cause a variety of health problems including chronic joint pain, memory loss, vision loss, and even neurodegeneration.7
Basil is known to contain a unique class of very potent, powerful antioxidants called flavonoids. This is a type of polyphenol antioxidant that includes individual phyto-chemicals known as orientin.8
Able to boost antioxidant levels in the body, basil may help to protect cells from the oxidation process and from harmful ROS species. Adding basil to your diet may help to reduce the formation and progression of abnormal cells and the risk of associated health problems.
Heart Healthy – Along with the incredible protective phyto-chemicals basil contains, it also offers a large amount of magnesium. This mineral is needed in the body for many functions, including that of a strong immune defense, strong bones, and normal nerve function. In addition, high quantities of this mineral are also needed to maintain a strong and steady heartbeat. For this reason, basil is a welcomed addition to any heart healthy menu.9
While there are all types of nuts you can use to make pesto including walnuts, almonds, and even peanuts, pine nuts offer a unique flavor and anti-inflammatory abilities to support overall health.10
Dr. Gundry’s Low Lectin Basil Pesto Recipe Ingredients:
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- Sea salt, to taste
To make your pesto, pulse the basil, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, and a little olive oil in a blender or food processor until well combined.
Next, turn it on low and stream in the remaining olive oil. When you’re happy with the consistency you’re done.
And that’s it! It really is THAT easy to make Dr. Gundry’s Low-Lectin Basil Pesto at home. Add it to anything you like for loads of flavor plus incredible health benefits!
- Peumans, Willy J. LectinsAs Plant Defense Proteins. N.p., 1995. Print.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Nutrition facts & Calories. SELF Nutrition Data.com.
- Puertollano MA, Puertollano E. Olive oil, immune system and infection.Nutr Hosp. 2010 Jan-Feb;25(1):1-8.
- Alonso A, Ruiz-Gutierrez V. Monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil and blood pressure: epidemiological, clinical and experimental evidence. Public HealthNutr. 2006 Apr;9(2):251-7.
- Basil. Nutrition facts & Calories. SELF Nutrition Data.com.
- RattanachaikunsoponP, Phumkhachorn P. Antimicrobial activity of basil (Ocimum basilicum) oil against Salmonella enteritidis in vitro and in food. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(6):1200-4. Epub 2010 Jun 7.
- V.Hajhashemi, G.Vaseghi. Are antioxidants helpful for disease prevention? Res Pharm Sci. 2010 Jan-Jun; 5(1): 1–8.
- Chandra S, Khan S. Assessment of Total Phenolic and Flavonoid Content, Antioxidant Properties, and Yield of Aeroponically and Conventionally Grown Leafy Vegetables and Fruit Crops: A Comparative Study. 2014.
- UweGröber, Joachim Schmidt. Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients. 2015 Sep; 7(9): 8199–8226.
- Alexander N.Shikov,ÆOlga N. Pozharitskaya. Anti-inflammatory effect of Pinus sibirica oil extract in animal models. June 2008.