Do Almonds Have Lectins?
Do almonds contain lectins that can set off negative reactions in the body? Many foods contain lectins, however, not all foods with lectins are likely to set off outward physical reactions. These reactions are typically called food sensitivity reactions or food intolerance reactions.
So, are almonds high in lectins that can set off these negative reactions?
Human Reactions To Lectins In Almonds
Research indicates that lectins in almonds are very unlikely to cause food sensitivity reactions (which is essentially what everyone worries about when avoiding lectins). Below is some data regarding reactions to the nut kernel of several different kinds of almonds.
Lectins In Common Foods And Their Blood Type Specificity
Agglutination = + | No agglutination = –
|Common Name||Species Name||Part used||A||B||AB||O|
|Almond, Sweet Almond||Prunus amygdalus||Nut kernel||-||-||-||-||Cuddapah Almond||Buchanania axillaris||Nut kernel||-||-||-||-||Indian-Almond, Tropical Almond, Singapore Almond||Terminalia catappa||Nut kernel||-||-||-||-|
Does Almond Milk Have Lectins?
Typically, almonds are considered a very safe option in a lectin free diet and therefore almond milk is also considered safe. Almond milk does not contain dairy proteins that some people have reactions to, which is one big reason it took off so massively in popularity.
Since many people on a lectin avoidance diet are trying to get plenty of nutrients, loading up vegetables, fruits, and other superfoods into smoothies is a common way to easily take in more healthy foods. Using almond milk or vanilla almond milk as a base instead of water can give your smoothie a slightly creamier taste.
Since sugar besides naturally occurring sugar (such as in fruits) is often avoided in healing diets, it is typically recommended to get unsweetened almond milk with or without vanilla. The sweetened version will sometimes not say sweetened but just be regarded as “regular” whereas unsweetened will be labeled as such.
So, Lectins Food Base recommends not to fear almond milk lectins!
Reducing Antinutrients in Almonds
While almonds are often great food for people to eat while avoiding problem lectin foods, you will want to make sure that you do not eat too many. Eating too many almonds each day may cause you to feel tired on the following day.
This could be attributed to a number of things, one of which is suspected to be antinutrients in almonds. It has been said that there is phytic acid for example, which is considered an antinutrient, in almond’s skin. It has also been said that there are lectins (which are also considered antinutrients) in the skin. While there are likely antinutrients in the almond altogether (like many seeds, nuts, and grains), almonds are still considered a safe option.
How many almonds is too many? It is hard to say exactly, but raw almonds with the skin – you may want to try to eat half a cup or less each day.
If however, you wanted to reduce the number of antinutrients in almonds (including any possible lectins), then there are several options you have available.
Sprouting and More
The first is sprouting, which is widely recognized for its ability to reduce the number of antinutrients and increase the number of nutrients. Until a seed is ready to sprout, it holds onto all these nutrients, and then when it has the conditions to grow (ie. water), it will sprout, reducing the antinutrient content.
It has been noted that unpasteurized raw almonds are ideal for sprouting. Pasteurized almonds may not sprout, although raw steam-pasteurized almonds have been said to still be able to be sprouted.
Another option is to buy almonds without the skin, often sold as blanched almonds. You can also use these blanched almonds to make your own blanched almond butter.
Furthermore, many foods have lectin content reduced by cooking, so you may consider trying roasted almonds. While this will reduce enzymes and nutrients in the almonds, raw almonds in the U.S. are pasteurized which is said to destroy enzymes and nutrients anyway. To get truly raw, unpasteurized almonds requires getting them from companies importing them from other countries.
Are Almonds High In Lectins?
Our research indicates no, and we believe almonds to be a great food option when eating a low lectin diet. Like most foods, you may still want to limit intake and be sure to include plenty of other foods as well.
Even if you are very sensitive to a lot of foods, almonds are likely a great food to include in your daily diet.
If you would like a full lectin foods checklist to get a better idea of what the most common problem lectin foods are, be sure to download our lectin foods checklist below.