As we have discussed one of the main triggers for autoimmune disease, for RA, or for any chronic condition is the lack of high nutrient density foods.
So, what about whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds? Aren’t they high nutrient density foods? Yes and no and here is the scientific explanation for this.
Nuts and seeds are high nutrient density foods but for people with RA they can also be in the category of highly sensitive foods. If you’re not sure, stop eating nuts and seeds for some time and watch to see if you have any changes in how you feel. That doesn’t mean that your RA symptoms will go away but you may notice less fatigue or better digestion. Remember one person’s food can be another’s poison.
#1 Whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds contain substances called “nutrient inhibitors” which makes it difficult for us to absorb the nutrients they contain or they bind minerals together such as zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium so they pass unused out of the body. We consume these good foods but we can’t utilize the nutrients they carry and that is one of the reasons we struggle with Nutritional Deficiencies which can then trigger our RA pain. You can reduce some of this nutrient inhibitor substance from the grains, legumes, nuts and seeds by either pre-soaking or sprouting or fermenting.
#2 “…When whole grains and legumes are consumed daily, our diet became much less nutritionally dense, which result in nutrient deficiencies.” The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD
Whole grains and legumes are not as high a dense nutrient food as most people believe. They are also hard to digest which is why so many people experience gas when they eat beans. These foods contribute to leaky gut or gut disbiosis which is another main trigger for RA pain.
#3 Grains and legumes are high inpro-inflammatoryOmega 6 which may contribute to an imbalance with Omega 3. As I mentioned in one of my early videos there must be a healthy ratio of about 1:1 between Omega 6 and Omega 3. But because we consume so many processed foods particularly using hydrogenated cooking oils like canola, corn, soy and vegetable; the ratio becomes 20:1 and sometimes even 40:1. And grains and legumes are adding to this pile. To stop RA pain, you need to stop the inflammation in the body, including consuming too much of Omega 6.
#4 Most grains contain proteins like toxic protein gluten that is found in wheat, barley and rye. If you are sensitive to toxic protein gluten in wheat, barley and rye you most likely will be sensitive to other proteins in grain as well. Grains can easily be contaminated in the fields, in the factories or even the stores with toxic gluten. Therefore, for people with RA who haven’t found relief after removing (gluten) wheat, barley and rye from their diets, they may want to remove all whole grains, including corn, rice, quinoa and buckwheat.
#5 Grains and legumes are high in starches and sugars which support the overgrowth of bacteria and yeast in the small intestine. Grains such as oatmeal, wheat, rice, quinoa and barley typically raise blood sugar levels because they rapidly breakdown into sugar in the body. When the blood sugar swings up and down or becomes elevated it causes more stress which then activates the immune system causing RA symptoms. It is for this reason we also want to eat beans and legumes in moderation.
For many of you whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are everyday staple foods, and I know making changes to our diets is hard but sometimes it is the only way to go.